Category: Assessment

Remote Learning – What is Working? Berwickshire High School in Scottish Borders.

In this guest blog post, Derek Huffman, PT Pedagogy / English Teacher from Berwickshire High School in Scottish Borders, South East Improvement Collaborative, shares what is working well in remote learning and what they can take back to the classrooms as a whole school team when learners return.

 

One of the many issues facing teachers during ‘remote learning’ is maintaining high levels of student engagement. It is understandable why, when left to their own devices, a student might reach for their PlayStation controller rather than their school iPad. What can we do to fight this?

At Berwickshire High School, our student engagement spreadsheet suggests that, in some areas, teachers are consistently keeping students coming back for more. After discussing with staff what is working, I found that, though no two people are doing the exact same thing, there are some key commonalities. 

I’ve pulled these together, with some exemplification, in this seven-minute video:

Where it’s working, teachers are focussed on the following:

  • Simplifying: reducing the amount of ‘stuff’ students are facing to what is essential. What is simplest way to word the Learning Intentions? Do you need that extra slide?
  • Using the success criteria like a checklist
  • Having a ‘consistency of experience’ for the students: students know that at this time, they go here, where they’ll experience a lesson with a common structure – starting with daily review, going into a discussion of the Learning Intentions and Success Criteria, followed by teacher modelling and time to complete a task, and ending with a plenary where the teacher checks that the students have learned what they should have.
  • Giving brief, regular, useful bits of feedback that outline next steps

None of this is rocket science, but it works. The good news is that these are all the exact same things we should be doing in our actual classrooms. If we can focus on getting this right during these wild times, just think how much more effective we’ll be as teachers when we bring what we’ve learned back into our classrooms!

The majority of teachers I know are being too hard on themselves at the moment. It’s important to remember that we are doing our best, and if you are struggling, call someone. Send an email. We’re all in the same boat and if we row in the same direction, we’ll get there.

Derek Huffman , PT Pedagogy, Berwickshire High School

gw09huffmanderek@glow.sch.uk

 

 

Digital Quality Assurance of National Qualifications

This post outlines one possible digital solution for a quality assurance process when reviewing leaner evidence.

Using Microsoft Teams and OneNote, learner evidence can be curated and shared with peers. Discussion around learner evidence can be done asynchronously or live, with the results of the discussion recorded in text, video or voice notes.  Every member of the team will be able to access the record of quality assurance to enable them to make judgements about their own learners.

An interactive summary of this suggested process can be downloaded here.

Quality Assuring Senior Phase Learner Evidence

 

Step 1- Identify Staff Groups

Identify a group of teachers who will work together to quality assure evidence.  Example groupings might be

  • trios of subject departments from across a local authority or regional improvement collaborative
  • a group of single teacher department from across a local authority.

It is likely to be more manageable to limit the number of staff per group.

If possible, when creating groups of staff, distribute staff/departments who are experienced with SQA marking appropriately.

Step 2 – Set up a PLC Team in Microsoft Teams.

One person from each group sets up a team and creates a OneNote notebook to host the quality assurance evidence.  A template page can be created to ensure consistency of recording evidence.  The template text used in the video can be downloaded below.

This short video outlines the process of creating a PLC Team and a structure for the Notebook. At this stage, it would be beneficial if the person creating the team and notebook had access to the OneNote desktop app in order to add Section Groups.

Download the NQ template text

A note about the welcome page – you may wish to add some instructions, links to SQA understanding standards documentation for your subject, or embed the adding learner content (below) videos on the welcome page.

Useful SQA links include

Understanding Standards www.understandingstandards.org.uk  

NQ21 pages  to keep up to date  https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/95157.html

 

Step 3 – Invite/share the team code with the group of teachers 

At this point, learner evidence can be uploaded.  This can be done by individual teachers. However, it may be that a nominated person from each department uploads content onto individual pages.

In the first instance, you may want to focus on just one area / topic / unit.  For example, Folio from Higher English.

How to add learner content to page

You may be in the position where you have multiple paper based pieces of evidence for a learner.  For example and exam script. If you have a mobile device, you can use the OneDrive and OneNote apps to combine multiple photos of that into a single PDF and insert it into a OneNote page.  

Step 4 – Carrying out Quality Assurance activities

Once the notebook is populated with learner evidence and each page is named appropriately, staff can then carry out QA activities.  This can be done during live meetings of the group where breakout rooms could be utilised and each breakout room is allocated a set number of pages to discuss. Alternatively, the group can agree who will quality assure what pages by a set date and this can be done individually. 

