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Teacher self-assessment

This guide will help you, as a teacher, to take part in the self-assessments for content knowledge in Mathematics and Physical Sciences.

1. Introduction

Whether we are a learner, student, teacher, academic or any other career professional, we are constantly learning our whole lives through. No matter who we are or what stage we are in, we can always improve and grow our skills and knowledge. This is an exciting opportunity!

Lifelong learning is the voluntary act of an ongoing, self-motivated pursuit of knowledge and learning, either for personal or professional reasons. It is voluntary and requires a certain mindset and dedication, as it is not always easy or we might get caught up in the day-to-day tasks and think we don’t have time or the mental capacity. But the long-term benefits far outweigh any additional effort you have to put in, such as:

Self-assessment is a critical skill to develop for lifelong learning. To be successful in our area of expertise, we need to be able to critically reflect on our own performance, determine whether we are meeting the standards expected of us, and then figure out how to act on these insights for continual development and growth.

This project is therefore aimed at equipping teachers in South Africa with the tools and skills to not only do such a self-assessment, but to then also be able to identify their unique needs and areas for attention, and have the tools available to put it into practice and improve.

This is not only crucial for ourselves, as teachers, but also for the children we are educating, to be a role model for continual self development, active engagement in our own learning, to achieve our goals and dreams and improve our quality of life.

Self assessment.

2. Approach to self-assessment

2.1 Overview

The tool that will be used for the self-assessment as well as continual practice and learning, is an online service, accessible on any device, such as a computer, tablet, smartphone or basic mobile phone.

The self-assessment will cover key concepts in the content areas for each term in your grade and subject. This will help you identify where to focus your subsequent attention for development.

The questions will also range in difficulty and cognitive levels so you can understand where you are. This will help you set goals for yourself for improvement and help you track your progress as you practice further.

Practice smarter, not harder.

2.2 Own time and place

When doing a self-assessment, it is important that you feel comfortable and have a quiet place to sit and focus. This could be in your classroom, in the library or at home. It is up to you where and when you want to do this self-assessment!

The self-assessment will be made available to you on Siyavula Practice for a certain time period and you must complete it in your own time and place before the deadline.

2.3 No time restrictions

This is not a traditional test or examination. There are no time restrictions to complete the self-assessment in one go. You can also complete half and then come back another time to finish it.

Teachers have busy schedules, and we know your time is precious, so we want this to work for you in a way that is most effective and efficient.

In this way, we are also allowing you to really engage with each question, spend time figuring it out, answering it and reflecting on the outcome, with no time pressures, anxiety or additional stress that come with taking a traditional test or exam.

2.4 Multiple attempts

One of the best parts is that you can immediately learn from your mistakes and try again! The service automatically marks the question after you click “Check answer” and you can go through the solution. If you would prefer to try again before going on to the next exercise, simply click “Try exercise again” and you will be given another version of the same exercise to try again.

Multiple attempts

This makes the self-assessment even more powerful for you as you are able to reflect, learn and improve at the same time!

When you get to the end of the assessment, you can also try the whole assignment again. You will see something similar to below with your result. If you’d like to try again to see if you can improve, click “Try assignment again”.

You can try the self-assessment as many times as you want until the deadline! All your attempts are stored. You can decide to do it only once and then focus on normal practising, or you can do the self-assessment again, even multiple times, to track your progress and learning.

2.5 Ongoing practice throughout the year

The best way to learn and improve, is to constantly practice. Even the best soccer players in the world constantly need to practice their skills to improve and stay on top of their game.

The self-assessment is the starting point, and a way to periodically measure your progress and improvement. But, Siyavula Practice also allows you to then practice for mastery in your subject. For example, you can choose to focus on areas from the self-assessment that you feel you could improve in, and practice those chapters for the rest of the term.

You will be able to measure your progress to mastery using the stars on your dashboard. The more you practice and you get questions correct, the harder the questions become in each chapter or section, and you fill up the stars.

