‘Visible Learning’ in the Digital Age: It’s Personal

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By the Canvas LMS team

As digital natives, young students are more tech-savvy and more prepared to use the tools that will help them excel in the classroom and eventually, their chosen career paths. K–12 teachers and administrators have a responsibility and an opportunity to engage and connect with these students as technology takes an even bigger role in education in the coming years.

Educator John Hattie is known worldwide for his groundbreaking research that focuses on the different factors that influence student achievement. An analysis of 50,000 educational studies involving 80 million students led to Hattie’s book, Visible Learning, and his research has contributed to accepted educational standards.

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Whether it’s reading, writing or maths, an engaged learning experience comes from more than numbers—education is personal. According to Hattie’s research, personalised learning paths contribute to student achievement. Every student is different, and that means they learn things and show mastery at different paces. We all know this. What’s held us back has been the administrative overhead of supporting dozens, even hundreds of students who are on as many various learning paths.

As an educator, you can do more to maximise student learning by focusing on activities in Hattie’s ‘zone of desired effects’, including Self-Reported Grades, Response to Intervention, Providing Formative Evaluation, Reciprocal Teaching, Acceleration and Mastery Learning.

Here are three activities with definitions and solutions:
Acceleration: Allowing advanced students to work ahead keeps them engaged and challenged, and helps them learn and achieve more during the school year.

Solution: Modules enable teachers to organise course content by weeks, units or other structures. Teachers create their own flow, linear or otherwise, requiring students to review materials or complete assignments in a predetermined order.

Mastery Learning: By identifying students’ knowledge gaps with pre- and post-assessments, then targeting those gaps, teachers can provide remediation or advancement based on the individual needs of each student.

Solution: The Canvas-exclusive MasteryPaths feature enables teachers to create customised learning paths with differentiated tasks designed to help students fill knowledge gaps according to their individual needs.

Response to Intervention: This simple, yet highly-effective approach is based on providing interventions for struggling students by presenting the same subject matter in a different way. Without technology, this would require re-teaching materials to the entire class (even to students who’ve shown mastery) or finding time to provide remediation for students individually.

Solution: Teachers can determine which students have mastered a topic or skill and which need extra help. How students perform on a beginning assignment determines their customised learning path, so teachers can identify and connect with struggling students by presenting materials in new ways.

The ability to find new methods to personalise learning for your students will pay dividends in the long run. Learning is personal, and you can learn how your institution can benefit by joining us for a FREE live webinar Tuesday, 31st October 2017 at 11 AM AEST / 1 PM NZT where we’ll present:

  • An overview of Hattie’s findings
  • An explanation of the ‘zone of desired effects’
  • Practical tips for using an LMS to implement evidence-based learning activities in your classroom.

Register for the webinar now. Even if you can’t attend the live webinar, just register and we’ll send you a link to the on-demand version after the webinar airs. Plus, check out this white paper to learn more evidence-based ways to improve student achievement with Canvas.

Keep learning,

The Canvas LMS team


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Education Technology Solutions
Education Technology Solutions has been created to inspire and encourage the use of technology in education. Through its content, Education Technology Solutions seeks to showcase cutting edge products and practices with a view to expanding the boundaries and raising the standards of education curricula. It introduces teachers and IT staff to the latest products, services and developments in education technology with a view to providing practical how-to guidance designed to facilitate the integration of those products and services into the school environment in the most productive and beneficial manner possible.
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