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Tutor Learning Initiative

Student assessment and selection for support

Identifying and selecting students to support through the Tutor Learning Initiative

Even with the very best efforts of teachers, there will be some students who have not been able to engage as fully in the remote learning program as they would have in the face to face classroom teaching program.

Evidence suggests that roughly 20% of students will have fallen behind during the period of remote and flexible learning. This is likely to include students at all ability and achievement levels.

Students who may require additional support include those:

  • with low levels of English
  • with home environments not conducive to remote and flexible learning
  • already at risk of disengaging from school
  • enrolled in applied programs, and
  • who need educational and health and wellbeing supports at school but were unable to access them at home.

School Improvement Teams and teachers should use their judgement, supported by school-based moderation processes, to identify students in need of tutoring support. These judgements should be based on multiple sources of evidence including classroom-based observations, existing classroom-based assessment schedules and standardised assessments.

Where applicable, students’ existing Individual Education Plans (IEPs) should be used to identify current and expected learning attainment levels.

Teacher judgements should be informed by:

  • student learning attainment measured against the Achievement Standards in the Victorian Curriculum, in particular, comparing Term 4 2021 results of individual students to other students who started from the same attainment level in Term 4 2020
  • classroom observation data
  • use of standardised assessments
  • history of engagement during periods of remote and flexible learning
  • progress as outlined in Individual Education Plans
  • consultations with students
  • conversations and involvement of parents and carers.

Where applicable, assessments created and developed by schools and standardised assessments can be used to compare results attained in Term 4 2020 and early Term 1 2021 with results from Term 1 2020 to determine the students most impacted in relative terms by remote and flexible learning.

Teachers can use assessments based on the Victorian Curriculum A-D levels comparing Term 4 2020 data to Term 4 2019. Assessments can also be supported by Ability Based Learning and Education Support (ABLES) and assessments conducted by specialists, such as speech or occupational therapists, as well as records from IEPs and Student Support Group meetings.

Primary schools are strongly encouraged to use the English Online Interview (EOI) assessments and Mathematics Online Interview (MOI) to identify students in the early years who may need additional support.

For the EOI, schools are encouraged to complete the whole test with students to capture a comprehensive picture of student learning:

  • This can include using tutors to complete EOI and MOI assessments with Year 1 and 2 students and compare results obtained in Foundation to identify those who have demonstrated the least learning growth in that time.
  • Those students who have shown the least progress through Growth Points in comparison to their peers may be considered for support through the Tutor Learning Initiative.
  • If no previous assessments have been conducted, students who have not attained the same Growth Points as the majority of their peers may be considered for tutor learning support.

Measuring the impact of the Tutor Learning Initiative

Measuring learning growth is a critical aspect of understanding the impact and efficacy of the Tutor Learning Initiative and identifying the strategies and practices that have the most impact on improving student outcomes.

To measure the state-wide impact of the Tutor Learning Initiative, schools are expected to include the use of a standardised assessment tool of their choice to measure student attainment at the commencement and the conclusion of tutor learning. This is to provide information about student learning at a granular level that may not be possible to obtain through teacher assessment against the Victorian Curriculum Achievement Standards.

Schools that have already undertaken assessments of students using a standardised assessment tool can use this as part of their ongoing monitoring of student learning and for the selection of Tutor Learning Initiative students in 2022.

Schools that have not yet assessed students using a standardised tool should do so in Term 4 2021.

There is no single mandated or required standardised assessment tool. Where schools are already using a standardised assessment tool, schools are encouraged to maintain their current practice. This includes tools such as:

  • the Australian Council for Educational (ACER) Progressive Achievement Test (PAT) Reading and Mathematics
  • the Digital Assessment Library (DAL)
  • the English Online Interview and the Mathematics Online Interview.

Schools holding an existing licence for the PAT are strongly encouraged to include the use of PAT-R (Reading) and PAT-M (Mathematics) in their range of sources of evidence for students in Years 3-10.

PAT-R and PAT-M can be used to compare learning growth from Term 4 2020 or Term 1 2021, to Term 4 2021.

Alternatively, schools are strongly encouraged to register for and include the use of the DAL English and Mathematics assessments for Years 2-10.

Primary schools are also strongly encouraged to consider using tutors to complete the EOI and MOI assessments for students in Foundation, Year 1 and Year 2 before commencing the Tutor Learning Initiative support and again in Term 4.

It is recommended that a different EOI module is used to assess students for a second time in Term 4 because each module uses different reading texts and asks different questions.

The recommended EOI modules for each year level are as follows:

Year level Term 1 2021 Term 4 2021
Start of Foundation Year Module 1 Module 2
Start of Year 1 Module 2 Module 3
Start of Year 2 Module 3 Module 4

Teachers have the flexibility to choose the most appropriate module for their students. This decision should be made balancing the recommendations above with the particular needs of the individual student, with consideration given to the range of difficulty of the tasks and questions in each module.

The EOI and MOI user guides contain detailed assessment information and advice.

