User guide

Guide to the Self-Assessment Tool
Australian Professional Standards for Teachers
March 2013

Contents
Australian Professional Standards for Teachers
About the Self-Assessment Tool

Australian Professional Standards for Teachers
The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, endorsed by Education Ministers at the Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs (MCEECDYA) in December 2010, underpin the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT).

The Standards and their Descriptors represent an analysis of effective, contemporary teaching practice throughout Australia. Their development included a synthesis of the descriptions of teachers' knowledge, practice and professional engagement. In addition to use by teachers, school leaders and at a school-based level the Standards are used by teacher accreditation and registration authorities, employers and professional associations. Each descriptor has been informed by teachers' understanding of what is required at different stages of their careers. An extensive validation process involving almost 6,000 teachers ensured the Standards were informed and shaped by the profession.

The key elements of quality teaching are described in the Standards. They articulate what teachers are expected to know and be able to do at four career stages:

The stages reflect the continuum of a teacher's developing professional expertise, from undergraduate preparation through to being an exemplary classroom practitioner and a leader in the profession.

Teacher Standards also inform the development of professional learning goals, provide a framework by which teachers can have a common language to discuss their own and their colleagues’ practice, plan their professional learning, set performance and development goals and self-assess and reflect on practice. Teachers can use the Standards to recognise their current and developing capabilities, professional aspirations and achievements.

About the Self-Assessment Tool
The SAT is an online questionnaire enabling teachers at all career stages, in a range of contexts, to reflect upon their practice in accordance with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. The SAT may be used for informal purposes of self-reflection including the identification of strengths and areas for further development, professional learning planning or to set career goals; and formal purposes such as performance and development goal setting, reviews and certification.

The SAT incorporates an adaptive algorithm that selects questions based on the user’s responses. The adaptive algorithm uses responses to the items based on the Descriptors and career stages of the Standards, to generate subsequent questions appropriate to the level of the user.

Upon completion of the SAT, users will be presented with a report that will assist them to identify where they are positioned within the Standards. The report contains a summation of strengths and areas for development mapped against the Standards and Descriptors.

For those teachers seeking certification, the report will map SAT results against the Standards at either the Highly Accomplished or Lead career stage as selected by the user, and will assist in determining evidence that may be drawn upon to support their application.

Accessing the SAT
The SAT portal is located at http://www.selfassessment.aitsl.edu.au

The SAT portal is the entry point for the SAT itself. It also provides links to information about how to use the SAT, design process and methodology, terms and conditions, frequently asked questions and how the SAT supports teachers in:

  • reflecting against the Standards
  • performance and development
  • planning for professional learning
  • self-assessing readiness for certification at the Highly Accomplished or Lead career stage.

On the right of the portal page are links to the AITSL Newsroom (www.newsroom.aitsl.edu.au) where you can find the latest information about AITSL.

Users can connect with AITSL via the Facebook, Twitter and Youtube icons on the bottom right of the webpage.

To move straight into the SAT questionnaire click on the button.

Connections to other teacher quality initiatives

Clicking on each lime puzzle section opens a pop-up window with information about how the SAT supports teachers’ work with regard to the Standards, performance and development, professional learning and certification. A link to the relevant AITSL webpage, which will contain further relevant information regarding that specific initiative, is available in each pop-up window.

Teacher Standards

The Self Assessment tool presents questions appropriate to the level of the user and to gauge performance against the Australian Professional Standards.

The report enables the user to see where they are positioned within the Standards. It contains a summation of strengths and areas for development mapped against the Standards and Descriptors.

More information on the Standards can be found here.

Certification

The SAT is a valuable resource to support teachers in assessing their readiness to apply for Certification. Upon completion of the SAT a report will be generated identifying areas within the Standards of self-identified strengths and areas for development.  This report will also map SAT results against the Standards at either the Highly Accomplished or Lead career stage and will assist users in determining evidence they may draw on to support their application.

More information on Certification of Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers in Australia can be found here.

Professional Learning

The SAT assists teachers to self-identify areas of strength and areas for development, which will enable them to plan their own professional learning as described in the Australian Charter for the Professional Learning of Teachers and School Leaders (the Charter).

More information on the Australian Charter for the Professional Learning of Teachers and School Leaders  can be found here.

Performance and Development

The Self-Assessment Tool provides opportunities for teachers to self-identify areas of strengths and for development against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.  This can be used to inform the development of performance goals, provides a framework by which teachers map progress against goals, supports self-reflection and planning for professional learning. Teachers can use the Standards to recognise their current and developing capabilities, professional aspirations and achievements.

More information on the Australian Teacher and Performance and Development Framework can be found here.

