School Name: Holly Elementary
School District: SD#37 Delta
Inquiry Team Members: Fiona Fraser: firstname.lastname@example.org, Keri Hanlon: email@example.com, Jacquie von Schulmann: jvonschulmann, Holly teachers
Inquiry Team Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Type of Inquiry: NOIIE
Grade Levels: Primary (K-3), Intermediate (4-7)
Curricular Area(s): Other: Curricular area addressed varies with each teacher (all working on ownership)
Focus Addressed: Differentiated instruction, Formative assessment, Growth mindset, Self-regulation, Other: Student ownership of learning
In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? Enhancing assessment for learning practices, in order to increase student ownership of learning.
Scanning: Our scanning began last year and it involved asking the four questions to gain a baseline of data around student ownership of learning and also to determine the impact of our spiral. Through the results, we discovered that many students increased their ability to identify what they were learning, yet many still struggled to identify how their learning was going and next steps. This year we narrowed our focus to gain a collective understanding of student ownership and how to measure impact. As part of our scanning, staff identified students who struggled with ownership of learning in order to gain the student perspective through interviews related to student ownership of learning.
Focus: We decided to focus on assessment for learning as a way to increase student ownership, as teachers wanted to increase their comfort and use of AFL practices. We were hoping that building teacher capacity around AFL strategies would result in increased opportunities for students to be active participants in the assessment process. We hoped that students would be provided more opportunities to engage in self and peer assessment.
Hunch: We thought that traditional assessment and instructional practices did not provide the opportunity for students to take ownership of their learning. There were not as many options for students to self-assess or to have choice in how to demonstrate their learning.
New Professional Learning: We continued our learning around how to embed AFL practices such as learning targets, success criteria, and self-assessment into our practice. We were also taking time to consider how mindset impacts our learning environment and whether our instructional and assessment practices are promoting a growth mindset culture.
Taking Action: The staff created a collective definition of student ownership of learning and identified ways that students may demonstrate ownership of learning. Staff then interviewed students to discover what ownership of learning looked like from the student perspective and what they needed.
Staff worked on including more opportunities for students to self-assess and/or peer-assess – this could be verbal or written.
Checking: Due to the shift to distance learning as a result of COVID-19, we did not get to the checking phase as a group. Many teachers did report that student responses (using online platforms) to the the Big 3 questions (What are you learning? How’s it going? Where to next?) have become developed from last year and become much richer. Students were able to identify specific examples of learning growth and identify potential next steps.
We had used student interviews as baseline evidence and intended to interview again in the Spring for change evidence. Unfortunately, we were unable to complete the Spring interviews.
Reflections/Advice: Although we have made some gains in terms of increasing student ownership of learning, we still have work to do. We hope to continue our focus on AFL strategies to increase student ownership. We found that it was beneficial to take the time to arrive at a shared understanding of what ‘student ownership of learning’ means and looks like in action. This allowed us to identify specific actions that staff can implement into their assessment practice. Looking forward, we will consider what student ownership of learning looks like in regards to online learning. In addition, we will look at what aspects of the learning from home model allowed greater student ownership and how we can utilize those aspects in the classroom.