Deepen Teacher Inquiry Series - Part 24

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results
— Winston Churchill

As teachers, how often are we frantically measuring and assessing the learning outcome, that we forget to check or measure the learning process?

Now, I am not talking about formative vs summative assessment. Each of these assessments involves measures of learning outcomes. What I am talking about is information about the learning process. Information that comes out of interviews or surveys with students about their learning. The learning process is about the things students will say about their learning. The statements and answers that gives teachers a deeper understanding of students learning needs.

The name of the game is - Deepen teacher Inquiry.

The outcome of the game is - Empowered teacher learning - which all going well will lead to improved impacts on student learning.

This week we explore evidencing.

The second phase of an inquiry is the extract phase. Evidencing and strategising. Evidencing involves making measures, and needs to be approached with some innovation to know the impact of the teaching strategy.

Be Innovative| See  Impacts| Do Curation

Evidencing is all about seeking understanding about the learning of students as a result of a teaching strategy. Evidencing in an innovative way the impact of the teaching strategy and curating the evidence of that impact.

When looking at ways in which the impact of a strategy is measured it is essential to be innovative about how evidence is collected. Because learning is such a complex process,often one type of evidence is not enough to give a deep measure of what is happening. Learning is a 3-dimensional process that needs to be measured at multiple levels.

Innovative ways of measuring impact allow teachers to get to gain visibility of, and get to the bottom of, the learning for the students.  With the knowledge of the impact, teachers can make informed shifts to their approaches and strategies.  Shifts that will result in elevated shifts in students learning through informed, targeted strategic learning approaches. It is worth mentioning at this point that a measure that shows the strategy has had no impact on the learning for students is just as informative as a measure that shows elevated impacts.

The curation of evidence for an inquiry allows teachers to know what works and what doesn't. The evidence that teachers curate through the process of an inquiry should not be just the run of the mill assessment information. Rich evidence exists in the zone of innovative evidence curation. Evidence that illustrates the context and the content of the learning that the students have experienced as a result of the teaching strategy.

Learning is such a complex process - As teachers, we are great at measuring the learning outcomes. How often do we check or measure the learning process?

When teachers are highly capable with inquiry design and implementation, they can explore the impacts on student learning deeply.  They are able to connect with more than just the learning outcomes. Teachers are able to connect with the learning process, and the 3 dimensions of learning - Social, Cognitive and Emotional. 




Matt, for his inquiry, was investigating the impacts on students learning and understanding when he unpacked excellence exemplars for his year 13 Bio students. He initially thought he would use assessment data as evidence of the impact of his teaching strategy. However, he quickly realised that the assessment evidence would not give the students learning outcomes a context.

As a result of this realisation, Matt used other evidence in the form of a student survey and interview to see the impacts of the strategy on learning.

What the qualitative survey and interview enable Matt to do was to connect with the learning process with the students not just the learning outcome. Matt gained insights into how students processed the ideas and made connections between the ideas, and was able to gain some visibility into how students felt about their learning.

What the qualitative survey and interview enable Matt to do was to connect with the learning process with the students not just the learning outcome.

How often are you connecting with the learning process with your students?

Teacher inquiry is an excellent vehicle in which to gain clarity of the learning process for your students - not just the learning outcome.

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