Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Who Owns the Learning and Assessment?

Personalization is the big buzz word in my world this year.

Personalized learning. Personalized learning environments. Personalized assessments.
Personally, I'm thrilled!

But what is this? What does it mean? And, as Alan November asked numerous times at his conference #BLC10 last month, "Who owns the learning???" Well, the students of course? Though when you look in a typical classroom frequently that is not evident.

Digital Ethnographer Michael Wesch recently shared an idea I loved. Students enroll in his class knowing upfront what the learning goals are. He has a blank slate for the class syllabus on a wiki. Together he and his students determine how they will meet their learning goals and in many cases that is different for different students.

Here is what I've heard lately about these concepts.

Personal Learning Environments
Thanks to Celine Azoulay for sharing with me this video of a student who gives a tour of her personal learning environment in a 7th grade life science class.

Personalized Assessment
"We can't ask students to move to personal learning and then have us as their teachers own the assessment." - Dean Shareski

This insightful quote is from the inspiration behind these next two pieces I recently read.

Students Must Own Learning & Assessment | Dean Shareski

Personalized Assessment | Dean Shareski

Here we get an overview on Personalized Assessment from Dean Shareski as he considers what personalized assessment and evaluation might look in personalized learning environments. He also shares two forms of personalized learning environments- putting learning in the context of student passions and interests, and giving students "unprojects" as described by middle school math teacher Chris Harbeck.

This is certainly an important topic that I plan on putting a lot more focus on this year, including, hopefully, some student perspective as well. Stay tuned.

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