The state of teaching and learning in K12 — from Instructure

What began as an unplanned shift to remote learning two years ago has grown into a movement—a transformation, really—that has given way to a more measured approach to intentionally designed digital learning. The adoption of new educational technologies and instructional strategies has evolved teaching and learning as we know it at an unprecedented pace.

The state of teaching and learning in K12

TOC for the state of teaching and learning in K12

 

Slido Lesson Plan — from techlearning.com by Stephanie Smith Budhai, Ph.D.
This Slido Lesson Plan is designed to help educators implement the digital tool into their instruction

Excerpt:

Slido is an exciting online engagement edtech tool that can be used to connect all students with academic content while getting them involved in the lesson.

While Slido is often used to incorporate polling into virtual workshops and presentations, there are a wide range of student engagement features within the Slido platform that can be used by teachers during lessons.

Also see:

Slido -- your go-to interaction app for hybrid meetings

 
 

Measurement has never mattered more — from chieflearningofficer.com by Tom Griffiths
5 best practices to excel at L&D measurement in remote and hybrid work.

Excerpt:

Measuring learning has always been important, but in today’s remote and hybrid workplaces, it’s essential. You can develop, design and deliver the best training programs, but if you can’t show stakeholders across the organization that it actually “worked,” then you’re missing a crucial part of the story. Today’s remote and hybrid workplaces demonstrate that it’s more important than ever to use structured and intentional measurement methods, due to the reduced visibility and increased flexibility of our workforce. If business leaders were skeptical before about how in-person training impacted behaviors in the office, imagine how skeptical they might be now as training takes place from home in our pajamas.

Showing training results under these conditions has never been so important for learning and development. While the training environments have changed, companies still need to show that every dollar spent was a good investment. And how can we say training, or the L&D function it comes out of, is valuable if we never measure its effectiveness?

From DSC:
I agree that it helps to attempt to measure learning — and thus I posted this article by Tom Griffiths from Chief Learning Officer. That said, it’s much easier said than done. In fact, I think it’s most likely impossible to actually and accurately do so.

To me, it’s like when I was working at Kraft and we were trying to get people to use electronic mail. How would you begin to quantify the Return on Investment (ROI) from using/implementing email throughout the organization? As but one example, what happens if two people or two groups/departments are able to communicate faster and collaborate better due to electronic mail and are able to get a new product to market first?

  • How should that be quantified?
  • Is it fair to put all of the value on email/communications?
  • What about the research and the product development/testing that it took to get to that point? How should the ROI be divvied up? For how long should the ROI be attributed to email and to those other things?

Surely email helped a great deal, but to try to quantify that ROI is next to impossible, if not downright impossible. 

The same with learning. Don’t believe me? 

Well, let’s narrow the focus waaaaaaay down for a second — to make it begin to be more realistic.

What did you learn this last week?

  • Can you recall it all?
  • Did you take a pre-test and post-test on everything that you learned?
  • Can you quantify the ROI on each piece of that learning? That is, could you attach a dollar amount to all of the results of that learning? I doubt it. I couldn’t.

But were you glad that you learned those things? Were they beneficial? Do you think learning about new things is worth the trouble?

And that’s just one person looking at the last week of their learning.

Don’t get me wrong. I like the five best practices to excel at L&D measurement. They can be helpful and they can scratch the surface of obtaining such data. But at the end of the day, the C-Suite will have to accept that not everything can be neatly packaged into pieces of data and accurate ROI’s.

Should that stop them from trying to help their employees reinvent themselves? Learn new skills/upskill? No, I don’t think so either. But it’s a fool’s errand to think you’ll be able to measure all learning in one’s organization.

At the end of the day, what drives investment in L&D’s efforts needs to be an appreciation for lifelong learning and the place of learning within the culture of one’s organization. While one may not be able to fully capture the ROI from it, learning is still valuable.

If I were a Chief Learning Officer in a corporation, I’d try to make it so that everyone could get the time and budget to learn something new about ANY topic that they wanted to. Get the love of learning going! Get that yeast baked into the bread.

I’m sure that there’s much more to say about this — but that’s going to have to do it for today. 

 

Four items re: law schools

Embrace the Change—Law School vs. Undergrad — from abaforlawstudents.com by Andrew Kryder

Excerpt:

Learn what to expect before law school to soften the blow. The following points are some of the major differences between undergrad and law school and advice on navigating these new challenges.

‘Law Students Need to Hear from People on the Ground’ – Alice Armitage, LexLab — from artificiallawyer.com by

Excerpt:

How do you help law students to really get to grips with legal tech and the changing profession? One solution is to host your own accelerator along with providing associated courses on legal technology, which is exactly what Alice Armitage, Chief Executive Professor at LexLab, at the University of California Hastings College of Law, is doing.

