The inaugural CiTEL Curriculum Conference was held on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 May in Lourdes Hill College’s new Centre for Innovation, Teaching Excellence and Leadership at LHC.
There were over 140 registrations across the two days, including 90 delegates from outside LHC. The participants came from across Queensland as far afield as Cairns, Rockhampton, Townsville and Toowoomba. Generous sponsorship ensured that the conference was made accessible to teachers and leaders as well as scholarships offered to some of our local university students.
“A lovely venue on the riverfront!” (Delegate feedback)
The conference was officially opened on by LHC Principal Ms Robyn Anderson with the Acknowledgement of Country delivered by Grace Sarra, Indigenous Support Officer. The conference was an overwhelming success in both organisation and attendance with CiTEL filled to capacity. The theme of “Assessment – 2019 & Beyond” was well received and the messages from the keynotes and invited speakers gave much food for thought. The program included high quality keynote presentations as well as valuable sharing practice sessions with teachers and learning leaders from local schools. The 2018 CiTEL Curriculum Conference has put Lourdes Hill College and CiTEL on the map as a provider of high quality, relevant professional learning opportunities.
Lourdes Hill College was appreciative of the support from the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) and the QCAA (Queensland Curriculum & Assessment Authority) for the Curriculum Conference. A keynote presentation by the Director, Curriculum Services Division, QCAA, Ms Jacqueline Wilton, set the context for the conference. Mr Paul Ould, (Assistant Director, Review and Transition) and Mr Terry McPherson, (Manager, External Assessment, QCAA) joined Ms Wilton in the QCAA Panel Discussion. The Panel theme was; “Assessment beyond 2019: Implementing the New Queensland Certificate of Education. Your burning questions answered”. The Panel discussion was well received and provided an opportunity for participants to ask questions about the new senior assessment system and to get valuable guidance from the QCAA presenters.
“The content was all genuinely relevant and useful. Question time was great...” (Delegate feedback)
In dynamic keynote and workshop sessions, Dr Janelle Wills (Associate Director of Marzano Research for Solution Tree Australia) challenged the audience to move beyond traditional forms of assessment based on a belief that the role of teachers is to deliver the curriculum, the role of students is to learn and the role of assessment is simply to establish how much of what the teachers have taught, students have successfully learnt. “If we are serious about so called ‘21st Century Skills’ we need to adopt and promote assessment practices that enable students to become self-regulatory learners. Learners who have clearly articulated learning goals.”
“The work of Janelle Wills was very informative and inspiring.” (Delegate feedback)
Dr Jill Willis, an assessment researcher and senior lecturer in the Faculty of Education at QUT, promoted deep thinking through research-based ideas. In her presentation, Dr Willis outlined five validity inquiries that are recognised as good practice in current schools and highlighted the importance and practical strategies towards a shared understanding of assessment language. Dr Willis’ published research is available online https://research.qut.edu.au/ssassessment/.
Keynote presenter, Dr Tanya Vaughan, from Evidence for Learning (Social Ventures Australia) shared insights into the application of the Evidence for Learning project and Toolkit. LHC has worked with Dr Vaughan and has had significant success in the application of the Toolkit. Evidence for Learning developed a Toolkit specifically for CiTEL and the Curriculum Conference theme of Assessment. The CiTEL Toolkit is freely accessible online. [link http://evidenceforlearning.org.au/the-toolkit/approaches-by-organisation/citel-curriculum-conference/].
During the Sharing Practice breakout sessions on Saturday, delegates had the opportunity to hear what their colleagues in other schools are doing in curriculum and assessment. Topics covered included:
- Learning analytics: Using data to inform strategies for student improvement;
- A Whole School Position for Cognitive Verbs in Senior Preparation;
- A Mastery approach to supporting students in Senior Mathematics;
- Exploring the use of the Learning Environment to enhance student learning.
“I found Saturday's keynotes and the shared practice sessions outstanding.” (Delegate feedback)
The conference program and copies of speaker presentations and resources from the conference are now available from the “Resources” tab on the conference website. The positive feedback and productive feedback from the conference will inform the development of similar future events. Look out for the 2020 Curriculum Conference.