Requirements of the task and how to accomplish them
This assessment task requires a focused reading of:
- The ten principles of effective transitions provided in Module 2 (there is a summary document of these principles in your Assessment 1 folder in Resources),
- The various readings provided to support you with the task, and
- The marking criteria provided in the Assessment 1 folder in Resources on our Interact2 page. That is, your submitted work needs to provide:
a) A clear response that addresses each of the principles in the provided template, and very importantly,
b) The content of your responses must demonstrate the assessment criteria as set out in the marking criteria.
- 1. Unpacking the Marking Criteria
- Marking Criterion One - Reflected on how well the service supports transitions of children, families and educators.
Some considerations and points to be mindful of about the kind of critical analysis and reflection that is required for this criterion:
- a. The reflection here should engage you in a process of describing what, how, who is involved, where and when transitions practices are taking place in your chosen setting. Then, using knowledge gained through your professional experience and engagement with the content of this subject, you should analyse and evaluate what you have observed and described. Remember to detail the actual practices rather than broad areas of practice. To be able to provide adequate detail and reflection you will need to be discerning and consider balance. If you have identified ten different areas of practice for one principle, you will not be able to reflect on them all in this task as you just do not have the word count to provide adequate description and analysis for that many practices. On the other hand, avoid trying to list everything that is happening and seek balance in breadth and depth ie. Do not provide a list that only itemises each practice.
- b. Critical reflection is an appraisal of both strengths and shortcomings. This has been a tripping point for students in the past as their audit did not address the shortcomings of their setting’s transition practices. Instead, they only described what was currently being done well. This does not reflect a high level of critical analysis.
- c. Strong critical reflections are supported by evidence – supportive evidence can be found in your reading of the literature and in your observations and engagement with situations. For example, you might recognise that a particular practice occurring within your service is effective because you have seen or heard children, families and/or educators respond positively to it in some way. Therefore, you can use the observation and documentation skills that you make use of everyday in your work to provide evidence of the merit of transitions practices. You should also consider how you can link what you have observed to your reading of the literature. That is, provide an in-text citation to a reading that supports your appraisal of a particular transitions practice. So, when you make a statement about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of a transitions practice…. Ask yourself – how do I know this and have I shown it in my writing? An example of un-critical thinking/writing is provided at the end of this document.
- d. Insightful critical reflection can be an opportunity for new interpretations of events and also consideration of the complexities of situations and events.
- e. Be mindful of maintaining your focus on practice, that is, on what, who, how, when, and where transitions are being, and not being, effectively supported. A common mistake in this section is to review the literature in relation to the respective 10 principles, rather than describe what is happening in your setting with respect to facilitating each principle. Utilise the literature to support your analysis rather than spend time reviewing it.
- Marking Criterion 2 - Made considered recommendations for enhancing the transitions practices of the service.
There are three elements to consider in addressing this criterion:
- a. There should be clear links between the recommendations and suggestions for future directions that you make and the aspects of practice discussed in your reflections. Likewise, content in both your reflection section and in your recommendations sections should relate to the specific principle you are addressing. Thus, there should be a detectable line of reasoning between analysis/reflections and recommendations, and with the respective transitions principle. The visual provided here may help to clarify the connections that I will be looking for:
- b. Recommendations are well-informed by your reading and engagement with the learning materials provided for this subject. This criterion is asking you to show evidence of your engagement and understanding of the subject modules and readings and that your recommendations are informed by this engagement. It is important to be explicit about how you demonstrate this and referencing is critical to this. Consider how you can provide evidence that you have undertaken reading around the ten transitions principles and that your critical reflections and recommendations align with what the literature says is appropriate and effective for meeting children’s, families’ and/or educators’ needs, expectations and aspirations at times of transitions.
- c. As with your reflections, again, be mindful of maintaining your focus on practice and not reviewing the literature or provide broad areas of practice. Be specific and detail the who, when, how, where and why of your recommendations. Your knowledge of the subject content/readings and literature generally should be synthesised throughout your recommendations for future directions.
- Marking Criterion 3 - Supporting ideas with reference to appropriate literature.
Statements about practices that are valuable/effective/not recommended etc. or recommendations for enhancing practice should be ‘backed up’, where possible, by relevant and appropriate literature, theory or research evidence that supports your position. To build on this point, I know that many of you are educators working in settings and that you will be able to make sound judgements based on your experience and knowledge of the children and families that you work alongside. However, for the purposes of this assessment task, it is additionally important to show that your recommendations are also supported by the literature you have been studying in this subject or by your professional reading more generally.
NB. This criterion builds on Criterion 2 by acknowledging where you have provided evidence of reading and engagement with a broader range of relevant literature and theory other than the subject readings.
- Marking Criterion 4 – Expressed ideas in a clear, concise and grammatically correct manner, and used APA-style referencing correctly both in-text and in the reference list.
I think this one is fairly self-explanatory for fourth year students but please ask any questions that come up for you as you proof-read your writing, citations and reference list.
- 2. Writing style
As this is a critical reflection of practices you have experienced, it is okay to write in first person. However, this does not mean that you can be “informal” in your writing. You must still maintain professional language at all time. Remember that the recommendations and analysis of the audited practices should be informed by evidence and factual information rather than personal opinion.
Please note that academic writing conventions are an expectation in this task. Reflections and recommendations for future directions need to be presented in correctly formed paragraphs and grammatically correct and complete sentences. Please do not let the tabulated proforma distract you from maintaining appropriate paragraph structure for this assessment. Paragraphs should be organised well and should never consist of one sentence. They should each present one idea and the related discussion.
As academic writing is a marking criteria, please do not use dot points throughout your whole assessment. It is okay to use dot points sparingly when you think it will clarify what you are saying, but even then, sentences need to be fully formed and grammatically correct.
- 3. The marking criteria rubric provides the weighting of each marking criteria used to assess the necessary elements of the task and an approximate word count is recommended. Please note that equal attention should be given to reflections and recommendations in the content of your 300 words for each principle. Being mindful of these guidelines early in the writing process will assist you to prepare and manage the content for your assignment.