Metacognitive strategies for employability skills

Steph Archbold, University of Melbourne

Steph Archbold And Sonja Arndt (ECE) from University of Melbourne on ‘Metacognitive strategies to develop employability skills’. This recording is from our 2022 Melbourne, Australia MiniBash community event. Videos are for educational personnel only and require a live educational email to watch. You can read the video transcript below.


I’m gonna skip the agenda. I’ll go straight to the introductions.

So, yeah, I’m Steph Archbold. I’m a learning educational designer, and I work at the Melbourne graduate school of education of the University of Melbourne, and the two academics I’ve been working with mainly worked with Sonja on developing her placement e portfolios for a subject called engaging in assessing learners.

And we’ve got Kerry Noad who’s a clinical placement coordinator. So they’re both sadly unable to be here today. But I’m very pleased to be able to. Hopefully, talk of their behalf and yes. Hopefully, I’ll give them proud. And so We okay. So part of the master of teaching, they wanted to use pebblepad for their placement workbooks.

There’s sort of a couple of different streams. So this one today that I’m talking about specifically the early childhood stream.

So really they’re wanting to rethink how students were record keeping, gathering evidence of student practice and, you know, making that evidence meaningful and personal.

And then, of course, sharing that evidence with the mentor teachers and specialist teachers and all sorts of other staff that get involved along the way.

The issues that they were experiencing before we started working on this placement workbook, and we’ve only just started doing it so semester one this year.

They were using Google Docs as their e portfolio and they were having a lot of problems with Google Docs, losing records, losing feedback, difficulty finding documents, getting locked out of Google Drive, I think was a a big one.

They will find it really hard to offer and give feedback using Google Docs and finding that they were tight feedback and then they’ll go back into it and it would have just disappeared. You know, if I accidentally navigated away, it wasn’t saving and, you know, a lot of frustration there.

It can be potentially quite a public document and a public representation of the feedback that they got.

Difficulty with the location of information, so you know, is the information am I gonna find it on Canvas? I’m gonna am I gonna find it on Google? Is it in a different shared folder? Because modern we use OneDrive as well. Our students use Google Docs staff use OneDrive generally. Yeah.

And the student experience was a little bit negative. They had a lot of difficulty uploading documents and Carrie talks about bit of a tennis match between emails, students emailing staff, staff emailing students back, and it just sort of keeps going.

So I had a few design considerations when I was designing the workbook. Obviously, moving from Google Docs.

Some of the structure and the requirements that students, you know, that staff wanted to see. So when you’re designing a pebble page workbook, it’s quite interesting because people have this idea of what what they’ve done before and then you give them this tool to use and there’s all these different things that that tool can up you and I go, Oh, so you mean we can do x y and z. Yes. We can do that.

Oh, okay. Yeah. Let’s do that. They get quite excited and and sort of develops along the way. It’s kind of this creative process which is part a bit fun. So I’ve talked about the four different streams.

One of our biggest issues is, you know, I think something that everyone is faced with when they first start using PebblePad.

So we’ve in their master teaching, this is sort of the first time that they’ve used PebblePad.

So they are using it in another subject called first nations which Kate developed using the room today.

And so we knew that they had some experience of PebblePads, but they’re still relatively. We need a PebblePad and you know, we knew that there was a lot of anxiety out there about new new programs. Additionally, especially in a placement subject where you’ve got lots of external people, there is that training of those people and how to use that technology. And more importantly, make them feel safe using it, you know, but it’s it’s okay. It’s it’s easy in giving them really good quality support structures and videos and all sorts of different things.

And so in that light, we sort of scaffolded our design of the PebblePad workbook. So the the first one in semester one was highly structured and highly, you know, do this, put that here and answer this.

And then we’re moving now towards so for Nick year, we’re gonna be having a little bit more student led design, I think, with the placement workbook.

Mental staff time poor, you know, that we’re getting a lot of reports of mental staff.

So they can’t do any more reporting. They can’t do any more you know, please make it easier for us. So that was really the forefront of everything that we were doing and thinking about.

It was a non assist workbook which was kind of an interesting thing as well because, you know, it’s it’s not assessed but they had to do it to make sure that they could demonstrate that they were passing the postcode.

And as part of the early childhood stream, they wanted to map to the NQF.

So we set up an additional workbook that students will be using for the full two years of their course and adding evidence to that and mapping to that workbook.

It’s a really simple workbook. There’s nothing fancy about it at all.

And the students are using it to demonstrate how they’re meeting the NQF.

And they are encouraged to use it throughout the course. I think that’s the key to one of these things is that constant kind of acknowledgment that that document exists. This activity you’re doing here, that meets the standards. So you might want to map to your document. So I think you you need to have that language constantly when you’re interacting with students so that it can be successful.

So some of our issues and challenges, students not really understanding that it’s a living document, but it’s something that they can you know, keep using and keep referring to and actually have it as a, you know, worthwhile and valuable thing for their for their learning.

As also getting to mention just before about the third year. So some of our thirty students in the early childhood stream are saying, can we please just do our own thing? I don’t wanna be constricted by all these boxes that you put in. So we’re we’re taking that as a real positive and so I we’re talking about actually differentiate it next year so that, you know, students who really need that scaffolding and need that clear guidance can still have that clear guidance for those students that really want to celebrate and represent their learning in their own creative way can do that. And I think that’s another key and another thing that really helps PebblePad and e portfolios sort of move to that next level is, you know, differentiating your assessment.

And some students being confused about becoming a PebblePad alumni is probably our top question.

And confirming with students that it’s not gonna cost of anything.


So I’ve got a couple of student examples just sort of a video, and I use cable pad to upload my video. You’d be very pleased to say.

Videos. No sound. Don’t worry. Just showing you that students have been utilizing the workbook. You could see at the top the different aspects we have. So they’ve been from early childhood report, which was another you know, big document that had to be completed, matched with the Australian professional standards for teachers, and we’re finally using that on pebblepad rather than having that as a document that gets uploaded.

So you can see these students kind of they create their own aspects of their page as well under the second placement. So there was kind of like this kind of gradual okay, you guys can have a go at doing that. We see a lot of a lot of difference in how they’re designing their pages.

That’s it.





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