After a very successful plenary talk, Prof. Terry Lamb held a workshop.
In the beginning he summarized the key principles of learner autonomy, for example critical thinking, self-regulation, curiosity and imagination, and then the participants were given a questionnaire with the key characteristics for assessment for learning and their connection to learner autonomy. The participants were divided into groups and had to discuss these points and find examples from their own practice in their teaching environment.
The key characteristics were:
1. Sharing learning objectives with learners e.g. Teacher asks Students “Why do you think we are doing this activity?” at the beginning or the end of the lesson
2. Helping Learners to know and recognize the standards they are aiming for e.g. Teacher gives Students models / criteria how to do the activity.
3. Involving Learners in peer- and self-assessment e.g. Students exchanging views, taking notice of errors or self-assessment questions in the end of the lesson, portfolios, and teachers underlining errors in written work without actually correcting it.
4. Providing feedback which leads to learners recognizing their next steps and how to take them e.g. brainstorm ideas, set an outline, ask questions “what do we need to do next?”
5. Promoting confidence that every learner can improve e.g. not focus on the mistakes, praise students, give them a chance to improve
6. Involving both teacher and learners in reviewing and reflecting on assessment information e.g. write correct phrases at the end of the lesson, give students more time to reflect or a second chance to do the activity again.
The participants were then shown a video from a music class in England and were told to discuss the teacher’s methods and compare the key characteristics to their own previous answers. Finally the teacher’s methods were assessed by the participants, talking about what positive and negative aspects they found in the video
All in all a very enlightening session.
By Theodora Papapanagiotou