DEC Scan Journal : Volume 33 Issue 3
2014 Volume 33, Issue 3 33 Contents Editorial Currents Teaching & learning Research Curriculum support Share this Resource reviews students who were using ICT to engage in quality self and peer assessment and teacher feedback processes. Work samples of students involved in the feedback process have been compared with work completed by the same students earlier in the year. Teachers also compared the work samples with those of students who were not involved. Teachers believed that the quality of work that students were producing was way beyond what they were producing without ICT and that the difference was the level of peer and teacher feedback, with students creating multiple drafts of their work before submitting it for marking. In the focus groups, students say that the process was hard and that it took time, but that they liked it more. The pay-off for teachers was that the classroom management issues were reduced and submission rate of assessment tasks increased. Students also had an increased sense of responsibility to make sure their work was of high quality because it was going out to broader audience than just the teacher. Other outcomes were improvements in students’ literacy and digital literacy skills, which improved significantly. When technology was first introduced in the classroom it was clear that students did not intuitively use it well. For example, when students in Year 9 were introduced to using simple operations like track changes and comment boxes in Microsoft Word for peer assessment, not one student had used them before. This is now a well-established process that students almost take for granted because it has happened across most of their subjects. Another example was the development of communication skills for online collaborative workspaces. While students use Facebook and other social media a lot, they didn’t necessarily operate in online spaces in the way they needed to for learning. A few years ago, a wiki was set up for a Year 7 class, who were working on a cross-curriculum project. They automatically started just chatting with each other, saying things like: Hey, what’s up?, rather than focusing on their task. It was necessary to set clear boundaries for students around the purpose, context and audience of these collaborative spaces. Cross-disciplinary approach In a secondary school it is easy for faculties to become silos, with teachers only really knowing what everyone in their own faculty does. So all of the action learning projects that were developed at the school had teachers working across a range of key learning areas (KLAs).This process allowed them to learn from the skills, expertise and knowledge of colleagues that they would not usually interact with and to discover similarities between different syllabuses. Teachers were also grouped with colleagues who taught the same classes, so that core concepts for cross-curriculum units of work were developed collaboratively and organically. To ensure the integrity of their syllabus was maintained, teachers then developed a unit of work that hooked into a shared core concept but also developed student skills and knowledge in their particular subject area. The result was that students completed rich tasks that met syllabus outcomes for individual KLAs but were also required to bring skills and knowledge from each of the other subject areas involved. An example from the school was a history unit around Aboriginal culture, where students were required to make a film about Aboriginal first contact with Europeans as their main assessment task. At the same time, students were using picture books in English to develop their understanding of visual components they might consider in their filming. In visual art they were looking at 4D film, including 4D artworks and filmmaking, and in music they were looking at how to include sound in their film to enhance the quality of their final product. The strength of these units was that teachers had ownership of the process; they were not just teaching someone else’s unit of work. The school have been using this process for the last four or five years. Teachers believe it has made a difference in terms of their development of a rich understanding of what happened across the school and in the way they were learning from each other. The flow on from this was that their students also developed an understanding of how their learning in one subject could enrich another, which is how real world skills and knowledge were acquired and used. Support from school leaders One of the aspects highlighted by staff was that to be innovation needs the While students use Facebook and other social media a lot, they didn’t necessarily operate in online spaces in the way they needed to for learning.
Volume 33 Issue 4
Volume 33 Issue 2