Armitage told Artificial Lawyer: ‘My belief is that law students need to hear from people on the ground about technology. With LexLab we have been able to get so many people to guest speak, on legal ops and legal informatics, and more. It’s been amazingly successful.’

ABA Legal Ed council seeks comment on proposed revision to law school admissions test requirement — from abajournal.com by Stephanie Francis Ward

Excerpt:

A suggested revision to remove the requirement for law school entrance exams will be going out for notice and comment, following a Friday vote by the council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

No LSAT Required? Law School Admissions Tests Could Be Optional Under New Proposal — from wsj.com by Deanna Paul
American Bar Association floats proposal to allow law-school applications without LSAT or GRE scores

 

From DSC:
When I saw the recent article below out at mlive.com, I couldn’t help but recall the words that our daughter just said the other day — that they had yet another day of standardized testing to do that day. (She works in a public school system here in Michigan.) In fact, she said that the relaying of new content had already ended a while ago and the last two months of the year were being allocated for reviewing what had already been covered and then taking these standardized tests. I’m guessing that neither students nor the teachers and other teaching/support-related staff were all that excited about that agenda.

In such cases, I’m guessing that the love of learning goes right out the window — as does the love of teaching. All of this is to:

  • assuage the legislators in our state’s capitol — especially to see how Michigan is stacking up in the comparison game with other states
  • give bragging rights to administrators in the comparison game as they compare their school district to other districts in Michigan
  • give the realtors and communities reasons for the increased prices of their houses (in a different but related comparison game)

Am I oversimplifying this? Most likely. But it still bothers me nonetheless.

These are the 50 highest rated Michigan high schools in the new U.S. News rankings — from mlive.com by Martin Slagter

Excerpt:

Three Michigan high schools are once again rated among the top 100 best high schools in the country in the latest U.S. News & World Report best high school rankings released on Tuesday, April 26.

Rankings are based on several weighted factors, including college readiness (30%), college curriculum breadth (10%), state assessment proficiency (20%), state assessment performance (20%), underserved student performance (10%) and graduation rate (10%). The data used is from the 2019-20 school year.

While the six ranking indicators that determined each school’s rank were the same as those used in the three prior years, U.S. News adjusted its calculation of these measures to account for the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on schools in the 2019-2020 school year.

Also relevant from mlive.com, see:

 

What Educators Need to Know About Assistive Tech Tools: Q&A with Texthelp CEO — from thejournal.com by Kristal Kuykendall and Texthelp CEO Martin McKay

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

THE Journal: What are some examples of the types of assistive technology tools now available for K–12 schools?
McKay: There are a broad range of disabilities, and accordingly, a broad range of learning and access difficulties that assistive technology can help with. Just considering students with dyslexia — since that is the largest group among students who can benefit from assistive tech tools — the main problems they have are around reading comprehension and writing. Assistive technology can provide text-to-speech, talking dictionaries, picture dictionaries, and text simplification tools to help with comprehension.

It’s important that these tools need to work everywhere — not just in their word processor. Assistive technology must work in their learning management systems, and must work in their online assessment environment, so that the student can use the assistive tech tools not only in class, but at home as they work on their homework, and perhaps most importantly on test day when they are using a secure assessment environment.

 

The Re-Emergence of Competency-Based Education: What It Might Look Like and Why It’s Needed in Today’s Classrooms — from thejournal.com by Keith Look

Excerpt:

For the current or upcoming unit of instruction, identify three learning targets to be assessed. Have students show what they know through both traditional modes of assessment as well as through CBE experiences. Then, consider what the data shows:

  • For which learning targets is student competency better presented through traditional assessment? Through CBE?
    • Is that a factor of the learning target or the way in which the assessment (traditional or CBE) challenged students?
    • Based on this experience, what kinds of learning targets may lend themselves more to CBE? To traditional assessment?
  • Are there students who more effectively demonstrate competency through the CBE than the traditional assessment?
    • Why is CBE a more effective vehicle for those students?
    • Could the task itself be revised to unlock the same potential in other students?
 

Short and Sweet: The Educational Benefits of Microlectures and Active Learning — from er.educause.edu by Hua Zheng; with thanks to the Learning Now TV Newsletter – April 2022
The combination of short videos and the techniques of active learning can create rich, engaging educational experiences to maximize learning.

