Learning looks different right now. Knowing what students truly understand is difficult but more important than ever before. In order to differentiate and make learning meaningful, we have to be able to "see" what is being learned. Documentation of learning is something that should be carefully considered and done in a way that is both manageable for educators and meaningful for our learners.
So, what does that look like? How do we encourage documentation of learning and how can we do it in a way that makes sense for both in class and at home learners. First of all, I think we have to consider what we are looking for within the documentation of the learning. Below are some essential pieces of learning that I consider to be very important...
A big part of igniting a willingness to invest in our learners is providing choice. It's not a bad idea to provide options for them to choose from as far as how they will document their learning. I created the slide below as an example of some choices that you might provide. This slide could be used a choice board every day for your learners or as a springboard of ideas for you. Feel free to use the empty space to share QR codes for your students to access, directions for what they need to do, or links that need to be shared. I wanted it to be as open-ended as possible so that you can make it work for you and your learners.
Share Your Reflection on Flipgrid - Create a reflection topic on Flipgrid and encourage your learners to share their thoughts through video or audio.
Complete the Self-Assessment Form - Understand what your learners gained and still need from a learning experience using a very simple form. Using this form consistently will help your students begin to self-assess often and the scale question will help you know how to differentiate most effectively for each learner.
Illustrate your Learning - Learners can illustrate in Google Drawings as part of a Google Classroom assignment or create illustrations using pencil/paper. If using pencil/paper and they need to share, Padlet is a great place for them to do that. Create a board and ask your learners to post their illustrations with an explanation of how it represents their learning.
Use Your Learning Beyond the Classroom - Ask learners to apply what they know at home or in an extra-curricular situation. Ask them to document through video or pictures that can be shared. They can share their documentation within your LMS (Schoology, Google Classroom, etc.) or they can record their reflection of the experience within Flipgrid. So many options!
Make Something that Shows What you Know - Encourage learners to design, create, and make something that demonstrates what they've learned. Makerspace learning experiences result in true application of what has been learned and gives learners the opportunity to be creative. One example might be for students to design a video game about the idea, concept, or standard for their peers to play using Scratch. Or, it might be as simple as using recyclable materials that they find around the house to create a model/sculpture to represent their understanding. Offer up this challenge and see what happens. Your learners might surprise you!
Explain the Learning to Someone Else - Challenge learners to share their knowledge with someone else. They might write a book on BookCreator or create a website to demonstrate their mastery of the content. It might even be as simple as them explaining what they've learned to a parent or sibling. Ask them to record that exchange or share their reflections on how it went. When learners can explain their learning, they have moved beyond surface level and into a deeper understanding of the content.
I hope that these ideas are helpful. I think it's important to do as many things as we can in the classroom that can also be done at home. Designing two experiences doesn't make sense and can be extremely overwhelming. As I said earlier, feel free to use this as a choice board for your learners or a springboard for ideas. The reality is that documentation of learning is a form of assessment. These strategies can help track attendance and help educators know and understand where learners are and what they need in order for the learning to be meaningful.
Please feel free to share your ideas for documentation of learning in the comments below. We really are all in this together!