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University Coordinators – Support and Supervision of pre-service teachers during professional experience

The University Coordinator 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.

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

Symbol, focus and purpose Suggested 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 Coordinators 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)

Note: The PowerPoint below illustrates each of these important sections of the Information and Guidelines booklets with explanatory notes.

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 Coordinators 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

Note: Samples of planning can be found in the Evidence topic on the Schools and Pre-service teacher pages of this site.

Focus: Contact / site visits

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

University Coordinators 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.

Note: Suggested guidelines for contact and support are included in the topic “Guidelines for support.

Focus: Reporting

Purpose: Record keeping for final grades

University Coordinators 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

This PowerPoint identifies the main sections of the Information and Guidelines booklet that are important for University Coordinators 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 Coordinators 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

Resources for University Coordinators

These resources can be used to support the moderation process during site visits. They can be used to guide oral feedback or record written feedback for pre-service teachers in distance locations after the University Coordinator has received samples of artefacts from their working portfolios.

Each checklist uses the same rating scale as the Interim and Summative reports and identifies artefacts that would be useful sources of evidence for monitoring the pre-service teacher’s progress. The checklist descriptors are based on the Guide to Making Judgements for each placement to create a useful guide for evaluation and feedback purposes.

Professional Practice 1 Moderation Checklist

Professional Practice 2 Moderation Checklist

Professional Practice 3 Moderation Checklist

Professional Practice 4 Moderation Checklist