Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
What is the Teacher SAT, and how should I use it?
Q1 What is the Teacher Self-Assessment Tool?
The Teacher Self-Assessment Tool (Teacher SAT) is an online questionnaire that will help you measure your expertise against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. The questionnaire includes 152 items drawn from the Standards, and should take approximately 30 minutes to complete. Once you have completed the questionnaire, you will receive a report that will identify your career stage (Graduate, Proficient, Highly Accomplished or Lead) for each of the 37 focus areas of the Standards. This will highlight your strengths and areas for development, and will allow you to set goals to improve your practice.
Q2 Why do I need to register and set up a profile before completing the Teacher SAT?
Registering and setting up login details ensures that you can save your Teacher SAT responses and reports for later reference. It enables you to complete the questionnaire on multiple occasions and to compare your results over time.
These details are also necessary to track participation in the group functionality of the Teacher SAT.
Registering with AITSL allows you to link your data across multiple AITSL resources over time, and allow us to customise your experience to best meet your needs.
Q3 How often should I do the Teacher SAT?
Moving between career stages takes time. In order to receive a meaningful assessment of your growth, AITSL recommends you complete the Teacher SAT one or two times a year.
For example, the Teacher SAT can be used at the start of the school year to help you set your performance and development goals for the year. Taking the Teacher SAT again prior to your performance review conversation can provide you with a source of evidence for progress against your performance and development goals.
Q4 Do I have to complete the questionnaire all in one go?
The Teacher SAT saves your progress automatically every time you submit a response to an item. You can leave the Teacher SAT and resume where you left off at any time.
Q5 How should I interpret items in the questionnaire?
We understand that some terms such as “lead”, “model” and “support” can be broadly interpreted. In the context of the Teacher SAT, these terms have specific meanings as per the Teacher SAT glossary. The meanings of these terms are also available within the questionnaire by hovering over underlined terms when using the Teacher SAT on a desktop.
Q6 What is included in the report generated by the Teacher SAT?
The individual report allocates you a career stage for all 37 Focus areas of the Standards. The Teacher SAT will then provide recommendations for resources to support your professional growth based on those allocations.
The system also supports you to set professional learning goals based on your results.
If you have taken the Teacher SAT more than once, your report will include a toggle function to see “What’s changed.” This view displays only the areas where your career stage has changed since the previous report. You can also use this toggle to switch back to seeing your full report. If you have multiple previous reports, you can select which report you would like to compare with from the dropdown menu.
Q7 How should I interpret my report?
The Teacher SAT is designed to provide an overview of your practice across different areas. It does not provide an overarching classification of your categorisation at a particular career stage. Instead it identifies one of the four career stages to each of the 37 focus areas of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. Therefore, you may be practising across all four career stages, from Graduate in some focus areas to Lead in others.
Context is key in interpreting your results. Your career and / or school context may not have given you opportunities to engage with certain focus areas, in which case you may be assessed as practicing at the Graduate career stage. This should not be taken as a failure, but as an opportunity for growth. Even if you do not have the opportunity to practice that focus area in everyday teaching, you may wish to increase your professional knowledge in that area through mentoring, professional learning sessions or personal research.
It is also up to you and your school leaders to decide which focus areas are most important to develop in your context. It is not expected that you will address every area for development at once. Professional learning plans should include realistic timeframes and achievable goals. Growth can then be measured over time.
Q8 How can I set goals within the Teacher SAT?
After completing the Teacher SAT, you may wish to use the goal setting functionality. When setting a goal, you will be prompted to assign at least one focus area from the Standards to your goal. You can then add more detail by listing actions you will take to achieve your goal. There is a drop-down list of high-level prompts to assist you, or you can devise your own actions.
Once you have set your goal, you will always be able to access it on the Goals page. You will be able to keep track of completed actions, and mark the goal itself as complete once it has been achieved. Completed goals will continue to be saved so you have a record of your development activities. The Goals page allows you to switch between viewing active goals, completed goals, or both.
Q9 Can I use the Teacher SAT offline?
The Teacher SAT is not available offline. Please ensure you are using the most up-to-date version of your Internet browser for best performance. Preferred browsers are Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari.
What are the benefits of using the Teacher SAT?
Q10 Does the Teacher SAT provide an accurate assessment of my practice with regard to the Standards?
The Teacher Self-Assessment Tool has been validated and tested. It provides a reliable indication of your practice and career stage against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. As with any self-assessment, the accuracy of the report relies on you providing accurate reflections and responses regarding your own practice.
Having some knowledge of the Standards and particularly the language used is an advantage when completing the Teacher SAT, however it’s not required. You might like to read the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, view some Illustrations of Practice or watch the Standards animation before completing the Teacher SAT.
It is important to remember that the Teacher SAT is just one of many tools that you can use in your professional learning. It should not be the only tool used to support reflection, goal setting, professional learning choices or professional discussions.
If Teacher SAT results are not what was expected, then a closer examination of the Standards themselves may help you better understand your results. Ideally teachers and school leaders should incorporate a range of sources of feedback and evidence when reflecting on practice against the Standards.
Q11 How can the Teacher SAT support my professional growth?
The Teacher SAT provides a great starting point for professional discussions and deeper examinations of practice against the Standards. The Teacher SAT is not designed to be used in isolation, but rather as one part of your professional learning.
The Teacher SAT can be used for personal reflection, professional discussions and goal setting. You may wish to use it to inform your professional learning choices and then take the Teacher SAT again later to measure the impact of that learning on your practice.
You should also draw on other sources of reflection and evidence such as those supplied by your school, system or sector. You may also consider using other AITSL resources such as the Illustrations of Practice, the Classroom Practice Continuum or the My Standards app.
Q12 How will the Teacher SAT help with moving from provisional to full registration?
The Teacher SAT can help you determine whether you are practising at the Proficient career stage across all 37 Focus areas of the Standards, which is a national requirement of full registration. If there are areas where you have been assessed as at the Graduate career stage, this may indicate that you need to undertake further development in this area to ensure that you are prepared for full registration. Using the Teacher SAT will also help you familiarise yourself with the Standards.
Further information on registration can be found at http://www.aitsl.edu.au/registration/nationally-consistent-registration-of-teachers.
Q13 How can the Teacher SAT help with national teacher certification at the Highly Accomplished or Lead career stages?
The Teacher SAT may help you determine whether you could consider undertaking national certification as a Highly Accomplished or Lead teacher. If your assessment results indicate you are at the Highly Accomplished or Lead Career stage for a significant number of focus areas, you may be ready to consider applying for national teacher certification as part of your continued professional development. However, the Teacher SAT results should be used with other evidence from your practice in determining this decision.
Please note that certification is not available in some jurisdictions.
Further information on certification can be found at http://www.aitsl.edu.au/certification/.
What is the Teacher SAT group functionality?
Q14 What are the benefits of participating in group reporting?
The group report allows you to see the strengths and areas for development across a group of teachers in aggregate, de-identified form. You may wish to use the group functionality of the Teacher SAT with your department, year level, professional learning group, or across your entire school. This can help your cohort to set professional learning goals and activities that will benefit the entire group.
Q15 How do I create a group?
At the Teacher SAT launch page, you can start the Teacher SAT as an individual, or as a group. If you select the group option, you will be asked to set a name and completion date for your group. You will then be able to add a list of e-mail addresses for colleagues you would like to invite to the group. You can add these individually, or upload an existing list. When you click on “Finish setup,” an e-mail will automatically be sent to everyone you invited.
The group members will have until the date you selected to submit an individual report to be aggregated into the group report. All group members will be able to see the group report once it has been completed, but will not be given access to each other’s individual reports. The group report will be completed when all members have submitted an individual report; or when the allocated time has elapsed, and at least six reports have been submitted.
Members who have or have not submitted a report will not be identified; however, a reminder e-mail will be sent to members who have not submitted an individual report when the group is about to close.
Q16 How will the group functionality of the Teacher SAT benefit my school?
Using the group functionality of the Teacher SAT will help all your staff, or cohorts within your staff, determine areas for professional learning that will benefit the entire group. This will ensure that professional learning is targeted to add maximum value.
It will also help you identify where there are areas of excellence amongst your staff. In these areas, you may wish to consider sharing this expertise within or beyond the school.
Q17 Can I access my staff’s reports?
The Teacher SAT only allows individual teachers to access their own reports. If you wish to determine the broad areas of strength and for development of your staff, you can invite them to use the group functionality of the Teacher SAT.
What will happen to my results?
Q18 Will my results be shared?
AITSL will not share individual Teacher SAT results.
If you are participating in the group functionality of the Teacher SAT, submitting your individual results to the group will not give other members access to your results. Your results will contribute to an aggregate, de-identified report that will explore the strengths and areas for development of the group as a whole.
If you initially take the Teacher SAT in order to contribute your results to a group, you will also get immediate access to your individual results.
AITSL will collect summary data, however the data is protected to ensure individuals cannot be identified. This de-identified data will help ensure the ongoing value and improvement of Teacher SAT. The Federal Minister for Education, and jurisdictional authorities, may request access to summary data.
Q19 Who has access to Teacher SAT reports?
Only you and AITSL will have access to your reports once you have completed the Teacher SAT. Teacher SAT data will be accessible by an AITSL staff member only for the purposes of de-identified reporting and analysis, and user support. Your reports will not be made available to any other parties without permission. You may choose to share your results to inform professional discussions and processes, however, you are not obliged to do so.
If you submit your individual results to a group report, they will be used to contribute to a de-identified, aggregate report. Contributing to a group report will not make your individual results available to anyone else. You will also have access to the group report once it becomes available.
All members of the group will have access to the group report once it becomes available. The group report will only become available if a minimum of six members contribute individual reports to the group results.
Q20 Where will my results be stored?
Your Teacher SAT results will be stored on a secure server onshore in Australia. Teacher SAT data will be accessible by an AITSL staff member for the purposes of de-identified reporting and analysis, and user support.
Q21 Are my personal details and results protected?
Q22 Who can I contact if I have other questions?
If you have any further questions, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, and an AITSL staff member will respond to you as soon as possible.