Open Online Learning 2013 presents an opportunity to re-think how educators and learners go about assessment. What is evidence of learning? Who decides? We can, of course, co-create the success criteria, but as we move to more self-directed learning the success criteria will need to be individualized too. As we move toward student inquiry, what students present as evidence of their learning will vary; and as students push their learning to where they need to go, their products will uniquely represent that learning.
When we step outside the box, there are so many possibilities. When we begin to understand what it is we need to learn and what we care about learning, then, how we might go about that learning will not only surprise us, but will challenge our notions of what evidence of learning looks like.
About a year ago, I ran into the idea of badges as ways to symbolize learning. Of course, I thought it was hokey. Badges are good for Scouting and Guiding, not real learning.
Now don’t jump all over me…I realize my thinking here was flawed, but that is the way many people view badges. You get them for swimming levels and skating levels; you certainly don’t get them for academics.
By participating in experiences like OOE13, educators have the opportunity to experience learning in ways that are completely new to them. As I learn online via my PLN, moocs, blog reading, and/or participation in Twitter chats, Connected Educator Month events, or a whole host of other venues, I might want to acknowledge that learning in some way. And that’s what badges do. The process allows me to select the evidence that I believe is relevant, meaningful, and valid to me, to cite that evidence, and then to be acknowledged.
I am so proud of the badges I have earned to date. They inspire me to reach for more. Isn’t this the role of assessment?