Assessment for learning and fostering student agency and autonomy in technology
Moreland, J., & Cowie, B. (2013). Assessment for learning and fostering student agency and autonomy in technology. In PATT 27, Technology education for the future: A play on sustainability (pp. 363–368). Hamilton, New Zealand: Technology Environmental Science and Mathematics Education Research Centre, University of Waikato.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11609
In this paper we focus on how assessment for learning (AFL) practices can provide opportunities for students to develop identities as capable and independent learners who are aware of and able to employ a variation of and/or something similar to the accountability systems for knowledge generation and legitimation that are used by technologists. Sadler (1989) argued that the indispensible conditions for improvement are that students move from being consumers to active participants in their own learning and assessment. Carr (2001) adds that learner agency of this kind involves students being ready, willing and able to monitor and progress their own learning. As autonomous and agentic learners, students are attuned to opportunities to learn, to making deeper sense of their own learning and knowing when and how to take strategic action to progress their learning. They have ‘a nose for quality’ and the inclination and means to pursue this (Claxton, 1995). Using examples derived from a three-year research project undertaken with 12 teachers in New Zealand Year 1-8 schools we illustrate how teachers fostered student learning and learning autonomy through patterns of participation that construed learning as a social practice and collective responsibility. We detail the ways the teachers sought to ensure students had access to a range of opportunities for feedback and supported student affiliation with technology. We conclude that the ‘spirit’ of AfL (Marshall & Drummond, 2006) is evoked when teachers have a pedagogical mindset that foregrounds the sharing of responsibility with students as the norm, and when they provide students with opportunities, and the means, to exercise responsibility for their learning and learning progress.
Technology Environmental Science and Mathematics Education Research Centre, University of Waikato
© University of Waikato, New Zealand / John Williams
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