SASS Manoeuvres…

eLearning eXpress – 21/10/16

The first meeting of our eLearning eXpress was a great way to end the half-term. This optional CPD slot has the same format and general intention as the 15 Minute Forum, but with different branding… and a specific focus on harnessing the students’ iPads to enhance learning.

And so Lizi Blackburn (@learninglife89) led a session focussed on sharing some SASS Manoeuvres…

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Photo Credit: SmithGreg Flickr via Compfight cc

Self-Assessment using Socrative and Showbie…

How do we place students at the heart of their own learning journey? This was the question Lizi posed, after a quick survey on socrative about our own use of self-assessment, to set the context. Over the last 18 months, Lizi has completed some action research into student perception of self-assessment and it’s value.

Lizi shared some insightful  feedback from students, including comments that indicate that students like the diagnostic nature of self-assessment where they are able to identify and focus on areas where they are less confident or capable, and then improve those specific areas. In this sense, self-assessment is not just about moving learning forwards, but also about the building of confidence and self-esteem that accompanies this.

Encouraging this sense of growth mindset and aspiration while empowering students to help themselves is a very powerful thing indeed. Indeed, it is borne out by the research, as indicated by some of the quotes Lizi shared…

Research over the last decade has overwhelmingly indicated that self-regulating learners are the most confident, persistent and resourceful.

Nicol and Macfarlane-Dick 2004, Zimmerman 2001 and Hattie 2012.

 

Feedback that enables the student to self-regulate has a far higher effect size than a simple measure of success or failure.

Hattie and Timperlay 2007

 

Self-assessment is a fundamental way to improve understanding of that assessment criteria, reinforcing the value of this practice in creating well-rounded learners

Boud, 1994

 

‘Feedback both regulates and is regulated by motivational beliefs.’

Dweck, 1999

 

And so with the case for self-assessment made, Lizi got it into the nitty gritty of how socrative and showbie can work to support and enhance self-assessment. Click on the thumbnails below to see some of Lizi’s slides with suggestions on how one might use both socrative and showbie (and, in fact, use them together) to facilitate self assessment…

For more about socrative, go here or follow @socrative. There is more great reading here and here (and plenty  more besides!)

To find out more about showbie, go here or follow @showbie. Again, there are lots of resources, videos and blogs about getting more from showbie.

 

What doesn’t work?

#15MinForum – 07/10/16

At this week’s 15 Minute Forum we took a look at the Sutton Trust’s report, ‘What Makes Great Teaching?‘. The report itself is a couple of years old now, but well worth a read if you missed it first time around…

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The exciting work that our Learning Communities are doing revolves around developing expertise through cycles of inquiry. In doing so, our teachers are drawing on stimulus material across a range of areas to identify practices which are identified as being particularly effective, then looking at how to adapt and refine these ideas in the context of their own classrooms. Many of the ideas about what works that feature in this report are therefore ideas that are being explored across the school already.

Our message to staff this year about investing in their own professional learning is underpinned by Dylan Wiliam’s mantra, ‘sometimes we have to stop doing good things in order to do even better things’. With this in mind, we used the 15 Minute Forum to take a look at the things that are highlighted as being ineffective – strategies or approaches for which the evidence base is weak, or which are simply regarded as being less efficient or effective than other alternatives.

What are the areas identified as ‘ineffective’?

  • Using praise lavishly.
  • Allowing learners to discover key ideas for themselves.
  • Grouping learners by ability (both in terms of allocating students to different teaching groups and in terms of within-class grouping).
  • Encouraging re-reading and highlighting to memorise key ideas.
  • Trying to address issues of confidence and low aspirations before trying to teach content.
  • Presenting information to learners in their preferred learning style.
  • Ensuring learners are always active, rather than listening passively, if you want them to remember.

Read the report for more! (the ineffective practices start on p22, but the whole article is well worth 10 minutes of your time)


For more research into what works, this post from Professor Rob Coe is a great starting point…