Beyond Effectiveness: the Zen of Flow and #MagicofPage18

Twitter chats are fast and confusing. They flow around questions and sometimes connect ideas.  That’s what happened last night when the topic focused on ‘what do we mean by learning?’.  Participants sometimes bounce ideas into the flow of the diverse collections of conversations. It’s only when you go back and reflect, review and re-live the conversation that you find gems of ideas that spark new directions.

That spark happened when the conversation diverged from ‘what is learning’ to ‘how do we assess learning?’. This flowed into a connection to the Growing Success document that teachers in Ontario use as a guide for assessment and evaluation. Within the flow of the conversation a gem of ‘magic’ appeared. It’ll be missed if it’s not revealed and reviewed. It’ll be lost again once the flow moves on, so here it is. Thanks Donna Miller Fry for pulling this gem from the stream.

image of tweetAs Heather Theijsmeijer reveals, it’s magic that is hidden in plain sight. But it takes a magnifying glass, focused on the words, to unwrap it’s true magic. It’s on page 18! One small paragraph that can be overlooked in the flow of ideas around assessment and evaluation.

When assessing student learning, the achievement chart determines the levels to which learning is measured. “The descriptors indicate the characteristics of the student’s performance, with respect to the particular criteria, on which assessment or evaluation is focused. Effectiveness is the descriptor used for each of the criteria in the Thinking, Communication, and Application categories. What constitutes effectiveness in any given performance task will vary with the particular criterion being considered. Assessment of effectiveness may therefore focus on a quality such as appropriateness, clarity, accuracy, precision, logic, relevance, significance, fluency, flexibility, depth, or breadth, as appropriate for the particular criterion.

Heather T. blogs about this magic when it was first revealed to her and colleagues in “Ditching “Effectiveness” – the Miracle of Page 18“. Once the ‘trick’ was revealed, she shared her thoughts.

image of blog post

This magic flows into greater understanding of my own learning, as well as student learning. It changes how to ‘effectively’ assess when learning is evident and to what level learning has occurred. It’s a flow away from a word that is ill-defined and hard to understand. It establishes a clearer concept when creating rubrics to ‘measure’ learning.

The real magic comes when students can use this magic to see their own success in learning and assess their performance against something that is clear and understandable. Within that ‘zen’ moment when performance and ideas flow from the surface into deeper waters is where the magic of learning occurs. That’s when real learning is realized, by both student and teacher. When students can see this flow, feel this flow, focus on achieving this flow, then the magic of learning and assessment come together. It’s revealed in the quality of learning – appropriate, clear, accurate, precise, logical, relevant, fluent, flexible, deep and wide!

Where do you find the #magicofpg18? How can you recreate this magic in your own learning or teaching?

Let’s fill Twitter with some #magicofpg18! It’s not just for Ontario educators!

Here’s the full ‘flow’ of the twitter chat conversation in a STORIFY.

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