How to avoid getting spooked about evidence

13 suggestions to help make it feel less personal.

Have you ever felt a little anxious when faced with the task of providing evidence of your professional practice? You are not alone. Many professionals and educators like you find it challenging!    

Here are some simple suggestions to make collecting and reviewing evidences less daunting: 

  • Adopt a growth mindset and be open to new learning – it is not about you; it is about a practice that can be further developed
  • Plan for the collection of evidence as part of a goal setting process that promotes professional growth - be strategic
  • Align the collection of evidence with professional learning goals (and the AITSL standards) to ensure the process is purposeful and the evidence is relevant
  • Build the collection of evidence into your practice so that it does not become an additional task
  • Establish routines and collect evidence on an ongoing basis to avoid the process becoming an afterthought
  • Ensure you are objective and procedural, rather than subjective and opportunistic, when collecting evidence
  • Test (or triangulate) the evidence by collecting it from three different sources, or by using three different collection processes, or at three different time intervals. This will provide greater confidence the evidence is valid and reliable
  • Ask yourself; “What other types of evidence do I need to complete the story?” What further evidence may you require to qualify and/or corroborate the evidence you have collected?
  • Analyse, interrogate and evaluate the evidence – What does it tell you?
  • Consider the evidence as feedback that can inform your progress towards achieving professional development goals
  • Document your reflections of practice by annotating the evidence
  • Archive the evidence and annotations for accreditation purposes
  • Engage a trusted coach/mentor to provide a balance of challenge and support to plan for the collection of evidence and to unpack the evidence with you once it has been collected

Collecting evidence of practice should be procedural rather then personal. Keep it objective! Like any skill, the more often you practise, the more comfortable and confident you will feel about demonstrating the expertise. The benefits of collecting and reflecting upon evidence of practice far outweigh the disadvantages. Are you ready to make it part of your routine?