Personalised learning + itslearning
‘Maths and me: Students record academic history with maths’
Ole Sjögreen; math teacher at Camp10 in Odense, Denmark
We are visiting Ole Sjögreen’s maths class on a Tuesday afternoon in September. His 17-year-old students are working in groups helping each other solve maths problems. Sometimes they ask Ole for help, but only when no one knows the answer. This is part of Ole’s teaching strategy. “It gives them ownership of their learning when they work out the problems on their own,” he says.
Ole’s students require an extra year at Camp10 before they are ready for high school. Some of his students have learning disabilities while others have social problems. Some are not sure which direction their studies will take. Ole is determined to tailor his instruction to meet their needs, and he turns to itslearning for help.
Personalised learning made possible with itslearning
“All of my students have different backgrounds and different reasons for why they are in my class,” Ole explains. “I needed a way to get to know them well, because I only have them as students for one year. So I created a space in itslearning where my students could document their academic history with maths in writing. I found out things about them I did not know, things they would not likely have told me in person. Having this information about my students has helped me to tailor my teaching to meet each of their needs. itslearning was a big help in this process.”
There are many ways for students to share information with their teachers in itslearning, including sending secure emails, writing entries into itslearning Pages or creating a dialogue using the Individual Learning Plan tool.
Student motivation + itslearning
‘Test my knowledge: Lisa publishes tests on itslearning and increases student motivation.’
Lisa Lauge Boll, Danish, German and English teacher at Camp10 in Odense, Denmark
The first time Lisa created a test on itslearning, she says she did it for fun. “I just wanted to try making a test to see how it worked,” she says.
She says the results surprised her. “The students take it very seriously when I say they must complete a test on itslearning. They know I can check their answers and they like that. They seem to be more motivated when they get results and they know that I can see the results. Another advantage is that they can immediately see what they did and they like that,” she says. Tests are now a regular part of Lisa’s teaching practice. They usually feature a variety of question types ranging from multiple choice to matching phrases with figures of speech such as metaphors and similes.
A multiple-choice question in one of Lisa’s tests. In this question, she starts with the phrase ‘A poem can be’ and gives her students five alternatives (from top to bottom): Personal, Critical of society, Funny, Weird, Bad. All answers are correct except for ‘Bad’.
Student feedback + itslearning
‘What do you think? Student feedback counts: Lisa gauges student opinion about a unit after it concludes.’
Student opinion counts: Lisa Lauge Boll gauges student opinion about a unit after it concludes.
Lisa recently concluded a unit called ‘Lyrics’ where students completed assignments related to texts. At the end of the unit, she wanted to know what her students gained from the unit in their own words. So she used itslearning to survey her students, asking them questions such as ‘Did you learn anything new about lyrics?’ and ‘Which text did you like best?’ The feedback she received shaped her future teaching. “The majority of them answered that the text they liked best was the one that they themselves chose to read,” Lisa says. “This was valuable feedback for me. When I run this unit in the future, I will give my students the freedom to choose their own text from a selection of texts.”
Posted on November 13, 2013
by Mark Macdonald