Some examples can be downloaded below

Download Example Use Cases

Notes about learner evidence

OneNote allows us to store a wide variety of media on each page.  It is important to mindful about data protection and copyright.

  • Ensure that learners cannot be identified – remove any personally identifiable content eg names from images, documents etc
  • If using video content. do not embed videos where a pupil is visible. In these cases, you can play the video in a live meeting, have the QA discussion and record the outcome in OneNote.  You should make a note on the document that this has happened
  • Video content such as a walkaround of a product that pupil has created can be stored on pages, as long as it is anonymous as with photo/text based content.
  • If you are using assessment materials that have been commercially created, do not upload them to the pages. 

3. Whiteboards and Notebooks

There are a number of virtual whiteboard/notebook tools within Glow and these are useful tools for learners to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding – making them effective assessment opportunities.

This is an example of how O365 OneNote could be used with learners to demonstrate their understanding of number, using virtual manipulatives and annotating their thinking on their whiteboard.

O365 also has another dedicated whiteboard tool, separate from OneNote, and this can be used in Teams calls to share thinking and understanding. The whiteboards are automatically saved in your OneDrive and can be edited and annotated to provide feedback to learners.

This video looks at how OneNote could be used for online literacy and English learning, particularly around note-making, and how the educators can assess and provide feedback on this.

This video looks at how Jamboard could be used for online literacy and English learning, particularly around note-making, and how the educators can assess and provide feedback on this.

4. Assessment within Literacy and English

There are a number of virtual whiteboard/notebook tools within Glow and these are useful tools for learners to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding – making them effective assessment opportunities.

We presented a webinar on the use of digital tools and platforms to support online learning and this segment looks at learning activities that could be delivered remotely and how this can be assessed and feedback delivered.

This segment explores the use of G Suite and Classroom apps to deliver, assess and provide feedback on literacy and English learning.

In this video, Susan, a teacher from Glasgow, explains how she uses Forms to check learners’ understanding and then build on that to develop their knowledge.

This video looks at how OneNote could be used for online literacy and English learning, particularly around note-making, and how the educators can assess and provide feedback on this.

This video looks at how Jamboard could be used for online literacy and English learning, particularly around note-making, and how the educators can assess and provide feedback on this.

5. Assessment within Numeracy and Mathematics

There are a number of virtual whiteboard/notebook tools within Glow and these are useful tools for learners to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding – making them effective assessment opportunities.

 

This is an example of how O365 OneNote could be used with learners to demonstrate their understanding of number, using virtual manipulatives and annotating their thinking on their whiteboard.

We delivered this workshop on how to transfer Concrete Pictorial Abstract numeracy and maths teaching practice to the online environment. CPA can be supported effectively with interactive manipulatives and whiteboard/notebook tools.

O365 also has another dedicated whiteboard tool, separate from OneNote, and this can be used in Teams calls to share thinking and understanding. The whiteboards are automatically saved in your OneDrive and can be edited and annotated to provide feedback to learners.

Book Creator is a platform external to Glow but can be effective for capturing learners’ thinking and allows them to create a meaningful end product to showcase their learning. However, it can be added to in an ongoing basis which makes it effective for formative assessment.

3. Forms and Quizzes

Microsoft and Google both provide their own version of Forms that can be used to make forms or quizzes. Forms are created to capture information, such as evaluations, and quizzes are created for assessment purposes and can be assigned correct answers and feedback. Forms can include multiple choice, text or numerical input, or even file uploads (such as photos of working) for their answers. Questions can also include links to external sites or include videos form YouTube to facilitate flipped learning.
Feedback has suggested that learners engage with Forms because they adapt to any device, regardless of screen size. 

1. Assignments

Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom but have Assignment functions built in. Assignments should be used when setting learning activities as they allow the educator to share, and the learner to access, everything they need in one place. 

 

Within Assignments, on both platforms, there is:

  • Title
  • Instructions – perfect place to explain learning intentions and success criteria, as well as instructions
  • Materials – you can add web links, videos, documents (O365 and G Suite)
  • Rubrics – excellent for making success criteria and feedback clear and transparent for learners
  • Scheduling – time and date to be set and completed
  • Pupils – whole class or individuals only