Another dot in the blogosphere?

Indicators are not evidence (Part 2)

Posted on: November 20, 2020

I continue from yesterday’s reflection about “engagement” and why it does not guarantee learning.

One of the best things I discovered from my shallow dive into this rabbit hole was a resource from 2017 from Paul Kirshner. He shared how the rhetoric and practice of engagement were shortcuts for teaching and learning. This aligned to my educator’s philosophy that anything worth doing is difficult.

Even better were the slides Kirschner highlighted from a 2015 presentation by Rob Coe of Durham University. These were shared in a blog entry by Carl Hendrick titled Engagement: Just because they’re busy, doesn’t mean they’re learning anything.

The highlighted slides are worth a few minutes read and both blogs deserve click-through traffic.

I will just say this. A rabbit hole is indicator, an actual rabbit is evidence. Students might look like they are learning. What matters if they actually do. We need to focus on strategies that matter.

What might these strategies be? A slide from Coe’s presentation offers some suggestions: Feedback, metacognition, peer teaching.

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