Archive for the 'Analysis' Category

Learning App Analysis

Does the learning app:

Present problems, scenarios, etc in more than just words?  For example, does the app show a picture and base the questions on that picture? Do the students have to answer questions based on a short 30 second video?

Present a variety of different problems?  For example, can math students do the math in number format (2+2 = ),  word format (two and two equals), and visual format (two apples and two apples =)

Have a variety of ways that students can input the answer ?  Is the app an  A, B, C, D  click on the button choice  or does it allow students to move things around to show the answer? Can the students say the answer?

Identify when the students have a correct answer?

Identify when   students have an incorrect answer?  For example, the program says, “No, try again.”

Tell which part of the student’s answer is incorrect?  Or tell how the student was incorrect? For example, did the student  incorrectly  spell  the first part of the answer?  Did the students confuse two words?

Allow the students  to try again? For example, the program repeats the same question or a similar one.

Supply at least one strategy to understand the correct answer through explaining the concept?  Does the app provide a strategy to help the students overcome this learning gap?   Does the app supply  text clues, visual clues,  or sound clues   to help the student learn the concept so he/she can generalize to other questions of the same concept?

Tell the correct answer?

Keep track of the students’ progress?  Does it show the students what they have mastered before they  move on?  For example, the app can have a checklist of the various levels of the learning goal.

Make this data  available to the teacher?  Can the teacher  sort through the data by class, from high scoring students to low scoring  students,  and by specific learning goal?

Move the students on to a higher level once the student has shown proficiency?  How many questions reveal proficiency?  For example, does the app check student progress after ten questions or do students have to do thirty before it proclaims student success?

Move students up Bloom’s level of thinking?  Do  the students move up to do a real life example of using that learning?  Are they put in a real life scenario through a video?  Or do they go from abstract practice to more  abstract practice?

Have the student spend more time on learning than on playing reward games?

How is this mobile  app different from a website version of  the same material?  What  advantage does the mobile version have?

I have developed many  Spanish activities that allow students to begin to express themselves and to begin to move toward spontaneous speaking as in a natural conversation.  My Spanish spontaneous speaking activities (20+) includes Modified Speed Dating (Students ask  a question from a card-whole class), Structured Speaking (Students substitute in or select words to communicate in pairs),  Role Playing (Students talk as people in pictures or drawing from 2-4 people) and Speaking Mats (Can talk using a wide variety of nouns, verbs and adjectives to express their ideas- pairs or small group),  Spontaneous Speaking (based on visuals or topics in pairs),  and Grammar speaking games (pairs or small group). Available for a nominal fee at Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

My three formative assessment books:   http://is.gd/tbook

Standardized Terms for Common Understanding

I am constantly amazed that we, in education, have not standardized learning terms.  Is a benchmark a 3-4 a year comprehensive test of the skills in the course? Or is a benchmark the level at which the students are to arrive? What’s a standard? The list of generic skills from the state?  The quality we expect of students?  What is formative assessment? Student observations that lead to improved lessons for next year?  A student observation that leads to instant feedback for that student?  Each new educational movement brings in its interpretation of a term.

We cannot even have an educational discussion because we use the same word to mean different things.

The Federal Gov’t wants to clarify the end product of learning instead of having states have their own standards. I agree. Even more the federal government should publish a dictionary of what educational terms mean so that everyone can use the words with the same meaning. A common vocabulary means that teachers within the same building, within the same district, within the same state, and within the same country can have a common meaning.

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students, is available through Eye-on-Education.

Reponding to Your Students

Activating Prior Knowledge and Formative Assessment

As I work with my students to develop their writing skills, I want to know what they already know about writing. I want to activate their prior knowledge and experiences. However, there is a down side to activating prior knowledge. A science teacher friend says that his students have many more misconceptions about science, then conceptions. He is careful to find out their misconceptions about a topic at the very beginning of the unit so that he can spend time in helping them to understand that their misconception is not valid science thinking. If they continue with this misconception, they will never grasp the real conception. I find that the same thing happens in writing. Students have misconceptions about writing such as “if I write it, it has to be good”,  “A very long story at the beginning of a very short essay is a great introduction.” or “One small piece of evidence is enough to convince my reader”.

I think we have to be aware that activating prior knowledge means activating whatever the student s may  think they “know” about the topic. Such activation does not assume that all prior “knowledge” is really positive knowledge. Activating prior knowledge provides a great formative assessment tool since we can “see” the students’ previous learning.  Therefore, we can guide the student forward instead letting student being stuck in his/her misconceptions.

Do you activate and diagnose students’ prior knowledge and  figure out strategies to  help the students improve in their learning?

Less in a Course For Greater Learning

The first semester that I taught a Composition and Research course, I followed the syllabus given me. I had the students do an essay a week. I did have high attrition and low grades. I felt like students were just doing essays without truly understanding how to do each one More importantly, they showed minimal or no improvement from essay to essay.

This semester I have reduced the essays by half. I am spending more time in helping students to be successful. We examine other previous students’ work and analyze how they developed their paper. We develop essays as a class. I build in check points along each major decision in the writing process. For example,the students have to show me their thesis before they can continue, they show me their categories and topic sentences before they can continue, they show me a detailed completed graphic organizer before they do their draft. They frequently peer review each other’s work. So far the first essay that I received from the students is already at the same or higher quality than the final essays of the students from last semester. I am looking forward to their second essay to see how they have improved.

Do you focus more on coverage or on student learning? How to build in high success with your students?

If you are interested in implementing formative assessment in the classroom, my book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students is available through Eye-on-Education.

Portfolio Orientation – Get Real!

I was talking to an instructor who was explaining the portfolio process at her college. She said that they had a portfolio day to introduce the portfolio  to all students.  They took the students through a series of exercises; however, never did the students actually see a real portfolio nor  did they look at their own material which might go in the portfolio. Instead they did a series of “cute” exercises.

My only thought was “Get real”.  If I had been in charge, I would start out with the purpose of the portfolio, show them the standards/proficiencies they have to demonstrate, show them a portfolio from the previous semester,  have them examine some possible material for a portfolio and decide which best demonstrates the standard, and have them examine a reflection on the standard to evaluate how well it explains what the student has learned and has yet to learn.  The more we replicate the real experience, the better our students understand the process and can be successful in it.

Self-Assessment, Teacher Assessment and Improvement

This semester I have my students in Speech class do a self-assessment (what do they think they will do well on and what do they think are their areas for improvement)  before they give a speech.  Then they give the speech and do a post-assessment (what do they think they did well on and what do they think were their areas for improvement) . After they give me their pre-post sheet, I give them my assessment.  Then I return their pre-post to them so that they can compare their statements and mine.  In the next step they pick two areas and write out specifically what they are going to do improve (Not “look up more” but “look up more by (indicating the specific action). During their next speech I look for their indicated improvement.

How do you help your students to improve?

Encouraging Student Errors

I believe that we have to encourage students’ to make errors since only when they make errors do they reveal their in depth thinking.  If students get a correct answer, we do not know if they remembered it from class, copied it from their textbook  or if they truly understood the concept. When they answer incorrectly, we can see their thinking- their misconceptions, their faulty logic,  and their lack of comprehension of the learning goal.  Once we see their errors and  diagnose the errors, then we can provide formative feedback to help them.  The feedback will be differentiated based on their unique answers.

Right answers do not reveal students deep thinking while errors do.

How do you engage your students in in depth projects where they can show their thinking and their errors?

Writing Pretest- Students Top Three Responses to Writing a Paragraph.

At the start of the semester, I asked my 40+ college students to write down what they think of when they think of writing a paragraph. Then they formed small groups and combined their answers. What do you think were the top three answers?

Scroll down to find out.

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Spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Every group came up with these three answers. These deal with the mechanics of writing, but not the content.

Only half of the groups came up with main idea.

No group listed pre-write or brainstorming. Nothing for revising . So much for the famous writing process.

The more we know about what our students think about a process, the more we can help them.

Feed Forward From Student Learning Gaps to Student Success

Student Present Learning Status to Success in Standard Fishbone

How do you identify the student’s present standard condition (strengths and areas for improvement /”learning gaps”)  through the use of technology?
How do you help provide scaffolding so that the student moves forward in the standard through the use of technology?
How do you assess that the student has been successful in the standard through technology?

Formative Assessment- Let Your Students Rate Your Feedback to Them

Teacher Feedback Analyzed by the Students

Do we really give formative feedback to our students? I would suggest that the best people to answer that question is our students.

If you really want to know, you might give each student a Feedback card that has five columns – the date and each of the four point values. You will have rows for various dates. Row 1 = Day 1, Row 2 -Day 2, etc.

On the card they write their name. They give you a slash in the appropriate column at the end of each class:

1 point each time you ask them a question, ask them for a comment, listen in on their group, or look at their work.
3 points if you tell them their answer or task is correct or not.
8 points if you tell them why their answer or task is correct or why their answer or task is incorrect.
20 points if you give them clues, prompts, ask them for additional information, etc. that directly enables them to arrive at the answer, do the performance task well, etc. (They only give you 20 if they can do it well after your feedback).

If students have laptops or computers, then you can create a spreadsheet that they complete.

What’s your reaction to the student formative feedback form? What other techniques do you have to assess how well you do formative feedback? Once you know, what do you do?

Student Learning and Our Teaching: Lucky, Losing, Learning or Leading?

LuckyLosingLeadingLearning Grid-Reeves

Reeves’ matrix helps us to examine why our students are successful or not. Do we have a high understanding of antecedents such as pre-tests and regular embedded formative assessments that help us to analyze students’ progress and to discern how to reteach information so that our students can have high results? Have we kept a digital record of what misconceptions or conceptual errors our last year’s students made in this standard? Do have a digital record of which of our teaching strategies were successful last year based on the many formative assessments we gave? Or do we teach blindly without the valuable information from pre-tests and embedded formative assessment and therefore, we have little ability to duplicate success?

Do you keep online team blogs of the results of formative assessments and build online team resources so that all of your students can replicate student success in the standards?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

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RSS Education with Technology

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  • World Language Students Use of Mobile Devices in the Classroom October 5, 2015
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    The idea of digital badges sounds appealing for the digital children in classes. As teachers start thinking about digital badges, they have to figure out what badges will be awarded. The teachers can award social or academic badges. If teachers decide to use academic badges, then the teachers may base their badges on the Common […]
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  • English +Common Core +Mobile = Success (ISTE2014 Poster -details) June 30, 2014
    Here are the ten examples I showed at my English + Common Core  + Mobile ISTE 2014 Poster Session: Based on CCSS Anchor Statements: L.2 Take a Conventions Mobile Online Quiz  to pick the  incorrect sentence from four choices (capitalization) SL.2  Evaluate audio recording of a  book chapter on mobile and predict for next chapter. […]
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  • English + Common Core + Mobile = Success in Learning Poster Session at ISTE 2014 June 25, 2014
    In my ISTE Sunday 8-10 am poster session, I demonstrate many diverse mobile activities to help students achieve the English Language Arts Common Core Anchor Statements through mobile devices. The mobile activities focus on free common tool apps that are available on both the Android and the iPad. The students use the apps as a seamless […]
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