NB: Revision to PT pattern for new enrollments!

The first important point is that the change to the Graduate Diploma Program, both in terms of scheduling and assessment, is not intended to make completing the course difficult for any student. Should the changes cause any genuine difficulties it is intent to resolve them in a way that is fair and equitable, whilst maintaining the integrity of the course.

On this page:
1. Types or part-time enrollment
2. Change in Unit Names & Professional Experience (continuing students)
3. Assessment
4. IT Help
5. 'Advice from a part-timer'

1. Typology & enrollment pattern

part time students should be following the typical part-time pattern shown in the table to the left. Any alteration MUST be approved by the course convener as it disrupts the learning pattern that underpins the course.

For convenience we have categorized three types of part-time students
  1. I’m a part time student completing my second year.
  2. I’m a part time student just beginning the course.
  3. Special enrollment pattern (approved by the course convener)

2. Changes in Unit Names & Professional Experience (Continuing students)
Continuing students will notice a change in a number of unit names. This reflects the result of our ongoing course review (with input from your surveys etc) and the preparation for the introduction of the MTeach qualification in 2014. The content and outcomes of these renamed units has been revised and structured to create a continuity of learning. In simple terms for continuing students in 2012 CPP1 replaces STS1 and would normally now be done in Semester 1 to allow part time students to begin to think about pedagogy and enable them to relate the more theoretical units to the practice of teaching. CPP2 replaces PPLE and CPP3 replaces STS2 - there is now 15 days professional experience linked to each CPP unit. As a result of feedback we have structured the course to ensure that first year part time students do 15 days in schools.

Professional experience has also been restructured. For specific information on this please visit the professional experience pages.

Important note for second year part-time students in the Grad Dip: As you did not complete any prac last year as part of the transition arrangements you need to complete all 45 days in 2012 (nominally 30 days in semester 1 linked to CPP1 and than the 15 days in WT linked to CPP3). To help you meet this requirement we will be as flexible as we can within the guidelines and legal requirements of placement, such as insurance etc.

To course complete with the rest of the cohort you will need to complete your 45 days by the SecED@UC conference (11th September 2012). To course complete with final year UG students you will need to complete your days by early November (Date being finalised). Failing this the Discipline Head will set a third date early semester 1 2013. On a technical note you will not be issued with your CPP1 grade until 30 days are successfully completed, Similarly with CPP3 in WT.

3. Assessment.external image assessment.gif

In relation to assessment please rest assured that we are not trying to increase the assessment burden for anyone. through the use of integrated tasks we are reducing the burden from two tasks per unit per semester. The integration of assessment also demonstrates a key understanding of any pre-service teacher education course; that learning across the course works together to form a whole. It is simply not possible to talk about pedagogy or assessment without reference to learning theory, classroom management, individual learning needs or the socio-cultural context - or visa-versa. To segment knowledge would send utterly the wrong message about the profession of teaching.

Part time students are being asked to view their learning as a journey. In this approach you are being asked to revisit previous work in the second year with the new insights and understandings you have developed. Of course we are only assessing you on the units you are presently enrolled in (albeit with the above, you can't do one without the other in any meaningful way). By adding to existing work in year two you are not re-doing the tasks completely either. It needs to also be noted that the requisite complexity in each task between full-time and part-time students is obviously different and something we have taken into account when marking tasks. (please help us by identifying that you are a part-time student in your submission).

Assessment Length:
Assignment length is expressed in terms of 'maximum' words (or equivalent) NOT 'minimum'. As a part-time student, you are responding from the perspective of two units only. Thus you effectively have more 'words' to say less than full time students; full time students work will be more complex within the same word maximum.

In the second year you are always invited to make reference to previous units you have studied as you will inevitable see that they are interrelated. However you will only be graded from the perspective of the units you are enrolled in at the time of completing the tasks. You may also attach previous work as an appendix to newly completed assignments.

external image itHelp2.jpg
4. Need help with IT skills, check out the tech help pages.

5. 'Advice from a part-timer'
‘Advice from a part-timer’
Firstly, welcome to the Grad Dip in Secondary Education from a fellow part-timer!

I’m sure at the moment you are feeling slightly overwhelmed by what is confronting you on the Wiki, on the Ning, in lectures or tutes, or just the general prospect of combining uni with work, or family commitments or anything else. But let me reassure you it will be OK. Last year I survived full-time uni while working full-time... how did I survive this you ask? With the help of the Strike Team and amazing time management skills... oh and through the development of a coffee habit!

My first piece of advice would be to get all of your uni administration out of the way early as quite often it is the cause of major stress – for those working full-time, this is about sorting out your uni timetable and work schedule. Next, get on to familiarising yourself with the technology that the course presents us with – the Wiki, the Ning, Moodle, Twitter. Take some time to explore each of the sites, talk to others about them, play around – you won’t break any of the sites! And if you do, send Meg and SOS to help you fix it J!

Based on our feedback last year, there have not only been changes to the units that you would have heard about already, but changes to the structure of Professional Experience for part-timers. This ensures that from your first semester you are observing and gaining those practical skills needed to be able to become a great teacher, rather than waiting to your second year! It also means that your assignments become far more relevant to your learning and being able to apply the theory you are learning straight up!

Finally, it will all be ok. Remember that the Strike Team are here to help and assist with resolving any issues or barriers that you may confront along the way. They want us to talk to them about what we are thinking with regards to our units, experiences as a part-timer, how we are going with assignments and so on, so please don’t be afraid to drop by and see them during their consultation times. Or just talk to your fellow students, quite often they will be the best resources you have about the realities of the course, prac and the assignments!

Good luck with the course this year and going forward!