CIA Walkthrough – Measuring Pedagogical Shift

CIA Walkthrough – Measuring Pedagogical Shift

Blended learning, when teachers partner with digital content to create a personalized learning environment, may be difficult to measure – but not impossible. Measuring a pedagogical shift requires data collection from classroom observations using a walkthrough tool. Establishing a blended classroom walkthrough tool begins with identifying observable actions such as the implementation of the CIA of Blended Learning. This includes the one-third, one-third, one-third balance: utilizing digital Curriculum to deliver low level basic understanding, skills, and practice,partnered with extension into higher order thinking via teacher guided Instruction, plus student engagement, project learning, and peer collaboration via the 4Cs – communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking through authentic Assessment. Measuring a pedagogical shift, is focused on only one of the four P’s of evaluating the effectiveness of a blended program: Performance, Pedagogy, Perception, and Partnership. When measuring a pedagogical shift (a process measure) we are seeking an answer to: Is classroom instruction changing (and how)? To answer this question, we use a classroom walkthrough tool to collect data. The walkthrough tool should be developed in-house and focused on self-selected priority practices and instructional strategies. The CIA of Blended Learning balance of one-thirds: digital, teacher, and student is a great place to begin when developing a classroom walkthrough tool. Typically, classroom walkthroughs are just a snapshot of the learning. Observer(s) may only be in the room ten minutes, looking for a handful of items. When working with schools and districts in the implementation of the CIA of Blended Learning we help them identify a handful of goals and priority practices that are expected when transitioning to a blended personalized learning environment. Through this...
Does Blended Work? – The 4Ps of Evaluating Your Blended Program’s Effectiveness

Does Blended Work? – The 4Ps of Evaluating Your Blended Program’s Effectiveness

I often get asked about the effectiveness of blended learning. Educators, from classroom teachers and building administrators, to district curriculum directors and superintendents want to know, “Does blended learning work?” What they are really asking is, “Can I be confident that adopting blended classrooms and/or digital curriculum will improve student learning?” I don’t blame them. Budgets are tight. Time is precious (including addressing professional learning needs).  Yet, no one would ever ask, “Is learning in a K-12 environment actually effective?” However, in today’s highly technological world, digital learning is a life skill that schools must adopt.  So, the better questions are, “What can we do to teach effectively in a blended learning environment?” and “How do we know it’s working?” The answers will be subject to the interplay of media, method, and modality (great video!). When seeking a return on investment (ROI) for blended learning, one must first have a vision for what blended classrooms should look, act, and feel like. Like the multifaceted education system and the numerous teaching strategies deployed in countless classrooms across the nation, the answer lies in this very same systems complexity and variability in performance. The Carnegie Foundation reminds us that it takes a multi-layered approach of using improvement science to accelerate learning and address problems of practice. When seeking an answer to ““How do we know blended learning is working,” consider breaking the measures of evaluating blended learning effectiveness into four different data sources, which I like to call the 4Ps: Performance (outcome measure) – Are student outcomes improving (and for whom)? Student achievement data.Pedagogy – (process measure) Is classroom instruction changing...
Paving a Path to Personalized Learning

Paving a Path to Personalized Learning

The value of a word, not it’s definition, but the word itself can make a difference. Take personalized learning. This is a word that is thrown into every educational conversation, yet does it have a single meaning, or is the definition determined by the individual who hears or uses it. Think for a moment of how you would define personalized learning. What characteristics and elements are essential? Does digital devices, or digital content rise to the top? In 2014, Education Week published a working definition of personalized learning, developed by some of the most respected minds in the field such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Christensen Institute, iNACOL, the Learning Accelerator, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and many others. The four-part “working definition” included: Competency-based Progression: Each student’s progress toward clearly-defined goals is continually assessed. A student advances and earns credit as soon as s/he demonstrated mastery. Flexible Learning Environments: Student needs drive the design of the learning environment. All operational elements – staffing plans, space utilization, and time allocation – respond and adapt to support students in achieving their goals. Personal Learning Paths: All students are held to clear, high expectation, but each student follows a customized path that responds and adapts based on their individual learning progress, motivations, and goals. Learner Profiles: Each student has an up-to-date record of his/her individual strengths, needs, motivation, and goals. Imagine doing all of this without technology. Sure, personalized learning can take place absent from digital learning, but it would be difficult, and why would you not take advantage of the tools of today – like devices and...