University placement supervisors and placement officers

Our university supervisors support our school/hosts site coordinators, supervising teachers and pre-service teachers during a professional experience placement. Successful placements depend on an effective partnership between university staff, school-based teacher educators (supervising teachers and site coordinators) and pre-service teachers.

Our placement officers ensure that the whole system runs smoothly, getting students ready for placement, making sure everyone knows what is happening, where and when.

Placement Officers are the staff members responsible for liaising between the university and professional experience settings to:

  • Secure and organise placements for eligible pre-service teachers in all of CQUniversity’s initial teacher education courses; and,
  • Provide ongoing administrative support for all participants in professional experience placements.

To do list for placement officers

Placement Officers perform a complex and important role in establishing partnerships with schools/educational settings and providing accurate information to all participants involved in the placement process, including site coordinators, supervising teachers, university academic staff and pre-service teachers.  Placement officers take responsibility for:

  • Contacting students who are potentially eligible for a professional experience to confirm requirements for placements
  • Distributing and coordinating information and resources for obtaining / updating “Working with Children Checks” for all pre-service teachers prior to placement at a school / learning site
  • Sourcing placements for pre-service teachers that provide professional experiences in contexts that are as diverse as practicable
  • Communicating with site coordinators and pre-service teachers to respond to queries about the structure and requirements of particular placements
  • Distributing electronic copies of Information and Guidelines booklets and reporting materials to supervising teachers and site coordinators in a timely manner
  • Maintaining up-to-date records of all placement details including stakeholder contact information, preservice teacher reports and evidence of support and moderation processes conducted by university academic staff
  • Organising and processing claims for the prompt payment of site coordinators and supervising teachers involved in professional experience.

The table below summarises the typical communication processes that occur between site coordinators in schools and placement officers to organise pre-service teacher placements. 

Communication details Approximate timing of communication
Email contact with attachments that include a brief overview of the requested placement and its timing and duration on a calendar of placement dates for the school year.

At the time of the initial request for a pre-service teacher placement

(Requests may be sent up to one school term prior to the expected commencement of the scheduled placement)

Email or phone contact to clarify requirements or provide further information about placement requestsOn request for further information from site coordinators prior to the offer of a placement
Email from the Professional Experience Office to confirm the offer of a pre-service teacher placement at the siteFollowing an offer from the site coordinator to support a pre-service teacher placement

Email to confirm:

name (and teaching areas where applicable) of pre-service teachers placed at the site

name and contact details of the academic staff member (University Supervisor) who will be the main point of contact between site coordinators, supervising teachers and the university throughout the placement.   

Approximately two weeks prior to the commencement of the placement (or earlier if possible)

Email to site coordinators with the following attachments for distribution to supervising teachers:

Information and Guidelines Booklets for the specific placement

Electronic reporting forms

Forms for claiming payment for site coordinators and supervising teachers 

Approximately two weeks prior to the commencement of the placement (or earlier if possible)
Reminder email to supervising teachers for the return of registration and pay claim formsOn receipt of contact details for the supervising teacher from the site coordinator or pre-service teacher and prior to the commencement of the block component of the placement

All communication between placement officers and site coordinators or between placement officers and pre-service teachers related to the organisation of professional experience placements occurs through the mailbox for the Professional Experience Office at   

Our University Supervisors are the university’s representative in professional experience partnerships with schools or other learning sites where pre-service teachers complete placements. 

The University Supervisor for a placement is an academic staff member who is also a registered teacher.  He/She may be based on any of our regional campuses and there will be many staff undertaking this role for each placement to ensure all pre-service teachers and supervising teachers are supported effectively.   

The role of the University Supervisor

University Supervisors perform a vital role in establishing high quality school-university partnerships that share responsibility for the professional learning and development of pre-service teachers.  These partnerships support the process of “learning teaching” so that graduates are classroom ready and well-equipped with the knowledge, attitudes and practical skills they need to have a positive impact on student learning outcomes in diverse settings.   

