Caroline Cottman 2008

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  • Caroline Cottman 2008

    1. 1. The Virtual Law Placement - from concept to trial Tina Cockburn Melinda Shirley Caroline Cottman ATN Assessment Conference 2008
    2. 2. VLP - Aim <ul><li>The VLP unit aims to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>provide a real world learning experience through application and supervised placement in a legal workplace environment. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>enable greater knowledge and understanding of the dynamic relationship between academic knowledge and its practical application to legal issues that arise in a workplace. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>give the opportunity to identify and practice graduate capabilities relevant to the workplace environment. </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Overview <ul><ul><li>What? - The resources used in this project and the collaborative learning tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How? - The visual organiser, instructions, assessment tasks – application, workplace project , discussion forum and eportfolio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What happened? - How were the assessment tasks received by students? How effective were criteria as basis for marking? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What next? – Challenges and review </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. What? <ul><li>Unit resources </li></ul><ul><li>LMS – Unit Blackboard site </li></ul><ul><li>Sharepoint – to replicate the legal firm environment </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative tools – discussion forums </li></ul><ul><li>Student emails, skype, MSN </li></ul><ul><li>Career modules – interviews, using eportfolio, </li></ul>
    5. 5. Unit Visual organiser <ul><li>Aims to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>organise resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus student effort – in 4 phases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide Unit schedule – pacing guide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cluster resources for workplace supervisors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Each workplace – virtual replication of authentic workplace </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stream assessment tasks/discussion around themes </li></ul></ul>
    6. 7. TIMELINE AND SCHEDULE OF WORK :
    7. 8. How? <ul><li>Assessment of work practice components </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Application / Interim report </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Workplace project </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reflective assessment and theory </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Online discussion & summary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eportfolio entries </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Marking undertaken by academic staff and workplace supervisor </li></ul>
    8. 9. Assessment Plan <ul><li>Workplacement based </li></ul><ul><li>Application 10% </li></ul><ul><li>Project outline & interim report 15% - Team mark - workplace supervisor </li></ul><ul><li>Completed project 40% - </li></ul><ul><li>Team 10%/ Individual marks 30% - workplace supervisor </li></ul><ul><li>Reflective and collaborative </li></ul><ul><li>Online discussion forum entries & Executive summary – including leading discussion 15% - Individual mark - academic </li></ul><ul><li>Three Student eportfolio entries 20% Individual mark - academic </li></ul>
    9. 10. Assessing discussion posts <ul><li>Posts – How many? </li></ul><ul><li>Depth of ideas – analysis of topics, </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to make connections, see complexities </li></ul><ul><li>Weave the ideas of others, integration </li></ul><ul><li>Leaders role – giving focus, </li></ul><ul><li>Communication ability shown in post – </li></ul><ul><li>CRA provided, FAQs, guidelines and reminders </li></ul>
    10. 11. Academic reflections: online discussion forum <ul><li>Executive summary of two discussion threads plus a self audit document </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>939 posts from a cohort of 20 students. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>General approach to assessment will be adopted again - the self audit document avoids the need to count entries </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not necessary to assess all contributions – students select two discussion threads to be assessed. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To recognise the workload involved, and to make this more transparent to students, it is proposed to increase the weighting of the online discussion forum entries to 20% (from 15%). </li></ul></ul></ul>
    11. 12. Academic reflections: online discussion forum (cont…) <ul><ul><ul><li>Utility of CRA: marks for number of contributions (to encourage participation) AND quality of contributions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Number of contributions (marked out of 5) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Quality of contributions (marked out of 10) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Marker reflections: Allocation of marks worked well - will allocate specific marks to criteria (4, 3 and 3 marks for A, B and C respectively) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Allocation for number of contributions ensures participation – leader roster enabled all students to meet the minimum requirements & assisted time management. Will provide exemplars for next offer. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Minor amendments to CRA necessary only – able to discern between student submissions using the criteria and CRA. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    12. 13. Themes of student comments <ul><li>Building essence of team </li></ul><ul><li>Drawing on each other and acknowledging differences </li></ul><ul><li>Significance of teamwork and initiative </li></ul><ul><li>Time management </li></ul><ul><li>Need to know expectations </li></ul>