Related information

Clicking on each green puzzle section will open up a webpage providing the following information regarding the SAT:

  • Terms and conditions
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Design process and methodology
  • User guide

How to use the Self-Assessment Tool
To access the Self-Assessment Tool, click on .This will open a new page in which users can:

  1. create a new account
  2. login, if they have an existing account
  3. request a new password.

To create or manage your account, click on the relevant tab.

Create a new account
When accessing the SAT for the first time a new account needs to be created. This will require setting up a unique username and password. Once a new account has been created an email will be sent to the registered email address confirming username and registration.

Creating login details enables teachers to partially complete the SAT and then login in at a later point to answer more questions or to fully complete the SAT.

Registering and setting up login details also ensures that teachers can save their SAT responses and reports for later reference. Teachers can complete the questionnaire on multiple occasions and compare their results over time.

Login
Log in to the SAT using the registered username and password.

Request new password
If the password is forgotten, click on the ‘request new password’ tab, enter username and click on ‘email new password’.  A link will then be emailed out. Click on the link and it will open a window explaining that this is a one time password. Click on the login button to access a page in which the password can be reset.

Top navigation pane.

Upon logging in to the SAT a black navigation pane appears at the top of the webpage. On the left of this navigation pane are links to:

  • The home page for the SAT
  • The Self-Assessment questionnaire
  • My results


On the right of the navigation pane is a message acknowledging the account user and the link to log out of the SAT.

Accessing previous results
The ‘My results’ tab will open a window that lists archived results, if the user has previously completed the SAT. All previous results can be identified by the date. ‘Time taken’ notes the total time taken to complete the SAT. Click on ‘view’ to access the report for each SAT completed and archived.

Starting the questionnaire

Checking on “launch” the ‘view’ tab provides access to the questionnaire. The green bar underneath the tabs indicates the percentage of the questionnaire that will have been completed once the page of questions has been answered.

Seven questions are presented on each page. A likert scale is used with responses – always, usually, sometimes or rarely.

The SAT incorporates an adaptive algorithm that selects questions based on the user’s responses. The adaptive questionnaire uses responses to test and confirm career stage, to present questions appropriate to the level of the user and to gauge performance against the Standards and Descriptors.

The SAT does not need to be completed in one session. Users can log out of the SAT at any time by clicking on ‘logout’ at the top right of the screen. When next logging in to the SAT, it will open up at the last page of questions that were presented before logging out.

Your Feedback Report

At the top of the Results page is information about the date and time that the SAT was finished for the displayed results.

To assist with understanding the results the Standards and Descriptors have been separated into 3 different graphic wheels that correlate to the 3 Domains of teaching identified in the Standards.

  • Wheel 1:          Professional Knowledge         Standard 1 and 2
  • Wheel 2:          Professional Practice              Standard 3, 4 and 5
  • Wheel 3:          Professional Engagement         Standard 6 and 7


The spoked sections on each wheel correspond to a Focus Area with the appropriate number displayed in white writing on the outer edge. Each spoked section has four segments. The four segments represent the career stages:

  • Graduate
  • Proficient
  • Highly Accomplished
  • Lead

The Graduate stage is closest to the centre of the circle and Lead closest to the Focus Area number.

The segments in each spoked section provide feedback on the level of professional practice for the Descriptor, in line with the user’s responses to the questionnaire. In the example above the respondent is practicing at a Graduate level for each of the Descriptors in Standard 1. However, in Standard 2 the respondent is operating at a Lead level for four of the descriptors.

The wheels provide a quick and easy visual reference reflecting a respondent’s professional practice against each of the Standards and Descriptors.

Areas of Strength

Underneath each wheel is a table that outlines a strength area for each Standard, focusing on particular Descriptors.

Areas for Development

There is also a table that outlines suggested areas for development for each Standard, focusing on particular Descriptors.

Reflections and Goal Setting

At the bottom of the Results page is a section in which respondents can write notes about reflections and goal setting, based on what has been highlighted in the results report. These notes can be saved and accessed at any time.

Navigation Bar

Underneath the comment box for reflections and goal setting is a series of buttons that make up a navigational tool.

Results provides access to the report for a completed SAT.

Compare will take respondents to a page that lists each of the completed SATs for the respondent. Clicking on ‘compare’ provides access to the results from previous reports.

Responses provides a list of all questions asked and the users response.

The item in the section column indicates Focus Area and career stage the question has come from. eg 1.1 HA means Focus Area 1.1, HA means Highly Accomplished.

PDF provides a copy of your report.

Print allows the user to print the current page being viewed.

