Personalized Learning is an expression that has come to mean many things. If you think about it, no one really wants 'Non-Personalized Learning'. So call it what you may, we all want the same thing.
In this article, we are not advocating any personalized learning approach, but simply want to showcase how the right tools can support proper and easy performance measurement
There are typically four approaches we see in schools today:
- Authentic learning
- Blended learning
- Community-based learning
- Project-based learning (which we like and we are supporting with PBL-GO!)
You can use many of the easy-to-use tools available designed for all these approaches (documents, blogs, walls, online resources etc.), including lesson-planning. But the pain point isn't always in development (other than with PBL, which is more structured) or in actual deployment in your classroom.
The pain point is often in having a good answer to the question: 'Does it really work'?
Each educator wants to measure performance not only of the actual method they are using, but the specific tools or resources they have leveraged, and even their own approach.
Let's dice up the measurement problem into three major buckets (top-down approach):
- Methodology - Is the approach working?
- Resources - Did the video or document contribute positively to the learning experience?
- Learning Objectives / Standards
A. Measuring Methodology Performance
Methodology can be a simple variation in how you approach the problem or the material. The easiest way to have a platform for this measurement is to have two groups of students (see the KnowledgeBase article on groups for more insight, but it's as simple as creating a group and selecting the students).
Then you apply in-classroom the different methodologies to each group and measure the test results (see later in this article).
B. Measuring Effect of Resources
During your test creation, you create a single question that relates mostly to the resource you are questioning. For example, identify a learning objective that is heavily tied to a video, article or community member involved in your learning.
C. Measuring Learning Objectives
This is the easiest of the three. You simply add the standard or your own tag to the questions covering it. You have liberty in creating your own tags, just make sure they are spelled the same so that the ClassroomAPP reports aggregates them
Create a single Test as described above (The KnowledgeBase article will guide you through it). I would create the test in your own personal workspace (so it's never lost) and link it in each group (or the course).
Moment of Truth: Numbers don't lie
After you administer your test, you can use the easy-to-generate reports to get your performance data.
- To compare the two groups, simply filter the results by group in the reports
- To view the results per question, look at the Questions Report
- To view the performance based on standards, look at the Standards & Tags Report
- To be statistically-significant, you need a large enough sample. As such, look at this measurement as part of your overall teaching approach, rather than a complete data point
Test at every major break point in your teaching. A test does not have to go to the students' gradebook, but could be a good performance update for students and teachers alike
Creating and measuring tests with ClassroomAPP is such an easy task, there is no excuse for not measuring often
Save your tests in your personal Workspace. This has two benefits: you can reuse in different sections and different years, but more importantly, it allows you as a teacher to see yourself evolve in your teaching methods and level of digital comfort. There is no better encouragement than to see ourselves evolve and improve
Often we over-report and under-measure. We strive to achieve the right balance in this approach by only measuring what is really worthwhile and doing so with ease
We hope you found this article about measurement insightful. This is such an important / interesting topic, your insight is more than appreciated.