Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Learning as a Process

This term we/I am pushing even more the idea of learning as a process in class and trying to get the students to understand what this means. I want them to understand that there are many learning outcomes that can be captured as we learn, by not only me but also by themselves. I want them to come to the realisation that it is their learning and that the control of this goes hand in hand with an increasing self-awareness of what they are learning and how they are learning.

I am intending to use this blog and their blogs to capture those authentic learning outcomes occurring during the process, to capture learning conversations, to show learning in action by any means possible and to ensure that even though it is not always a polished, finished product that will be shown, shared, reflected upon and feedback on in order to improve learning.

Below are some 'ramblings' from a couple of authors who strongly argue the case for assessment for learning.

Keys to Making It Work from DR. RESHAN RICHARDS (Phd) on Qualitative Formative Assessment.

Gradually release control of and responsibility for learning to students.The authoritative agent (usually a teacher) needs to be OK with not always knowing the direction students will take and that each student's representation of understanding will be different.

Let go of polished and "final" drafts.Shift away from final products and toward cumulative and cyclical iterations of learning. The process is the product.

Have a system for artifacts.A book. A website. A file repository (like Dropbox or Google Drive). Use whatever already works for you. . . or find a new system that works better.

Find intrinsic value in the process.The authoritative agent has to recognize and value the process afforded by the QFAT. For someone with a much different definition of teaching, learning, and assessment, this way of thinking will feel like "more work."

Provide access to any number and type of mobile technologies. While a 1:1 (standard device or BYOD) would certainly make this process accessible, it could also be achieved with a single smartphone.

One does not need to use all four components of the QFAT every time learning is documented. In isolation, each artifact is powerful. When you bring them together in a deliberate and thoughtful way, though, something that was not possible without the technology becomes easily accessible and immediately useful.

and from Dr. Dylan Williams (Phd) a pioneer and leader in the field of Formative Assessment and Learners as Owners Pedagogy:

5 strategies that he has come to believe are core to successful formative assessment practice in the classroom: 

1. Clarifying, sharing, and understanding learning intentions and criteria for success – getting the students to really understand what their classroom experience will be and how their success will be measured.
2. Engineering effective classroom discussions, activities, and learning tasks that elicit evidence of learning – developing effective classroom instructional strategies that allow for the measurement of success.
3. Providing feedback that moves learning forward – working with students to provide them the information they need to better understand problems and solutions.
4. Activating learners as instructional resources for one another – getting students involved with each other in discussions and working groups can help improve student learning.
5. Activating learners as owners of their own learningself-regulation of learning leads to student performance improvement.

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