Evidence Group 2 displays practice in a range of areas including the following: 2.1: Content and teaching strategies of the teaching area, 2.2: Content selection and organisation, 2.3: Curriculum, assessment and reporting, 2.5: Literacy and numeracy strategies, 2.6: Information and Communication Technology (ICT), 3.2: Plan, structure and sequence learning programs, 3.3: Use teaching strategies, 3.4: Select and use resources, 5.1: Assess student learning, 5.2: Provide feedback to students on their learning.
Wanting to create something fun and engaging for my students to explore, through the term 2 unit on economics, I challenged myself by devising a budget assignment. This, I was told by my colleagues, was a task that is often hard to make into a successful assessment task.
As my students are year 9, an age where planning towards getting a job and saving for various expensive purchases becomes a reality, I wanted them to explore budgeting and planning for something big in their future; travel. Not only would a travel budget assignment allow them to plan towards a dream trip overseas, they would learn and practice life-long skills that will help them to be more conscious spenders as they begin to earn an income, and I had the opportunity to access multiple areas of the HaSS curriculum; economics, geography, and the possibility of some history.
With consultation from my supervisor I was able to put together an assessment task that was scaffolded down into weekly/fortnightly tasks that each built upon the previous; an itinerary and budget for spending of the allocated $15,000, a graph displaying aspects of spending, a mapped out travel plan, a written reflection on the assignment, and an oral presentation to bring together all aspects of the assignment.
Whist students were given the task as a whole at the start of the term, each aspect was broken in to mini-tasks each week/fortnight so as to avoid an overload of pressure. Lessons over the term were planned, structured and sequenced to allow time each week for working through the skills and knowledge required to complete each task, as well as time to work through completing each element of the assignment.
The task required students to use a range of ICT programs such as the internet to research flights, accommodation, sights etc., google sheets, docs and slides for submitting their work, and online graph makers. As the usual resources for planning overseas travel is generally done using online resources, I encouraged them to use these resources. Prior to starting the assignment we had a discussion around how to safely use the online resources – advising to stay away from those that require providing personal details in order to receive further information.
As usual with HaSS assessment tasks, students were required to submit a bibliography to uphold academic honesty and acknowledge all sources used in the assignment. Students are encouraged to use the Harvard system, as this is generally what they will be required to use when they are at college and university.
Students were given feedback at regular intervals throughout the assignment, as each small task was submitted, and then again at the summation of the assignment once they had presented each element in an oral presentation. This allowed students the flexibility to work on improving each piece for the presentation at the end.