An Easy Way to Track Learning in a Contemporary Classroom

“The three forms” by Christopher Michel is licensed under CC BY 2.0

 

1.Define Learning Goals in answer to the question: “What do we want students to learn?”

For this I create a Proficiency Scale, for a topic,  so that students and I can track learning within the topic’s learning sequence. This also provides both the cognitions and qualities required for success at each stage of mastery. In practice, it looks like this:

WALT/ WILF Scale Standard 4 Standard 3.5 Standard 3 Standard 2 Standard 1
Implementation and evaluation The student work has the following characteristics:

Use of a variety of complex technical skills and resources to present an efficient and effective solution:

  • Import files
  • Strokes, fills and vectors
  • Text
  • Shape tweens
  • Symbols
  • Motion tweens
  • Publishing
The student work has the following characteristics:

Use of a variety of technical skills and resources to present an efficient solution:

  • Import files
  • Strokes, fills and vectors
  • Text
  • Shape tweens
  • Symbols
The student work has the following characteristics:

Use of technical skills and resources to present a solution:

  • Import files
  • Strokes, fills and vectors
  • Text
The student work has the following characteristics:

Use of basic technical skills and resources to present a partial solution:

The student work has the following characteristics:

Use of isolated technical skills to produce an output:

The easy part is that this is lifted straight out of the syllabus and I have just added lists of content as a way of adding a quantity dimension to the descriptors. The P-10 equivalent of this are the Standards Elaborations provided by the QCAA. So, now my scale has cognition, quality and quantity. Instead of A-E, I use a 4-point scale, with a B being roughly 3.5. The reason for this is that I want to use this for formative assessment and not as a final summative grade.

2. Design Instructional Strategies in answer to the question: “How can we design learning to support student engagement and progression?”

Both engagement and progression can be achieved with Personalized Learning strategies. At the beginning of the topic I introduce students to the WALTS and WILFs and have them set goals (feedup) in their online Learning Journals (Blackboard). They do this by copying the scale and highlighting where they wish to end up. Then, as they master the skills at each level, they highlight in a different colour (feedback/feedforward), until they reach their goal. This is mostly a self-assessment, but I facilitate by conferencing with students about how they are going and give them feedback as well.

3. Assess Learning

This is the really easy part, because students have managed this for me.  Remember, differentiation is something a teacher does (monitor learning and re-design for different learner needs), while personalization is something a student does. Technology has also enabled this process of personalized formative assessment. Then, in a PLC meeting, it is easy to flip through student journals and collaboratively evaluate the effectiveness of instructional strategies and the progress of students.

Additional Strategies

The Single Point Rubric

These are useful for students to use in order to understand and demonstrate the level of mastery they have achieved and to decide if they have achieved their goal. This could also be incorporated into a portfolio reflection and could be annotated in student learning journals in the same post as their learning goal tracking process.

Single Point rubrics work by having students create three columns, with the goal in the middle and, the evidence that they have met the goal on the left and any concerns they have on the right. Remember, this is more a self-evaluation, rather than a reflection and students need to “argue their case” for mastery based on evidence from their work.

 

 

Basic 3D Printing in Your Class

“3D Printing” by CSM Library is licensed under CC BY 2.0

 

This guide is intended for situations where you want to value-add to your lessons or provide inspiration to students about your content or topic. If you want to use 3D printing as part of a project where students design and make something new (create), then you also need to seek out a curriculum guide for designing and developing products that solve a problem. This guide ranges from finding a suitable 3D object and printing it, to finding a nearly suitable object and making small modifications, to customize it before printing it out. Students could extend on this themselves by making something from scratch, without the guidance of a formalized design process.

Step 1 – Find your thing

There are two resources that can be employed:

  1. http://www.thingiverse.com/ – this even has a customizer
  2. http://www.yeggi.com/ – search engine for 3D Models

Whichever way you go, you can download the .STL file you need. This can be either loaded straight into a 3D printer or customized somewhere else. Much of the 3D models in thingiverse can be customized.

Step 2 – Re-mix your thing

Go no further than https://www.tinkercad.com/ . Here, students can upload the .STL file they found and modify it. It’s a good idea for them to try the basic tutorials to get a feel for the tinkercad environment. There may even be a tutorial or project that is exactly what students want to make anyway.

Step 3 – Print your thing

To do this, your students just need to have the .STL file of their thing. For WHS reasons, someone else will print out their thing. If this is a regular activity for your class, then it’s a good idea to train several print monitors or technicians and then students can see this happening in your class. Either way, you will probably need to make arrangements for the manufacturing process.

Instructional Strategies

  1. Grouping – I highly recommend that students have a ‘buddy’ to work with when learning how to use tynkercad
  2. Discovery Learning – You will probably not have many of the skills needed for 3D creation and printing. Even if you do, I’m sure there will be some rare skills that you do not have. Therefore, guide students to the thingiverse site and have them explore it together and share what they have discovered. This may mean some movement around the room. Use the stategy, “ask 3 before you ask me”. Even when a student asks you a question that you can’t answer, call out and ask the class if they have a solution. Nine times out of ten, someone will. When students go to tinkercad, direct them to complete the basics tutorials first before attempting any modifications. These can also be reviewed as a reference point later. Again, have students collaborate and help each other.

Extensions

From here, students may well want to delve deeper into 3D design or you may want to pursue Project-based Learning in another unit. Therefore, your next steps could be:

  1. https://www.makersempire.com/ – this has entire curricular K-8, but needs a subscription.
  2. https://academy.autodesk.com/ – free design, engineering, animation, and architecture courses
  3. http://www.sketchup.com/ – very easy 3D Design software that is free for Education. It is also very well supported and has an extensive 3D Warehouse.
  4. Creo –Next level up from sketchup. Moderately easy to use 3D design app that is well supported.
  5. http://www.thingmaker.com/ – look for the app
  6. http://www.thingiverse.com/education – lots of projects