How Do We Know

It has been said that a lesson has gone well when the students have learnt. It seems useful then to broaden our ideas of what could constitute assessment of students’ learning.

In a section on finding out what students are thinking in their book Strategies that Work, Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis listed some great ideas to consider:

  • We listen to kids.
  • We read kids’ work.
  • We confer with kids.
  • We listen in on conversations.
  • We observe behaviour and expressions.
  • We chart responses.
  • We keep anecdotal records of conferences and conversations.
  • We script what kids say, recording their comments and questions.

While they were writing in the context of teaching reading comprehension, I think that we could use similar strategies to generally offer us a sense of the effectiveness of a lesson. With regards to technology, these strategies might help us steer towards a more sophisticated use of technology to enhance learning. This seems to be especially important in not being too contented with just the novelty factor of using an app or a new device. In the midst of the excitement, if we are able to tune-in to what the students are thinking, we will be more aware of what learning is actually taking place.


About pauseability

An educator at large and learner at heart. Founder of Pauseability. Encouraging everyone to learn to pause, and pause to learn.
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2 Responses to How Do We Know

  1. Kian peng says:

    I would like to find out more about leaveraging on technology. How do I contact you to find out. Thanks


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