Multiple attempts

Continue practising throughout the year and really take control of your own professional and self development!

2.6 Credit for mastery achieved

If you put in the work, we want to show off what you have achieved and how much you have progressed in the year!

So, on Siyavula Practice, you will be able to access your “Summary Report” for the year which gives an overview of all the practice effort, mastery and work that you have done.

If you want to, you can then use this report to show external people or organizations, as a certificate of your personal professional development, such as your school colleagues, HOD, principal or subject advisor.

2.7 Formative information to DBE and provinces

The data and results collected from the self-assessments, as well as continual practice throughout the year, will be aggregated and combined to give regular, real-time, formative reports to the DBE and provinces.

This will allow the DBE to analyse overarching trends and insights, identify common problem areas, and plan, design and carry out continual teacher professional development and interventions that will have the most impact and be most effective where they are needed.

3. Instructions for taking the self-assessment

3.1 Online on any connected device

The self-assessment will be delivered on the Siyavula website. You can use any gadget, computer or device that is connected to the Internet to access the website. These include:

  • A phone or tablet that can access the Internet. If you currently use your phone for Google, Facebook or WhatsApp, then it means you have a phone that can connect to the Internet, and therefore will be able to use it for the self-assessment.
  • A computer at your school, computer lab or Vodacom Teacher Center that is connected to the Internet. If you can check your e-mail or use Google, then you should be able to use it for the assessment.
  • A laptop that is connected to the Internet, either through a 3G dongle or WiFi at your school, a mall or hotspot.

3.2 Timeline

Date Milestone
9 April Platform opens for educator registration
9 - 15 April Opportunity to practice answering questions
15 April Platform closes for educator registrations
16 April Self-assessment sent out
22 April Closing date for completion at 24h00

3.3 Signing up for an account

Visit www.siyavula.com and Sign Up by entering your real name, surname and e-mail address/mobile number in the form on the homepage.

Sign up form.

In the following step you’ll be asked to choose how to sign up. Please choose the second option ‘I have a voucher’.

Select voucher.

3.4 Redeeming your voucher

Next you’ll be presented with a box to enter your voucher code. Entering the voucher will perform two actions: it will give you access for the rest of the year and link you to a group that allows us to distinguish your account from that of learners and HODs.

Voucher code.

Please use the following voucher codes, depending on your province and grade:

EASTERN CAPE Voucher code
Gr 8 Mathematics COMPLETE-LATTICE-PURE-AREA
Gr 9 Mathematics STATIC-FUTURE-SIMILAR-CIRCUIT
Gr 10 Physical Sciences REAL-DYNAMO-OBLIQUE-CALLIPER
FREE STATE Voucher code
Gr 8 Mathematics SYMBOLIC-ANIMAL-MELTING-DIAGRAM
Gr 9 Mathematics TRIPLE-ANGLE-LOCAL-DECIBEL
Gr 10 Physical Sciences THERMAL-PRISM-OCEANIC-ARCTIC
GAUTENG Voucher code
Gr 8 Mathematics INDIRECT-EXPONENT-CRITICAL-STEEL
Gr 9 Mathematics MAGNETIC-KIDNEY-NUCLEAR-ENZYME
Gr 10 Physical Sciences ATOMIC-COLOUR-BINARY-TRIANGLE
KWAZULU-NATAL Voucher code
Gr 8 Mathematics VIRTUAL-ORGANISM-EMPTY-BOND
Gr 9 Mathematics RANDOM-PENUMBRA-SIMPLE-MINUS
Gr 10 Physical Sciences QUANTUM-VOLTAGE-FIRST-SCALE
LIMPOPO Voucher code
Gr 8 Mathematics OPPOSITE-CHROMIUM-SCALAR-PULSE
Gr 9 Mathematics INERT-SET-MINIMUM-EXERCISE
Gr 10 Physical Sciences FREEZING-PROTON-DIAGONAL-SUCCESS
MPUMALANGA Voucher code
Gr 8 Mathematics THERMAL-ENERGY-COMPLEX-SUBSET
Gr 9 Mathematics ODD-BOILER-CURVED-EXPONENT
Gr 10 Physical Sciences DIFFUSE-EXAMPLE-MAGNETIC-SUM
NORTHERN CAPE Voucher code
Gr 8 Mathematics SOLAR-SUCCESS-COMPLETE-HUMIDITY
Gr 9 Mathematics REVERSE-CURRENT-NATURAL-STOMACH
Gr 10 Physical Sciences WHOLE-EQUATION-DIFFUSE-MODEL
NORTH WEST Voucher code
Gr 8 Mathematics EXTERNAL-PIGMENT-INDIRECT-SIDE
Gr 9 Mathematics TOXIC-GRAVITY-DECIMAL-RAIN
Gr 10 Physical Sciences CONCAVE-ORIGIN-NEGATIVE-MODEL
WESTERN CAPE Voucher code
Gr 8 Mathematics MELTING-ASTEROID-BALANCED-HYDROGEN
Gr 9 Mathematics LOCAL-PRESSURE-ELASTIC-FORCE
Gr 10 Physical Sciences PARTIAL-SYMBOL-OPAQUE-IRIDIUM