Applicants interested in certification

It is highly recommended that potential applicants for certification complete the SAT as part of their preparations for certification at Highly Accomplished or Lead career stages. The SAT will provides feedback for readiness for applying for certification by outlining professional practice in each of the Standards and Descriptors.

To further assist potential applicants the SAT provides information about the Descriptors at the higher career stages and provides the facility for users to tick and save the types of evidence that they might draw on when evidencing each of the Descriptors in their application. Potential applicants can write and save notes about the evidence that they may include in their application. These facilities can be accessed via the ‘Lead’ and ‘Highly Accomplished’ buttons in the green navigation bar at the bottom of the page.

Lead opens a window that lists all of the Standards in columns from left to right. Underneath each Standard are the associated Descriptors for the Lead career stage.

Evidence

The report that appears in the Certification Evidence section is generated from responses to the SAT and populated to the Highly Accomplished or Lead career stage as chosen by user. It is colour-coded in response to the career stage selected by the user (Highly Accomplished or Lead). Based on the user’s responses, the SAT will assign each Descriptor a traffic light colour (green, orange or red) which indicates the level of proficiency of practice of that Descriptor at that career stage.

  Green indicates a self-identified area of strength, suggesting that the user ought readily be able to provide evidence of practice.

  Orange indicates an area that is in need of development or further evidence.

  Red indicates an area where the user has not demonstrated that they are working at the career stage they have identified, and would therefore need to develop practice further.

Underneath each descriptor is an Evidence hyperlink. Clicking on ‘Evidence’ will open a pop-up window that will list different types of evidence, relevant to the Descriptor, that a respondent might draw on in order to evidence their application for Lead career status.

By checking the box next to an evidence type, respondents can make a note of evidence that they have available. Once boxes have been checked there is no need to save the information. Just close the box by clicking on the ‘x’ at the top right of the pop-up window.

Once evidence has been selected for Descriptors, respondents can click on ‘Evidence report’ at the bottom left of the page. Scrolling down the page will reveal Evidence report button. A new window will open with four column areas.

The left column notes the descriptor for each Standard. The second column provides the wording for the descriptor. The third column lists all evidence selected in the pop-up windows on the previous page. The fourth column is a blank box in which respondents can make specific notes about evidence to assist with collating it.

Notes added to the boxes can be saved by clicking on ‘Save’ at the bottom left of the page.

To print the Evidence report, click on ‘print’ in the navigation bar at the bottom of the page. 

Highly Accomplished opens a window that lists all of the Standards in columns from left to right. Underneath each Standard are the associated Descriptors for the Highly Accomplished career stage. This page operates in accordance with the Lead page explained above.

Terms and conditions (31/01/13)

These terms and conditions are written for participants of the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) Self-Assessment Tool.

The terms and conditions apply to the following processes:

  • registration for the Self-Assessment Tool
  • using the Self-Assessment Tool
  • storage of data provided.

Information collected through the registration process and use of the Self-Assessment Tool will be treated as confidential and in accordance with the National Privacy Principles, kept and used by AITSL in accordance with AITSL’s privacy guidelines, and stored by AITSL in a Safe Harbor compliant environment.

Registration

By registering, a participant is agreeing to receive email communication regarding their registration. Emails may be used to provide an applicant with more information about their registration and participation in the Self-Assessment Tool.

The Self-Assessment Tool has been designed for, and is offered by AITSL for use by teachers and pre-service teachers. AITSL reserves the right to deny registration to, or remove access rights from, any person(s).

In addition to the participant’s contact information, each registration requires the following:

  1. basic demographic information
  2. agreement to these terms and conditions

Agreement to terms and conditions

Successful registration will involve the participant agreeing to the following terms and conditions. That they:

  • provide email contact details
  • will receive a feedback report detailing their responses to the Self-Assessment Tool
  • understand that summary information from feedback reports may be collated into a consolidated report for the educational system/sector of which the participant is part. No individual will be identified in this consolidated report
  • may be contacted by AITSL to provide feedback on their experience in using the Self-Assessment Tool. If AITSL wants to publish this feedback to help promote the Self-Assessment Tool, AITSL will seek permission from the participant concerned
  • agree that AITSL, if required, can appoint another Third Party provider to:
    • examine data provided for the Self-Assessment Tool for the purposes of storing, maintaining and managing that data
    • review and refine the SAT
    • store, maintain and manage that data
    • use and publish de-identified data for ongoing research.
  • acknowledge that completion of the Self-Assessment Tool is not a definitive statement of a participant’s performance against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers
  • acknowledge that the results of the Self-Assessment Tool do not provide a definitive statement of readiness for applying for, or likelihood of success of, achieving national certification.