VCE Extended Investigation
In 2021 MFG applied for a VCE Collaboration Grant in partnership with North Geelong Secondary College.
The purpose of the VCE Collaboration Fund is to broaden VCE subject choice and the quality of VCE offerings in rural and regional Victoria through school partnerships.
VCE students in rural and regional areas of Victoria typically have fewer subjects to choose from than those in metropolitan areas.
Choice of subjects is a key driver for school retention and completion with engaged students staying at school longer. The choices students make in VCE impact on access to higher education, vocational education and training opportunities and employment prospects. Increasing choice at VCE also allows students to engage in courses that appeal to their interests and abilities.
We were successful with our grant application with both schools offering VCE Extended Investigation in 2022 – we are the only two schools to offer this subject in the Geelong / Bellarine area. VCE Extended Investigation enables students in our schools to select an area of focus that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to select because of reduced subject offerings. For example, a student with an interest in politics, philosophy or a particular time branch of computing would be able to explore their interest despite not being able to study a specific VCE subject at either of our schools.
Both schools planned to use the funding on:
- Curriculum development
- Development of teaching and learning resources
- Teacher professional development
- Purchasing resources such as books and literature for student use
- The development of promotional materials
- Parent and student information events
- Administrative cost
Extended Investigation is a unique VCE subject which enables students to:
- develop and construct a rigorous research question
- understand and apply research methods
- explore a chosen area of investigation in depth
- develop as independent, critical and reflective learners • develop research project management knowledge and skills
- analyse and evaluate findings and results
- develop skills in written and oral presentation of research findings.
The study is comprised of a Unit 3 and 4 sequence:
- Unit 3: Designing an extended investigation
- Unit 4: Presenting an extended investigation
Each unit deals with specific content contained in areas of study and is designed to enable students to achieve a set of outcomes for that unit. Each outcome is described in terms of key knowledge and key skills.
There are no prerequisites for entry to Unit 3. Students must undertake Unit 3 and Unit 4 as a sequence. Units 3 and 4 are designed to a standard equivalent to the final year of secondary education. Accordingly, the standards of research expected of students undertaking this study are at a level consistent with the final year of secondary education. All VCE studies are benchmarked against comparable national and international curriculum
The student is at the centre of this study and what they bring to the study and also develop through the study – that is their area of interest and capability as a VCE student at this stage in their life. But these factors sit within an academic context, which must be identified, recognised and explored, including where their interest sits within the existing literature and also how it is connected to a broader, bigger question or area of significance.
This is all bound by the study being a VCE study with its practical, academic and ethical constraints as articulated in the study design. All of these factors need to align for a rigorous and yet doable investigation. Teachers play a key role in helping to set parameters for students and ensuring they understand them, and in helping them to see that these are reasonable parameters and expectations.