    13. 14. Student comments – discussion <ul><li>Opportunity to learn new contemporary skills; </li></ul><ul><li>Enjoyed online postings, nominated and individual topics – great way to interact with others & understand the level of education and experience they have; </li></ul><ul><li>Depth of discussion forum posts and variety of topics – able to post anything of interest, and enlightening to read others thoughts. </li></ul><ul><li>Forum discussions were great – allowed unlimited discussion to a detailed extent, learn a lot form others views and information posts. </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone had to be organised – coordinating everyone’s availability and sometimes people at different ability levels. </li></ul><ul><li>Leader role - </li></ul>
    14. 15. Student comments – discussion cont. <ul><li>Discussion forum difficult as there was not enough guidance as to what to expect – some write academic essay, others comment to stir. </li></ul><ul><li>Students at different year levels, and therefore varied legal knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>High expectations for discussion posts, at times when other assessments due </li></ul><ul><li>Minimum posts each week were too much with other reading & responding, just keep to roster </li></ul>
    15. 16. Academic reflections: e-portfolio entries <ul><li>Three e-portfolio entries - describe & reflect on experiences during placement, plus complete online eportfolio module, </li></ul><ul><li>Detailed CRA, instruction sheet and guidelines were provided in advance, reminder emails closer to the due date. </li></ul><ul><li>Marker Reflections: Most understood what was required, some difficulty with the nature of reflection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>choose better in terms of experiences, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>focus on development of relevant employability skills rather than focusing on describing specific tasks, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>use of STARL/STARP frameworks, for more structured approach to reflection, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>offer exemplars of e-portfolio entries & give students an opportunity to be provided with formative feedback prior to submission of the assessable entries. </li></ul></ul>
    16. 17. Academic reflections: Assessing the e-portfolio entries (cont…) <ul><ul><li>Utility of CRA: Each e-portfolio entry was marked out of 5 and marks were allocated as follows: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Description of experience (1 mark) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reflections upon experience (3 marks) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Presentation in e-portfolio (1 mark) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Marker reflections: Criteria appropriate as key performance indicators, detailed descriptors too verbose- summarised and refined before being meaningfully applied. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Guidelines and instructions need to highlight the significance of reflection and preparing an action plan for the future. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Exemplars of e-portfolio entries will be provided. Opportunity for formative feedback will be provided. Reduce assessable entries to two, mark out of 10 rather than 5 to enable increased scope for discernment in marking. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    17. 18. Student comments - eportfolio <ul><li>Documenting your significant experiences and things worth reflecting on in eportfolio </li></ul><ul><li>Job applications helpful, and eportfolio – I will use this more to my advantage even after graduation </li></ul><ul><li>Stimulated further thinking, valuable process </li></ul>
    18. 19. Proposed revisions to Assessment <ul><li>Application - change to formative assessment - feedback to be provided by Careers and Employment and employers </li></ul><ul><li>Project – increase team weighting to 15% - individual to 20% </li></ul>
    19. 20. Proposed revisions to Assessment (cont…) <ul><li>Online discussion forum entries and Executive Summary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Proposed change: 20% (was 15%) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Student e-portfolio entries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>20% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proposed change: 2 entries to be assessed, 1 entry will be formative and submitted earlier, with feedback from eportfolio team. </li></ul></ul>
    20. 21. Considerations for marking <ul><li>Workplace supervisors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce the turnaround time for allocation of marks and formal feedback, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aim to be more discerning in their allocation of marks. Guidelines and marking instructions provided to workplace supervisors to be revised. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students will be provided with exemplars of project outlines and reports. Guidelines and instructions to students will be revised. </li></ul></ul>
    21. 22. Challenges for the future <ul><li>Training workplace supervisors to assess </li></ul><ul><ul><li>not as discerning as academic markers – marks generally higher </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Balance between weighting of workplace project assessment and online discussion forum and eportfolio reflection (practice vs theory balance) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>40% online discussion and eportfolio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>60% workplace project </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Resource and workload implications - involve QUT Careers and Employment & eportfolio team in formative feedback, </li></ul><ul><li>Succession planning: Retention of existing workplace supervisors and increasing capacity to take more students into unit, </li></ul><ul><li>Incremental recruiting and training of new supervisors, </li></ul><ul><li>Retention of existing academic staff and recruitment and training of additional academic staff team members, including sessional staff. </li></ul>
    22. 23. Feedback and comments welcome to: <ul><li>Caroline Cottman </li></ul><ul><li>Tina Cockburn </li></ul><ul><li>Queensland University of Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Email: c.cottman@qut.edu.au </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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