To do list for university supervisors

The University Supervisor’s main responsibilities are to:

  • Develop knowledge and understanding of the expectations and assessment requirements for specific professional experience placements 
  • Collaborate with supervising teachers to build a shared understanding of the expectations and the assessment criteria for a placement at a standard appropriate for a pre-service teacher’s stage of development (e.g. first year pre-service teacher, second year pre-service teacher, etc)
  • Monitor pre-service teachers’ progress through contact with supervising teachers and by viewing evidence samples in the Working Portfolio
  • Moderate assessment judgements and provide feedback on a pre-service teacher’s achievement using the Guide to Making Judgements for a professional experience placement
  • Provide targeted support for pre-service teachers and supervising teachers in the event that a pre-service teacher is identified as being “at risk”.
  • The role of the University Coordinator (supervisor) – describes the role of the university supervisor in building partnerships with supervising teachers and supporting pre-service teachers during professional experience 

The University Supervisor supports site coordinators, supervising teachers and pre-service teachers during a professional experience placement.  Successful placements depend on an effective partnership between university staff, school-based teacher educators (supervising teachers and site coordinators) and pre-service teachers.

Important processes for enacting a successful partnership are shown in the flowchart below.  These processes ensure:

  • Support for all pre-service teachers regardless of their mode of enrolment in a course or geographic location for a professional experience placement
  • Clarity for all participants about the valued tasks and activities and the expectations of a pre-service teacher for a given placement
  • Timely provision of feedback for pre-service teachers in relation to their strengths and areas in need of improvement
  • Consistency of judgements about the quality of a pre-service teacher’s progress towards, or demonstration of, the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (Graduate Level) at a stage appropriate for a specific professional experience placement.

Description automatically generated

The processes shown by the flowchart symbols are explained in more detail in the following table.

Symbol, focus and purposeSuggested preparation / supervision / support strategies

Focus:  Information and Guidelines booklet 

Purpose:  Building knowledge of the expectations and assessment requirements for clear and accurate communication and support

University Supervisors should take particular note of the following sections which are included in each Information and Guidelines booklet:

Expected Outcomes of Pre-service Teachers by the end of the placement

Specific Requirements – Table of pre-service teacher tasks and activities

Classroom observation – Focus for feedback and monitoring of progress

Assessment and Reporting forms and the Standards that are the focus for pre-service teacher achievement for the placement

Guide to Making judgements for the specific placement (Appendix 2 in all booklets)

Information and Guidelines booklets – key features  

Focus:  Planning templates and other unit assessment

Purpose:  Providing targeted support for placement tasks and the collection of evidence for the university-based portfolio task

University Supervisors should be familiar with the unit learning materials on the Moodle site and the unit profile with a particular focus on:

Assessment Task 1 (A university-based assessment task that ensures pre-service teachers have developed the knowledge and skills for the planning, observation and reflection tasks for the placement)

Assessment Task 3 (A university-based assessment task with a focus on evidence collected during the placement that shows the impact of the pre-service teacher’s practice on student learning)

Planning, reflection and observation templates that pre-service teachers use to complete the placement tasks

Focus:  Contact / site visits

Purpose: Support, clarification and consistency of judgement against the standards for the placement 

University Supervisors contact supervising teachers and pre-service teachers to clarify expectations and provide support and guidance during the placement.  Contact includes:

Initial contact (phone, email or site visit): clarifying expectations and use of assessment resources

Contact during assessable component (phone or email for distance locations / face to face visits for schools & sites within travel distance of a campus)

Additional support for pre-service teachers “at risk” or on request from site coordinators and supervising teachers.

Focus: Reporting

Purpose: Record keeping for final grades

University Supervisors respond to the Interim Report to provide feedback and support to pre-service teachers.   They check all reporting documents for accurate completion and co-sign the summative report with supervising teachers, site coordinators and pre-service teachers.

Key sections of the Information and Guidelines booklet

Learn more about the main sections of the Information and Guidelines booklet that are important for University Supervisors to understand and be able to explain and discuss with supervising teachers in the early stages of a professional experience placement. 

Guidelines for support:  Contact or Site Visits during professional experience

The guidelines provided here are examples of practices that University Supervisors can use to support high quality professional experience placements.  The guidelines include suggestions for communication with supervising teachers and site coordinators and strategies for monitoring and moderating the pre-service teachers’ progress in the placement with school / learning site partners.  The suggested strategies are outlined to support academic staff involved in supervision roles for professional experience, particularly those staff who may be undertaking this role for the first time.

Initial Contact with supervising teachers/site coordinators

Contact during the block placement – monitoring and moderating pre-service teachers’ progress