What are we really learning? Making Learning Visible..

What is the focus for educators around the country? Is it what are we teaching? Or is it what are students/akonga learning? What is the difference? Well I assume many educators out there could clearly articulate what the difference is between teaching and learning, however, how are they measuring it? Is it based on what I teach students learn? Is there assumptions at play on what has been learnt? Or is it deeper than that? Is there data and evidence collected, analysed an acted upon along the way? Are the tools, strategies and learning programmes modified along the way in a responsive way?

I have been lucky to connect up with Margot Bowes (Auckland Uni), Anne McKay and Kylie Thompson (Unitec) and Alex Smith at Rutherford College. Collaboratively, we are embarking on a journey supported by academics to take this to a deeper level. Here is a clip that they used when presenting at an International PE conference in Australia, talking about why we (as a group of Physeders) are interested in this and how it sits in my context at HPSS.

Movie on 13-04-15 at 5.08 pm from Sally Hart on Vimeo.

With the focus this term on Interpersonal Skills in PE, we have looked to see how we can ensure learning is visible along the way. How to capture evidence of where the learners are, while still holding tight to our philosophy of ensuring the learning is “in, through and about movement”, not diminished to just learning theoretically. Also not just a final snapshot of where they are at, but evidence collected in an on-going way over time, valuing the process of learning over just the outcome.

At the start of the term I gathered evidence on where learners were at, with their understanding of interpersonal skills as well as introducing how we would focus on these and apply and develop this understanding over the term. Development of both understanding of and application of interpersonal skills is imperative. This means that in the learning programme, there must be the opportunity to show these in action and we have done this using a variety of contexts, sports, team activities, group challenges and more..Here are a few samples of some of the evidence gathered…
Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 5.26.10 pm

Screen Shot 2015-05-31 at 10.06.15 am

Screen Shot 2015-05-31 at 10.06.41 am

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With the focus on the impacts that interpersonal skills can have on a team, we set about using on-going evaluations of sessions. Where learners think of what they have just taken part in and reflect on specific examples of their use of interpersonal skills and how this impacts on their team/group and how they know this. These have developed along the way showing the growth in their understanding of interpersonal skills in action…Here are a few examples of these reflections…
Week 5 Interpersonal skills Annie Wang

Week 3 Interpersonal skills Kiara Padayatchi

Week 3 Interpersonal skills Annie Wang

Week 2 Interpersonal skills Annie Wang

We have developed SOLO rubrics for levels 4, 5 and 6 of the curriculum for Interpersonal skills, so that I can clearly articulate exactly where learners are sitting and what their next steps are to move up curriculum levels and SOLO levels, here is an example of one of the rubrics…

Part way through I captured another snapshot of where learners were at by using socrative, here is a sample…Student_Greenhalgh, Amanda_15_05_2015__12_19_interpersonalskillsandme

Using both the data in the socrative, the describe++ sheets (evaluation sheets above) and the evidence of where the learners are at practically, learners have been given very specific midway feedback on where they are at in terms of both curriculum level and SOLO level within this. Here is a snapshot of this data…Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 5.24.05 pm

Since then, as giving specific examples within reflections was a next step for many learners. I needed to shift again what strategies I was using to make this clearer for learners. I set up for students to take part in a peer assessment, where peers captured specific examples for their partner as it was happening in action, students then used this feedback to deepen their own reflections on what they are doing in action. Here is a blank copy, which learners did on hard copy, I will post at the end of the term..Peer Assessment Interpersonal Skills

In addition I have given students a learning reflection using De Bono’s 6 thinking hats to reflect on their learning in an explicit way…Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 5.20.50 pm

Cindy that I am co-teaching with has added another level to this as, I am co-teaching with a scientist, who has made the use of interpersonal skills explicit in aspects she is working with here is an example of her doing so as well, allowing natural connections to arise within our different contexts…

This is only half way through the inquiry, however, from the many different tools, tasks and strategies that I have been trying to use to make learning visible, I feel the students/akonga have a very clear understanding of where they are at and what their next steps are. Towards the end of the inquiry, I will capture student voice on the process of learning that has taken place and make a final analysis of the intended and actual outcomes.

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4 thoughts on “What are we really learning? Making Learning Visible..

  1. Great post Sally – like you I do think that the levels in SOLO Taxonomy allow us to differentiate learning outcomes in quite nuanced ways – for both knowing how to do stuff – performance outcomes (functioning knowledge) and knowing about stuff – (declarative knowledge).

    I think it is John Hattie who talks about seeing learning through the eyes of the learner – how would a student understand or see a task – you have focused on a more challenging task – if you are trying to help learners “see” their own learning then you have to give them a nuanced language to express what they feel or see – otherwise all we will hear is cliches and slogans.

    Your inquiry reminds me a little of Sponge BobSquare Pants – “You mean to say they’ve taken what we thought we think and made us think we thought our thoughts we’ve been thinking our thoughts we think we thought… You think?

    I think the critical analysis you are doing in breaking down what an “interpersonal skill” might be – along with SOLO as a model for surface to deep to conceptual understanding – is probably a great place to start
    Pam

    1. Hi am, wow!! Thank you for taking the time to reply to the post. This has been super helpful. Since I posted this, I gathered student feedback on strategies I had put in place. The use of the describe ++ maps and the SOLO rubric, for self, peer and teacher assessment and feedback, feed-forward on where to now, were the most helpful to learners from their point of view. They also gave feedback that it was helpful that the fact that Cindy and I had looked at interpersonal skills in different contexts had ensured there was real meaning and they can see the importance and transferable skills for the big wide world.
      Thanks again
      Sally

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