Topic 3 Adjusting teaching strategies and activities for classroom and on individual level accordingly to digital and non-digital feedback

Teaching strategies and assessment

Educators strategies are properly assessed and adjusted during the process of teaching if the adult educator is considering continuously:

  • Self assessment (reflection on his/her work)
  • Analyzing of learners
  • (Re)Examining the learning objectives
  • (Re)Examining the teaching and learning methods applied.

The reasons for introduction of changes in the teaching process may be of different kind and stemming from different rationale (pre knowledge of learners is weak, examples or models used were unclear, etc.).

The form and content of adjustment of teaching strategies depends mostly on:

  • the diversity of curricular aims,
  • the composition of student groups,
  • educators’ personal pedagogical styles,
  • carload of contextual differences

and hence no one size fits all approach in adjustment can be used or replicated. Common steps in adjustment process may be divided into 4 steps: emerging, evolving embedding, excelling regardless of the means and type of feedback received.

Most commonly differentiating instruction strategies encompasses adult educators response to adult learner differences by adapting curriculum and instruction on six dimensions:

Teacher-Dependent

  • Content (the what of the lesson)
  • Process (the how of the lesson)
  • Product (the learner-produced results)

Learner-Dependent

  • Interest
  • Profile (strengths, weaknesses, gaps)
  • Readiness

Teacher-Dependent aspects

Ideas to consider for adapting the content, or the what:

  • Changing the complexity of the lesson

      Vary the complexity along the lines of concrete, symbolic, or abstract  explorations.

  • The resources you provide for the lesson

      Vary the resources, involving narrative, informational, multimedia, experts, and  guests.

  • The context of the lesson

      Vary the context from classrooms, programs, communities, and virtual environments.

Ideas to consider for adapting the process, or the how:

  • Changing how you deliver direct instruction

Work variously with the whole group, small groups, and individuals.

Reconsider how material is framed; try breaking up a lesson or unit in new ways to chunk and compress material.

  • Changing how you structure cooperative activities

Arrange flexible, changeable groupings and peer activities.

Provide roles and clear expectations for group members.

  • Changing the way you structure inquiry

Use problem-based learning, service learning, and performance-based experiences.

Learner-Dependent aspects

What are your students’ interests? Take time to find out through methods such as the following:

  • Journals and responses to prompts. For example:

If you had your GED or college degree tomorrow, what would you want to be doing?

What is one job you would want to have and why?

  • Informal conversations and ice breakers
  • Sharing opportunities with the whole class
  • Community events
  • Program support staff and transition specialists

A graduate teacher at a metropolitan secondary college identifies collecting and providing feedback as a key development area. With a mentor’s help, the teacher designs a protocol for using verbal and digital feedback as an effective two-way information exchange with students. Knowing the importance of linking data with feedback, the mentor demonstrates how to use centralised tests to extract individual achievement data. This data becomes the foundation for meetings with individual students. Together, the teacher and mentor establish a meeting structure. During the meetings, feedback focuses on the task, what needs improvement, and how to go about it. Drawing on the learning intentions and success criteria, the teacher provides feedback on specific aspects of the student’s work, and offers specific advice on how to improve performance. It proves incredibly powerful to assist students to review results in structured meetings. By centering discussion on clear feedback that encourages reflection, students deepen awareness of their learning. In monitoring the effect of this practice, the graduate teacher makes two observations. First, students are motivated to understand why they made a specific mistake. Second, they have data to help map a pathway for developing the required skills in preparation for next time. As a second area of professional learning, and leveraging on digital technology skills, mentor and mentee trial Plickers (https://plickers.com/) to track student understanding of, and confidence in, lesson content. Building on traditional mini-whiteboard questioning techniques, each student is assigned a unique QR code. The code is photographed at key lesson stages and used to generate and share polls. This allows students to instantly and confidentially disclose how they think they are progressing. This provides data that captures the extent to which content is understood. As it is recorded automatically, feedback collected using Plickers is not only easy to track it is more accurate as students can answer honestly without being concerned that their peers might judge their responses adversely

What is the most common adjusted element in your teaching? Why and how did you adjust to the learners needs? What was the outcome of the process? What tools did you use (if any)?

Try Plickers trial (https://plickers.com/) with your learners.

Discuss on the possibilities for digital tools use in adjusting teaching strategies for adult learners. What are the benefits and/or constraints observed?

This topic examines the common adjustment strategies adult educators may choose to use in their instruction following the formative assessment results. Basic principles of the adjustments is outlined in terms of both digital and non digital assessments use. An example of digital tool use for adjustment of adult educator teaching strategies is analysed.