Contribution to Learning Community

 “Assessment is today’s means of modifying tomorrow’s instruction.” ~Carol Ann Tomlinson

When I started 5305 last fall, my learning community was a tight group of about 6 people. In addition to our weekly Zoom meetings with Dr. H, we set up a separate GroupMe where we were able to quickly touch base and encourage each other on a regular basis. 

My collaboration with Jane Nguyen, Tami Sanford, Maggie Franck, and Ennis Johnson has carried over to 5305, and despite some effort to transition the group to Blackboard, have maintained our communication on GroupMe. 

“We can’t improve what we don’t assess.” ~Michael Hyatt

Having said that, we have all participated to a greater degree on Blackboard in this course. I have personally read every post and have provided feedback to dozens more posts than in my previous course. 

This larger class size does necessitate forming small groups, and have found that I reply to and interact with the same 7 or so other classmates on a more regular basis. It is somewhat of a surprise to me that they look to me as a leader. I have had several requests for one on one zooms and have been able to help in areas where I did not know I had much to offer. The Wednesday night Zoom that Pedro Beltran started has been a complete game changer for me in this respect. 

My interaction on these Wednesdays with Pedro, Allison DeVoll, Robin Ballard, Jarrett Lindsey, Bianca Charles, Danielle Pyle, Lindsey Wallace, Brianna Rodriguez, and Wayne Wilson has also been an enriching experience for me. I have gained so much from their different strengths while at the same time have been able to reinforce my OWN learning in helping them through some of the course work I’ve already completed in 5305, 5303, and now 5302.

It will also mention that I have started threads on Blackboard where I have shared articles I find to be interesting and worth additional conversations, and I have shared a Google form hoping to gather data from this unique group of learners. The response to the survey has been disappointing, but even that I am learning from: put names at top, ask fewer questions, and ask questions in such a way that answers can be given in a way to aggregate data more objectively. In short, make it easier.  

“On assessment: measure what you value instead of valuing only what you measure.” ~Andy Hargreaves

I have completed all of the course readings, including many upcoming readings. I have watched all posted videos at least once, some multiple times, and all supporting resources I found myself lost (good lost) in. I have met all course activity deadlines that I am aware of.

I based the submission of some work found in my ePortfolio of the original syllabus which contained a requirement of a Learning Manifesto. I also was originally given the choice to write on Nancy Dweck’s Mindset, a book I have already read. I also think it’s important to read primary sources. I am enjoying reading Democracy and Education, and am astounded at the connections I am making with Growth Mindset as well as CSLE+COVA.

On revision, I have tweaked some previously submitted assignments and intend on modifying my original Innovation Proposal from “Project Based Reading” to a specific project of the ePortfolio.

While my blog posts are not on the more numerous side, they are authentic and sustainable. I have a schedule planned for future posts and look forward to this added best practice, as a teacher of writing.

“Stay diagnostic even as you take action.” ~Ronald Heifetz