Excerpt:

The goal of interspersing a microlecture with active learning approaches is to improve student engagement and learning performance when participating in online, hybrid, or face-to-face instruction. Empirical studies have shown that active learning approaches, such as combining pause points with interactive quizzes, tasks requiring written responses, or note taking, can improve student performance.

 

 

Fun formative assessment: 12 easy, no-tech ideas you can use tomorrow — from ditchthattextbook.com

Excerpt:

Below you will find a growing list of fun formative assessment ideas that you can use with any lesson. These ideas are meant to be used in a grab-bag sort of way so that you nor the students know what they are going to get.

Here are some ideas, and then two clever ways to pick formative assessments:

Also relevant/see:

 

 

L&D Go Beyond Podcast: Writing Better Multiple-Choice Questions to Assess Learning — from upsidelearning.com by Amit Garg and Patti Shank

Excerpt:

In this episode of the L&D Go Beyond podcast, Amit Garg interacts with Patti Shank, President Learning Peaks LLC. They talk about a very interesting topic – Writing Better Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQs) to Assess Learning.

 

To Become a Super Learner, Avoid These Common Mistakes — from learntrepreneurs.com by Eva Keiffenheim

Excerpt:

Learning is a journey, not a destination. And to learn more effectively, here’s what you might want to keep in mind:

  • Use space repetition instead of mass learning.
  • Embed new facts into context.
  • Experiment with diverse learning methods.
  • Seek test situations and embrace mistakes.

Also from Eva:

 

Rethinking the Faculty Role in Students’ Career Readiness — from insidehighered.com by Rachel Toor; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this solid, well-written resource
It’s time for all of us on campuses, not just the people in career services, to step up and help offer the competencies employers say they’re looking for, Rachel Toor writes.

Excerpts:

Career centers on campuses can offer students coaching, resources and connections. But, as Angle points out, they tend to be a just-in-time service. They are also, he says, “scary places for a lot of students.” Many young people don’t want to face the reality of life after graduation. Often, it’s a case of too little, too late.

Instead, they come to people they know—professors like me—for help with cover letters and résumés. And while I can comment on language, until recently I had no idea about how most résumés are read first by a version of R2-D2 and his little robot friends who make up automated tracking systems. If an applicant doesn’t include the right keywords in a résumé or cover letter, into the trash bin they go.

The truth is, I have not applied for a job in 15 years; for many of my colleagues it’s been even longer, and some of them have never worked outside academe. It’s not surprising that employers are seeing recent college grads—smart students, hard workers—who don’t know how to present themselves as potential employees.


From DSC:
I can relate to that part about R2-D2 reading the resumes first (i.e., trying to get by the Applicant Tracking Systems before one’s resume ever makes it in front of the eyes of a fellow human being). Many faculty/staff members and members of administrations haven’t been out interviewing in a long while. So it can be a rude awakening when they/we need to do that.

Also, I wanted to say that it’s not fair to assess the learners coming out of higher education using a different set of learning objectives:

  • That is, faculty members within higher ed have one set of learning objectives and their students work hard to learn and meet those learning objectives. Unfortunately, those students did what was asked of them, and then they…
  • …come to find out that the corporate/business/legal/etc. worlds have different ideas about what they should know and be able to do. That is, these other organizations and communities of practice are assessing them on different sets of learning objectives that these same students didn’t cover. Some (many?) of these graduates leave their interviews discouraged and think, “Well, it must be me.” Or they can leave frustrated and angry at their former institutions who didn’t prepare them for this new assessment.

As I’ve said on this blog before, this disconnect is not fair to the students/graduates. We need more mechanisms by which faculty and staff members within higher ed can work more collaboratively with those within the corporate world to better align the learning objectives and the curriculum being covered. If this doesn’t occur more frequently, the constant appearance and growth of new alternatives will likely continue to build further momentum (as they should, given the incredibly steep price of obtaining a degree these days!).

P.S. This disconnect of learning objectives can also be found in what happens with legal education — including having to pass today’s Bar Exams — and then these graduates get out into the real world to find employers who are frustrated that these graduates don’t have the “right”/necessary skills.

“The incentive structure is for law schools to teach students how to pass the bar exam, not necessarily to do the things that employers expect,” Gallini said.

A quote from this article, which I also
want to thank Ryan Craig for.


 

Skill assessments: The future of personalization in learning — from edyoucated.org by Julian Rasch

The future of personalization in professional online learning lies in detailed, but fast and effective skill assessments. Here’s how we do it at edyoucated.

 

Quality Matters > Higher Education News > December 2021

Throughout the year, we — along with members of our amazing community — share resources to help all of us deliver on our online promise. Here are some of the most popular items from 2021 for you to use and share:

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian