Monday, August 6, 2012

The Ohio Visible Learning Project

The Ohio Visible Learning Project is a collection of Stories from Wickliffe Progressive Community School in Upper Arlington, Ohio.  This collection was edited by Fred Burton, Mara Krechevsky, and Melissa Rivard. The stories reflect learning taken from Reggio Emelia Preschools in Italy and the partnership this building had with the Making Learning Visible Project to form the Ohio Visible Learning Project.  

"documentation requires learning (children, teachers, parents) to slow down and both individually and collectively reflect on the content and processes of learning."  Several times throughout this text the reader is guided to the relationship between documentation and assessment.  Documentation is a form of formative assessment.  Conversations inform and provide insight for further learning and planning.  Another definition I read in this text worth pondering, "...documentation as the practice of observing, recording, interpreting, and sharing through a variety of media the processes and products of learning in order to deepen and extend learning."

I was intrigued by the process and journey this building took to grow as a group.  It began with a group of teachers who were interested and formed an inquiry group.  For the next four years the entire building became involved and worked in interest groups to grow together as the reflected on work they were trying in their classrooms to make learning more visible.  

There are some tools we could all use found in this book.  One is the "See/Think/Wonder" Thinking Routine which helps structure conversations in hopes of deeper thinking and reflection.  More Thinking Routines are available at the Project Zero website.  Another helpful tool to read about is the use of protocol questions to help guide observational discussions after viewing student work, p.102.  

There are stories from various grade levels.  There are stories discussing ways to use technology to help capture student voices.  There are examples of process boards, a way in which the process of learning is documented and shared with others.

I was given this book and accompanying DVD at NCTE this past fall free from a session I attended.  I'm in the process of finding out how you too can receive this resource for making student learning more visible.  Stay tuned.

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