Mettle is described as “a person’s ability to cope well with difficulties or to face a demanding situation in a spirited and resilient way”. Related words include nervy, courageous, brave, steel, feisty, plucky, spunky, gritty and game. Underlying these terms is the notion of HEART.
Edmettle was created by an Ontario educator and came to my attention through Twitter. The potential for this tool to support teaching and learning enticed me to investigate further. Here is my review and work with EdMettle. This new assessment tool fits into an assessment category that is often overlooked – work habits and learning skills. These skills include responsibility, organization, independent work, collaboration, initiative, and self regulation. Underlying skills in each of these categories are outlined in the Growing Success document produced by the Ontario Ministry of Education (2010). Edmettle is designed to integrate recognition of these work habits and learning skills into the school day, not just by the teacher but collaboratively with/by students.
The introductory video describes this digital tracking tool.
Once I received access, I set up my class. The task tabs are intuitive to use and a text tab appears when selecting from the menu options. Once the student’s files are created, there are codes provided for each individual student as well as a parent code. I tried each of these and they worked without issues. I thought the student access would be limited to only their content, but the student I selected to use when entering Edmettle could access the ‘mettle’ comments for others in the class. The parent code limited the ‘mettles’ to only those that belonged to the student linked to that code.
Students, other teachers who are given access to the student files and the managing teacher can all add comments under a set of skills identified for tracking. These can be added and/or removed as needed, so changes could be made when the focus on specific skills changes in the classroom. The students do need to be able to type comments into the text box to identify how the ‘mettle’ is being granted. This is where good instruction is essential so students learn to recognize specific actions from others that represent that particular skill-set. This is a great way to engage in deeper conversations about what the work habit or learning skill looks like, sounds like, feels like when experiences occur in the classroom, hallways and schoolyard.
Creating a specific station or time for these comments to be collected would be an essential part of the data gathering process. Time and technology are frequently in limited supply in any classroom so teachers will need to work through the how, where, and when the ‘mettles’ will be collected. The conversation could include the students to see how they would manage this interaction and how these mettles could be reviewed to ensure accuracy and appropriateness.
Overall, I see Edmettle as one tool that will, over the course of a term or school year, collect and promote student work habits and learning skills that will engage, motivate and promote self-regulation. I connected the ways this tool will promote engagement with underlying UDL principles for engagement – setting goals, purpose, collecting & sharing, audience, collaboration, outcomes, classroom goals, shared spaces, tracking, timely, action oriented, specific, motivation, resilience, reflective practice. Lots of ways Edmettle will engage students in self discovery and resilience.