Learning From Mistakes

During class discussion last night the conversation (from someone’s question) lead to providing feedback from test to students to give them an option to get a better grade and/or learn from their mistakes made during the test. I only had this experience in a classroom once and that was in middle school probably. At the time it felt like an inconvenience but as the year went on I noticed I was retaining more information and even doing better on my test as the the year progressed.

As the discussion went on I thought about how I would be an efficient instructor. To assess students it seems that there are many ways but testing being one. To take a test and get a grade is one thing but to take a test and get feedback and get a chance to learn from the feedback and improve the grade is a new story. As I think about how I will adopt a pedagogy to not only benefit my future students but my self as well this will be something that I will give my students an option to learn from their “mistakes” made on a test and talk through why either answers were incorrect.

The document by Jean Lacoste, “Teaching Innovation Statement” addresses tailoring courses to individual needs as I began the reading I thought “Yeah right that probably won’t work and will not have a big impact as much as she think it might”. but as I continued reading she stated that, ” [she] was concerned that [she] might be giving my freshmen too much freedom; worried they wouldn’t make the best choices. [Her] findings are the exact opposite. Rather than selecting one mode over the other, many students completed tasks from multiple modes; attending the live lecture AND reviewing the video lecture, completing the live activity AND working through the online activity”. Before this she stated that she ‘redesigned the course she was teaching to to offer many options and allowed each student to choose their own path”. (This also reminded me of the Imagination readings we had last week). she also mentions that she deigned the course to incorporate hands on activities, videos and other different stimulants that massaged the process of learning. She provided individualized feedback tailored to the work they submitted she also had suggested deadlines but deadlines were flexible for their own study pace. Each option was to support a specific learning style. This makes sense because people learn with more than one sense or stimulant and in different ways. This must have took alot of work and effort on her part as well.

Before going through this weeks readings and class discussion I was thinking that I wanted to be an instructor that can be able to provide a learning environment that tailors to every students’ needs then I thought might that even be possible? Am I setting impossible goals for myself? Now after reading this I feel a bit more comfortable with my soon pedagogy and I am inspired. Learning and teaching can be a beneficial learning experience for both the students and instructor. I want my students to know that I will be with them throughout this process going step by step as they are.

4 Replies to “Learning From Mistakes”

  1. What a reflective post. My comment is related to your last point. When framed as “tailoring for each student” our task can seem very overwhelming. However, I am learning ways to get at customized learning, and the provision of feedback on assignments and exams can move you in that direction. Couple the feedback with an opportunity to improve and you have a formula that should work for most of your students.

  2. I agree with Henry — it can be daunting to think about customizing a learning process for each individual student. And what I so admire about Prof. Lacoste’s project is how carefully thought out and executed the whole thing is. It’s as though she went through every permutation a student might want, and then made it possible for them to choose what worked for them. I do think this kind of multi-modal approach will work better with some subjects than others, but I’m so glad you found it appealing!

  3. I totally agree with you. The inspiration I got from the article was impressive. Allowing the students to choose what works for them is an innovative idea, that will not just help students in their learning, but will also encourage and motivate them in great ways. A friendly and comfortable classroom environment is essential for a successful learning process.

  4. I suddenly remembered when I first came to U.S. My first written test was miserable but my teacher provided detailed feedback why I missed the points together with “you have tried but tried harder”. My second test was much better and it came back with a message “Good job! Come to see me in my office”. The way my teacher recognized my effort encourage me a lot. Teacher’s feedback is another reason why I do not like multiple choice tests.

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