This week we focused on the differences between teacher-centered and learner-centered class structures as well as tools that would promote a learner-centered environment, including performance tasks, interactive inventories, rubrics, blogs, and more authentic assessments.
This is my first experience with creating a blog, although I’ve been intrigued by their use for the classroom. I am particularly fond of the class scribe concept as well as the “before the test” reflective post. Both are learner-centered and encourage the student to self-assess. The class scribe use of the blog guarantees student participation and gives each student the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way. The “before the test” reflective post could also be used to guide valuable class review time. A class blog would fit well into my current teaching situation, but I’m not so sure about using a blog in an online course. “5 Questions about Classroom Blogging” is a VoiceThread which demonstrates another useful tool that could be incorporated into a blog.
Interactive Inventory (a reusable learning object survey)
Did I miss the point or was this just a self-test… a check for understanding? The most valuable part of this survey was its reusable nature. Although extremely non-threatening it was a quiz and a review all rolled into one.
“It is better to solve one problem five different ways, than to solve five problems one way.” — George Polya
I have always been interested in problem-solving. Specifically, how students learn problem-solving techniques and how I can facilitate that growth. I have incorporated explanations of problem-solving into my classes, but have been looking for a way to expand on that. While reading about authentic assessments, it occurred to me that I could have my students create a digital problem-solving portfolio, which would hopefully demonstrate their growth as a problem-solver in mathematics and in my class. I see this beginning with a basic inventory (perhaps a survey would be the tool of choice) and then allowing students to include artifacts, and, more importantly, their reflections on problem-solving throughout the school year. Some sort of closing inventory/reflection would also be necessary. I’ve got to do some research to expand on this idea.
Additional Selected Readings/Links
Shawn Cornally’s TEDx talk and Formative Assessment/Feedback/Grading Tool