Schools that are currently using On Demand or other standardised assessments can continue to do so.

The Australian Council for Education Research (ACER) wrote to all schools holding an individual PAT licence on Friday 26 March, notifying them that their PAT data will be shared with the Department to support the evaluation of the TLI and the development of a PAT Panorama dashboard for participating schools. Schools were provided with the option to opt-out of sharing this data by 9 April.

2021 end-of-year assessments and TLI evaluation

To inform the TLI evaluation, schools need to complete their usual end-of-year standardised assessments by Tuesday 30 November.

Schools are not required to manually submit any data for evaluation purposes. The TLI will be evaluated using data collected from the following standardised assessments where there are existing data-sharing arrangements with the Department:

  • Australian Council of Educational Research (ACER) Progressive Achievement Tests (PAT) (Reading and Mathematics) (Grade 1 to Year 10) – staff should follow ACER administration advice to ensure the validity and reliability of this assessment 
  • Digital Assessment Library (DAL) (Grade 2 to Year 10)
  • English Online Interview (EOI) (Foundation to Grade 2)
  • Mathematics Online Interview (MOI) (Foundation to Grade 2).

It is strongly encouraged that end-of-year assessments are conducted for all students (TLI and non-TLI) using the same standardised assessment tool/s previously used in Term 4 2020 or Term 1 2021. This data can also be used by schools to determine student selection for TLI support in 2022.

We acknowledge that schools use a wide range of assessments. Schools that have used a different standardised assessment tool to those listed above should also complete their end-of-year assessments by 30 November, to allow for time to measure and determine learning growth at a school level.

Monitoring student learning

Teacher-based judgements using formative assessment are recommended as the method to monitor student learning throughout 2021 and 2022.

The assessment data collected in Term 1 2021 should inform initial differentiation based on identified areas of learning need. Using the Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO) Improvement Cycle to measure, monitor and evaluate impact provides an opportunity for teachers to adapt practice when progress is not being made to ensure the learning needs of students are being met.

Schools should monitor student learning gains during short (5 to 8 week) cycles utilising a range of classroom-based assessment strategies, in conjunction with existing or developing teacher moderation processes. These assessment strategies can include:

  • student self-reflection and goal setting, including recording their own progress against identified learning goals (dependent on student and context)
  • moderation of assessment of student work samples
  • recording and analysing observations of student verbal responses or student problem solving with the class using assessment rubrics
  • formative assessment tasks undertaken during tutoring sessions.

Where applicable, students’ existing IEPs should be used to monitor student learning. Schools can decide to develop an IEP for all students receiving support from a tutor as part of the TLI. Remember that developing an IEP is a collaborative effort, and parents or carers with relevant SSSO staff, where appropriate, must be consulted.

Student learning goals developed for the Tutor Learning initiative should be reflected in IEPs. The school improvement team and classroom teachers should support tutors to deliver identified and agreed components of students' IEPs, including the ongoing assessment of those agreed learning components.

Where applicable, tutors should be allocated responsibility for the delivery of identified and agreed components of students IEPs, including the ongoing assessment of those agreed learning components.

Reporting student achievement and progress for students participating in the TLI

Schools may include information in written reports about what additional learning support was delivered from the TLI program and what student outcomes were achieved.

Schools may also invite Tutors to directly contribute to written reports by providing a short comment on:

  • a student’s participation and engagement
  • information on progress and achievement of learning goals set within the Initiative.

For information on reporting requirements, refer to Reporting Student Achievement and Progress Foundation to 10.

Overall teacher judgements

Assessment information collected by Tutors should help inform the overall teacher judgement for the relevant curriculum area(s).

Schools should therefore ensure that assessment information gathered by Tutors is communicated to and discussed with colleagues making overall teacher judgements. The school’s moderation process can be used to support this.

Recording students who have been identified for Tutor Learning support

Schools must only use their funding to engage tutors to provide targeted teaching to students identified as needing support as a result of disrupted learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students identified as needing Tutor Learning must be recorded in CASES21.

Students can be added or removed over the school year according to their learning needs. This will capture students who may enter or leave the program throughout the year and will provide data needed for reliable reporting. Schools must update students recorded on CASES21 each term by the following dates:

  • Term 1: 31 March 2021
  • Term 2: 28 May 2021
  • Term 3: 20 August 2021
  • Term 4: 12 November 2021

A Term 1 business manager webinar recording is available on the CASES21 portal (staff login required) to support business managers to onboard tutors, manage and monitor their school’s TLI funding allocation and track implementation of the Initiative using CASES21.

Data tools and resources to support assessment

Refer to the Resources tab for useful links for school leaders, teachers and regional staff to identify students to support through the Tutor Learning Initiative.

In addition, ongoing professional learning will be provided by the Department of Education and Training to support learning assessment in schools. Events and webinars will be continually added to Arc throughout the remainder of 2021 and in 2022.

Tutor Learning Initiative: Implementation Guidance chapter on student assessment and identifying which students to support.

Reviewed 15 November 2021

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