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Teaching and Learning Updates

August 3, 2018

By Tracey Loughhead, Assistant Principal Teaching and Leaning (Acting)


Our Learning Management Platform, Canvas, has been in use for the past 3 years at SFX College.  This platform has been used in a variety of ways across each Department.  This year as teachers we are focussing on providing a more consistent approach to using Canvas to give students and parents valuable feedback on student assessment.

Last Semester teachers began using the ‘assignment function’ in Canvas to upload assessment tasks and then complete rubrics and comments for each task.  This helps give parents and carers more detailed information about their child’s progress through the semester.  I would like to clarify that not all assessment tasks were marked and uploaded to Canvas in Semester 1.  This explains why there were some discrepancies between what parents saw in the mark section of Canvas and what has appeared on the student’s semester report.

This Semester, as teachers progress their skills in using Canvas, we will be moving towards using Learning Mastery as a way of aligning student assessment to student semester reports.  This again will be rolled out in a variety of ways, depending on the individual needs of each teaching area.  Parents will, however, see rubrics move to a 7 point scale to match the Semester Reports as well as providing consistency with the language used. This also correlates with our A-E Grading on assessment tasks and semester reports.

  1. Well Above Expected Level (7),
  2. Above Expected Level (6),
  3. At Expected Level (5-3),
  4. Below Expected Level (2),
  5. Well Below Expected Level (1)

Parents and carers will notice that the mark section of Canvas often displayed an overall percentage. I am asking that you please ignore the percentage mark as this is not relevant to your child’s level of achievement and will not directly correlate to a grade.  No all assessment tasks were marked on Canvas this Semester so this has not been an accurate mark nor does it correlate to students overall grade.  This semester that option has been removed so you will no longer see a percentage in the marks section of Canvas.

New for Semester 2 2018

Learning Mastery in Canvas

Learning Mastery in Canvas is a new way of  giving students and parents information on student process based on the 7 point reporting scale. Learning Mastery is set at the level of 4 to indicate student achievement that is “At the Expected Level”  therefore all marks will appear with a score /4 .  The levels of achievement will also correlate to those you will see on the assessment rubrics.

Learning Mastery levels are colour-coded from Red to Dark Green. The darker the green the more accomplished students are at that outcome. The Learning Mastery will align to Semester Reports, however, teacher’s professional judgement will always play a part in the assigning of the overall grade for a Semester Report.

There are many other ways teachers assess students’ progress, therefore not all assessment is summative (reported on) and will appear on canvas.  Your child’s Semester Report is a reflection of their achievement against the Achievement Standards and will be a combination of a variety of assessment. Formative Assessment (the use of day-to-day, often informal, assessments to explore pupils’ understanding) will also play a vital role in determining how well a student’s learning is progressing in relation to the Achievement Standards set by the Australian Curriculum.

Please note that adding up all the marks or Mastery points will not give an accurate reading of what the overall grade a student has achieved.  Canvas feedback is a way of helping students gain valuable feedback on each of their assessment tasks to help them improve certain skills required by that curriculum area.  It also gives you as parents and carers a snapshot of their progress.


Turnitin is a plagiarism checking and grammar supporting software tool that SFX have recently acquired for students in Year 8 through 12. Here are some things you should know about its use-

What: Turnitin software checks submitted work against online content and other students work to detect plagiarism. It also provides feedback on writing in relation to grammar, mechanics, style and spelling errors.

How: When students submit assignments electronically through Canvas, the software scans the document to check originality of work.

We encourage students to submit draft copies before the due date as the software provides feedback on their writing. These issues can be corrected by the student and resubmitted for marking.

Why: To promote academic integrity and to provide actionable and engaging assessment feedback to improve the quality of students work.


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