Students Reveal Their True Nature With Evidence of Learning
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From the Editor’s Desk
How Students Learn and Leave Their Marks…
There are many ways for young people to demonstrate their learning. Sometimes all it takes is for them to step out of the box and let their creativity run wild for them to surprise us in a pleasant way.
Fortunately, the opportunities for students to demonstrate their skills have never been greater (with digital technology adding to the traditional arsenal). Beyond the paper- and-pencil exam, they can express what they have retained and understood about a notion through different products: oral report, video, schematic illustration, written production, etc.
All this evidence of learning that they leave during the school year makes it possible to draw an accurate picture of their abilities and to determine the level of achievement of the planned learning targets, based on concrete elements.
“Evidence of learning is a demonstration of what the student knows, can do, and/or can express.”
To this end, schools are increasingly interested in the concept of triangulation of learning evidence. It involves the teacher collecting evidence of student learning from three different sources: oral expression (including conversations), observation of attitudes and behaviours, and various projects (written or other). The teacher can then gather this evidence to determine the final grade for the students.
This issue suggests ways to begin, simplify, or enrich the process of collecting student evidence of learning. The issue also presents ways to effectively integrate this approach into teaching best practices as well as in the collection, organization, and evaluation of evidence of learning. Tips are provided on how to give feedback. Concrete examples are presented, including those from the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial virtual school in Nova Scotia, and useful tools are suggested (on this subject, do not miss out on the central pages!).
The idea is not to change everything overnight, but to take a step forward and let students leave their marks.
Audrey Miller, Editor-in-Chief
Martine Rioux, Managing Editor
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- 6 Things You Should Know about Evidence of Learning - One of the best ways to demonstrate students' progress is to collect evidence of learning. This helps the teacher verify that objectives have been met and to obtain an overview of the skills and abilities developed over time. The more varied and voluminous the evidence, the more accurate this portrait will be.
- Nova Scotia’s Virtual Francophone School: Evidence of Learning as a Basis for Evaluation - Nova Scotia CSAP's Virtual School makes it possible to provide more course choices to grade 11 and 12 students. They set their own academic path and progress independently through the course content. Teachers periodically collect evidence of learning through triangulation to ensure that course objectives are accomplished. This article examines the thinking behind the teaching and learning practices leveraged at the CSAP Virtual School.
- Collecting Evidence of Learning - Whether in elementary or secondary classrooms, today’s curricula are far too complex to assess using products only. A case in point comes from students in a third-grade classroom in Manitoba.
- Implementing Digital Portfolios in Preschool and Elementary School - In 2021-2022, École Cœur-Soleil piloted a digital portfolio project with two grade levels, preschool and Grade 3. Resource teacher Caroline Labbé was granted release time as part of a project submitted to the Quebec’s Ministry of Education, which allowed her to prepare the basic model, facilitate the first three periods of the project in class, and be present and available for the teachers involved.
- Mistakes as a Teaching Tool: What is EVOluation? - More than 90% of students in classrooms are video game enthusiasts (Toppo, 2015), and they are therefore accustomed to persevering to overcome increasingly complex levels. Moreover, younger teachers are more likely to understand the mechanisms associated with video games, being seasoned players themselves, sometimes even die-hard gamers.
- Triangulate Evidence of Learning and Evaluation - Evidence of learning includes products, observations and conversations (the three sources that make up triangulation). Digital tools are gradually used to facilitate this triangulation. By making it possible to create a greater variety of evidence (written, audio, visual, etc.), these tools provide more options for teachers and students.
- The Podcast: A Tool for Raising Awareness of Social Issues - Podcasting is growing in popularity, and many teachers are wondering about its educational potential within the school environment. How can it be integrated into the classroom? How can it be considered evidence of learning? These questions are all the more relevant since podcasting is often used as a complementary teaching tool for teachers, but not necessarily as a new creative option for students…but that is changing.
- Visual Notetaking as a Way to Illustrate Learning - Among educational researchers, there is no consensus about the definition of the word “creativity.” However, among the various definitions of this ability, concepts such as production, ideas, connections, and new creations are common. We can therefore conclude that a teacher seeking to promote creativity in their students must create situations in which they can express their own ideas, in their own way, with the flexibility of choosing which tools to use.
- 4 Uses of Video in an Educational Context - One of the ways to encourage students to engage in their learning is to have them experience realistic situations; that is, actual situations rooted in reality. Using video in your teaching, either by viewing or creating, is a good way to achieve this.
- Proof That Student Self-Assessments Move Learning Forward - I admit it. When I first began teaching, I thought I knew how to effectively engage students in self-assessments. In retrospect, I realize we may have just gone through the motions at times. It took a few shifts in my mindset and actions before my learners and I fully experienced the benefits of self-assessments. Was it worth the time and energy to make the shifts? The answer is a resounding yes!