After that the system will confirm that you have access to the subject and grade you’ll be assessed on and the group you’ll be linked to.

Confirm voucher.

And after that you’ll be asked for parent information. You can skip the step by clicking on the “Skip” link at the bottom right next to the “Save” button.

Parent details.

Next, set your password and click save. Choose a password you’ll remember. But if you do forget, you can always reset it when you try to log in.

Set password.

You’ll receive this message after you’ve successfully created your account and can click on “Start practising” to start practising.

Sign up complete.

Start sign up now!

3.5 Try a few questions

Maths dashboard.

Get practising ahead of the self-assessment!
  • 1

    You will automatically start out on Gr 10. Click “Choose a different grade” if you need to change.

  • 2

    Under the Table of Contents, choose what you want to practice.

  • 3

    You can then either select a single chapter to practise by clicking on it, or select several chapters at once and click “Start practising”.

  • 4

    Click on the little triangle next to each chapter to see and select the sections contained under that chapter.

As a new user, the system will start you off with easy questions and build you up to more difficult questions as you get them correct. Your progress from mastering level 1 to level 4 questions will be indicated by the 4 stars stars next to chapter or section lighting up. On your dashboard, you’ll also see the number of exercises completed and points as measured in Atoms accumulated.

3.6 Open the self-assessment

After 12:00 on the 19th March, you will see a message pop up in your inbox, as shown below, and get a notification that you have a new assignment to practise.

Notification.

Click on your message inbox button (circled in red above) to open your inbox, which will look similar to below:

Inbox.

Click on the subject to open the message about the assignment. Click on “Practise now” to start the assignment.

Assignment message.

Complete the questions in the assignment. You will see your progress through the questions of the assignment indicated on the top-right in a green oval, e.g. 2/7.

Assignment progress.

You can stop at any time and come back and carry on later by following the instructions above to get back to the assignment to where you left off.

When you get to the end of the assessment, you will see a message similar to the one below saying that you have completed the assignment. If you’d like to try again to see if you can improve, click “Try assignment again”.

Assignment progress.
Assignment progress.

4. Help with registration and other problems

If you encounter problems with signing up, redeeming your access code, finding your assignment or getting back in, there are two ways of getting help.

4.1 Chat to us

On the bottom-right of this page, you will see the yellow chat icon. If you click on it during office hours, we will be able to answer your question over a text chat conversation. If you leave us a message after hours, we will reply to you the following day.

Chat icon.

4.2 Call us

We have a dedicated helpline that you can call during office hours. The number is 010 593 4483.