Understand your impact on student learning growth

Considerations for understanding teaching impact.

Evaluating the impact of your teaching is about measuring the growth in your students by comparing where they were at an earlier time with where they are now.

As a teacher, you are determining what this growth means for each student. To do this, you can draw on evidence you have mapped to curriculum achievement standards, as well as knowledge of your students.

To better understand and evaluate the impact of your teaching you can review with colleagues factors that might be enabling or constraining growth. This also helps school leaders to work out the dimensions of teaching that might need strengthening via professional learning.

Work out the impact of your teaching

To map student development to curriculum achievement standards from entry to the end of a unit you can use the following pages:

These will help you determine learning growth. At this stage, you are working out:

  • if all students have progressed as intended
  • which students have excelled
  • those students who have struggled to make progress.

Your goal is to understand each student and what they need to progress. This is an opportunity for you to reflect on the progress of your students. It is also a chance to work with colleagues to plan a more personalised approach for particular students.

Understanding growth

To understand how the learning growth of each students, it is important to:

  • draw on your knowledge of these students
  • collaborate with your colleagues.

While growth in a general sense is welcome, optimal growth is the goal. Optimal growth means growth connected to learning excellence. What this looks like will depend on the student and their context.

It is important to note that growth can also be understood in a variety of ways. For example:

Standards-referenced growth, which focuses on a student's years of learning:

  • this growth is in relation to the continuum of learning in the Victorian Curriculum
  • some learning occurs incrementally along a learning continuum, but the rate and pace of learning is not always fixed and constant
  • learning can develop in more complex ways through a web of connectedness that is dependent on students developing understandings, capabilities and dispositions in concert with one another. For example, being creative requires development of knowledge of creative processes; skills in creative thinking; and development of the disposition to be curious, adaptable and persistent.

Age or year-level expected growth, which focuses on a student's years of schooling.

  • At the level of schools and systems, this kind of growth can help identify priority cohorts that may need intensive support to reach minimum achievement standards.
  • It might not account well for the diversity of students, such as those with disabilities, learning difficulties, or interrupted schooling.

Growth in relation to targets and/or learning goals, which can be set in different ways and by different people.

  • A powerful motivator for your students is for you to work in partnership with them to set goals, informed by curriculum achievement standards. It can drive their learning when the goals set are achievable but challenging and you support them to reflect on and evaluate their own progress.

For team dialogue

  1. How do we currently understand 'growth' in our context? To what extent do we have a shared understanding?
  2. What might 'optimal growth' look like for our students?

Now what

After you have determined and understood the growth of your students, you are in a position to assess the impact of your teaching and consider how well you have enabled your students to progress. This can give you the chance to learn what is contributing to learning and what might need to change and improve. Areas of teaching practice that could be affecting student learning and development include:

  • learning design
  • learning approaches
  • assessment design
  • becoming a learning community.

For team dialogue

  1. What have we learned about the impact of this unit on students?
  2. What were the strengths? What do we need to continue doing?
  3. What do we need to strengthen if we are to enable optimal learning growth for every student?

While beyond the scope of this resource, the Department has a range of professional learning programs and initiatives that can build the capacity of leaders and teams to strengthen the areas of practice listed above, including: