Thursday, March 17, 2016

Overarching Learning Goals

I seem to have fallen off of the blogging band wagon recently. It has also been pointed out to me recently that I should try to deprivatize my practice more. And so, I am resolved to blog about my assessment practices (including failures and questions) and hope that I can spark conversation, collect some feedback, and crowd source some ideas. So I have one request - if you are reading these entries, please share them with someone else and/or comment at the bottom and join the conversation. :)

I have blogged a couple of times about creating and starting to use Overarching Learning Goals. The most recent one can be found here. If you are not sure what I am referring to please check that out (which also links to the first time I blogged about it - this one is where they are explained).

I am trying to build on my understanding and use of OLGs as the semester progresses. Sometimes this means simply thinking ahead to future semesters and things I hope to attempt, sometimes it means trying something new right now. I will blog about some of these specifics in the near future. Here is where I stand right now.

I see OLGs as a starting point for everything. I see it as having the potential to drive my backward design, influence my daily assessment practice, revolutionize my evaluation strategies...the list goes on.

I have been able to create OLGs for a few courses now and am feeling more comfortable with the idea. One thing I have learned (and I believe my colleagues would echo) is that it is a work in progress. As soon as I introduce it to my class and start to think about actual changes I realize there are things I do not like or think are missing. But perhaps this process is really the most valuable part.

Here is an image showing the OLGs that I came up with for SPH 3U along with some of the "rough work" that shows part of my process/thinking.

If you are a physics teacher I would appreciate your thoughts/ideas/feedback/questions about these OLGs as I have not had the chance to collaborate with other physics teachers around them yet.

Here is an image showing the Learning Map I created from our department SNC 1D/P OLGs. This is one potential application of coming up with OLGs. This rubric could be used to inform all course rubrics used for evaluation and could also help me determine a students final grade. This is great particularly if you are a teacher who is interested in joining the "Teachers Throwing Out Grades" (#TTOG) movement.

I would appreciate feedback/questions/comments/ideas from any subject/grade teacher about this one. This is my first full attempt at a full learning map.

To anyone still reading at this point, I would greatly appreciate you joining this discussion to help in my journey and/or to pass this blog entry onto a colleague who might be interested. I am still very new to all of this and am hoping to collect as many ideas as possible. Particularly as I will be presenting at OAME this Spring around these ideas.

Also, if you are interested in this process it is based on the book Rethinking Letter Grades. I have also recently read Myron Dueck's Grading Smarter Not Harder that I think every educator should read. Both books are by teachers for teachers out of British Columbia.

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