Your Learning= Your Students’ Success

From Engaged to Empowered Learners

From Engaged to Empowered Learners

By in Lifelong Learning | 0 comments

We have heard a lot about engaged students. Now we hear about empowered learners. What is the difference, and what is the shift in thinking?

As we consider empowering our students as self-directed learners, which are the steps or strategies to make that happen? Fortunately, there is enough research nowadays to support steps towards that goal. One step, even if it may sound counter-intuitive, is “teacher clarity” in the form of clear learning targets for the students. This step alone requires some analytical work involving the unpacking or deconstruction of standards into learning progressions.

Research shows that students are empowered when they can answer these questions regarding their own learning: “Where am I now? Where am I going? How can I close the gap?” To start on this path towards empowered students, you can look for a group of researchers who have been sharing around the idea of assessment for learning.   Jan Chappuis developed the Seven Strategies of Assessment for Learning, which is a very clear steps process in empowering students through assessment literacy. John Hattie has been doing extensive meta-studies around what works best for student learning, shared in his Visible Learning books and website. One of the most important impacts pointed out by Hattie is feedback, which is a major step on Chappuis’ Seven Strategies. Larry Ainsworth is another big name in this area focusing on another one of Hattie’s effects called teacher clarity. His work focuses on practices that guarantee clarity of learning intentions and success criteria that will help students own their learning.

Below you can see a summary Infographic of the Seven Strategies of Assessment for Learning, which encapsulate the steps towards developing empowered learners:

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