Picking up on the comments from Kayte and Mark on assessment… one of the things we might hope EnquiryBlogger could help with is evaluation, both formative and summative, for both learners and coaches/educators. We need to develop a rigorous discipline around what quality looks like in authentic enquiry.
The first questions we’d want to ask are independent of technology:
- What feedback does a learner need to stay on course, and to reflect on their progress?
- What signals does a coach/educator look for when gauging the quality of an enquiry?
We can then ask how EB might support these monitoring/assessment tasks, as well as wondering if EB opens new possibilities that are impossible/impractical in the non-digital world.
A few examples of what EB might offer. The EB project has very limited resources, and the scope for implementing sophisticated ‘analytics’ is limited, but we’ll start simple and see how far we can get:
- How am I doing? EB assists with basic information management: stuff shouldn’t get lost if blogged. If each step has an associated tag, then display which tags have been used, and how many times (i.e. a tag cloud is a basic way to do this)
- How strong are they on <Learning Power dimension X>? Here we would be looking for indicators that we might correlate with stretching (or not) on a particular dimension. Trivially, asking lots of questions presumably bears some relation to critical curiosity; exchanging messages with peers will have something to do with learning relationships, etc.
- How is the whole cohort doing? Aggregated views of such ‘analytics’ could provide a coach/educator with powerful views, analogous to cohort learning power charts. Thus, Are learners struggling with stage X? might be evidenced by no, a few, or v brief blog posts with tag X across the group.
- What is the quality of reflection? Natural language parsing can detect the use of particular written expressions that educators take to signal higher quality reflection (note that this is a more ambitious possibility — no promises here!)
OK, this is just to kick off this strand. As a digital platform, we would ideally want to demonstrate that we can not only support what might otherwise be done in a pen+paper workbook, but go beyond this to create new possibilities. I haven’t even looked at the Australian quality teaching matrix for enquiry that Ruth showed us, which I’m sure would trigger new thoughts.
Your thoughts welcomed!