Student-Directed Inquiry

Student-Directed Inquiry (SDI315113) has a complexity level of TASC 3 and a size value of 15: [contributes to the calculation of Australian Tertiary Admission Ranks (ATAR)]

This course provides learners in Year 12 with the opportunity to explore their learning in an area of personal interest. The student-directed inquiry will be in greater depth than currently exists within any existing senior secondary course. The study will be trans-disciplinary in nature and involve learners in making connections between bodies of knowledge. The largely self-paced style of learning will allow learners to work beyond a strictly time-tabled time allocation.

The course promotes learning skills and dispositions / ways of thinking essential for the development of self-directed, self-managing, life-long learners in the 21st century.

Course Documents

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The period of acceditation for this course is 1 Jan 2013 to 31 Dec 2017.

Learning Designs

Each provider offering this course will develop a learning design. The learning design will be submitted to the Office of Tasmanian Assessment, Standards and Certification for approval before learners start study.

A learning design will be approved if it demonstrates that the provider's implementation of the course framework will meet the mandatory content, processes and assessment requirements, meet any requirements for the selection and sequencing of optional aspects of the course, have a coherent assessment program consistent with the learning outcomes and standards given in the course framework.
See the course document for further information.

Assessment Panel Process

SDI315113 Assessment Panel process
(Updated Sep 10, 2015)

Assessment for SDI315113 Student Directed Inquiry is detailed in the course document. The Office of Tasmanian Assessment, Standards and Certification will determine the final award for each candidate who completes the course from 8 ratings (4 ratings from internal assessment and 4 ratings from the external assessment). Evidence submitted for assessment must include a presentation and discussion of the candidate's independent study. An assessment panel established by the school, and chaired by a chair approved by TASC, will assess the product and presentation. This is the external assessment for the course.

The Assessment Panel

The panel will consist of the mentor, a subject-matter expert and an independent person who will chair the panel. The assessment panel membership will vary for different students in most schools as students have different mentors, subject-matter experts and in some cases different chairs.

Assessment Panel Chair

Schools will need to nominate each Assessment Panel Chair to the TASC by 25 September 2015 using the

SDI315113 Assessment Panel Chair Nomination form
(Updated Sep 10, 2015)
SDI315113 Assessment Panel Chair Nomination form.
(Updated Sep 10, 2015)

The eligibility requirements for Assessment Panel Chair's require that each Assessment Panel Chair is nominated by a school:
  • is not employed by the school / college for which they are acting as the Assessment Panel Chair
  • is independent and can be seen to exercise independence
  • has the skills to Chair an assessment panel

TASC will give prior approval of the panel chairs and provide them with support in their role by providing an assessment panel report proforma (link below) and individual advice if required.
  • A separate Assessment Panel Chair nomination form must be submitted for each nominated Assessment Panel Chair.
  • Nomination forms can be submitted to TASC via email:

  • A TASC officer will consider each nomination form as it is received and early submission of nomination forms is encouraged.
  • Schools will receive a response approving or rejecting the nomination within one week of TASC receiving the nomination form.

Assessment panel chairs will to need ensure that an assessment panel report is completed for each student and this report is developed with reference to the course criteria and standards (attached).


A mentor will be appointed by the supervisor to support each learner. The mentor may be the supervisor, another teacher from within the college / school or any other suitable person. (SDI315113 version 1.a page 2)

The mentor will be expected to provide the panel with objective information about the learner's performance.

Subject-Matter Expert

A subject-matter expert is a person who is an expert in a particular area or topic. The subject-matter expert may be a teacher or a professional working in the field or domain of expertise within which the student has undertaken their independent study.

Additional Panel Members

The assessment panel for each student must consist of three members. In cases where the mentor and the subject-matter expert is the same person the school must recruit an additional panel member. This person may be a teacher from within the school or another appropriately qualified person.

The responsibilities of the assessment panel

The panel will make assessment judgements against all assessment criteria.

Evidence submitted for assessment will be authenticated by:
  • reports of progress meetings with the mentor
  • working drafts
  • consistency between the project proposal, record of processes and oral presentation

Panel Report

The Panel Chair is responsible for providing a panel report for each student that details the student's results. This report must be submitted to TASC using the SDI315113 Assessment Panel Report proforma by 13 November 2015.

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Administration of panels

Schools are responsible for all administration matters relating to assessment panels, including selection of panel members, nomination of panel chairs and costs incurred. Costs may include, but are not limited to: payment of assessment panel members (if required), facilities and refreshments and any relief or travel costs for assessment panel members.

Schools should work with panel chairs to determine the schedule for assessment including:
  • the assessment dates
  • the time allocated to each student
  • how students are notified of their assessment panel time
  • what information panel members will have access to prior to the assessment panel being conducted

Notify TASC of Assessment Panel Dates and Locations
Schools must advise TASC, in writing, when and where assessment panels will be conducted. Please email with details of assessment panels once scheduled. TASC officers may attend selected student panels and observe the panel for quality assurance purposes.

Quality Assurance

A) TASC may undertake an audit of the approved learning design against evidence of implemented practice.

B) The following process will be facilitated by TASC to ensure there is:
  • a match between the standards for achievement specified in the course and the standards demonstrated by students
  • community confidence in the integrity and meaning of the qualifications.

Process: Assessment decisions made by providers will be ratified and validated by a TASC panel established for this purpose plus provider participation in quality assurance processes managed by the Office of Tasmanian Assessment, Standards and Certification. TASC may undertake an audit of the approved learning design against evidence of implemented practice.

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