MOOC Module 4 (#MENTEPCourse Learning Diary)

THIS is my learning diary for module 4. The title of module 4 is ‘Teachers as learning designers and peer reviewers‘.

The learning objectives for this module are (taken from @eu_schoolnet):

1. Understand the principles behind the conception of the teacher as a learning designer, and be aware of the tools and techniques you can put into practice to be an effective learning designer.
2. Design a lesson plan/learning activity incorporating elements of technology-enhanced teaching using the Learning Designer tool, developed by the UCL Institute of Education in London.
3. Appreciate the principles behind teacher peer assessment, and be aware of useful tips as well as practices to avoid to ensure you are an effective peer assessor as well as peer assess.
4. Exercise your peer assessment skills you have learned about during the course by reviewing three participants’ lesson plans/learning activities, created using the Learning Designer.

Thoughts/Notes from Module 4 Learning:

Innovative teachers in the 21st century learn through collaboration and reflection.

Learner Designer allows you to think more fully about how you use the time with the learners and encourages the use of technology in learning. The idea of using technology is to be more creative and enhance the learning experience creating further independent learning. Teachers have suggested that the pie chart element helps them to plan the learning time effectively?

Learner Designer seems to help teachers ensure that lessons are balanced. It also allows teachers to use, update and develop other teachers lesson plans for your own teaching. Apparently this can save a lot of time in lesson planning. It is interesting to see that Blooms Taxonomy is used to to gauge how challenging the outcome is for the learners. It seems to be a very visual, interactive and collaborative piece of software. My own peer review of the resource is THIS. The pie chart is useful to identify the different types of learning taking place and for time planning. I am concerned however that in reality the lesson plan feels quite time consuming and MAY not address the progress of all learners effectively. Maybe a differentiation section would also be useful? I would suggest that these additional elements need to be built into the online lesson planning resource?

Peer & Self Assessment: Peer assessment is about assessing others work and learning from it to improve your own performance. It is important when setting up a peer review that there are defined outcomes that learners are working towards and that the peer reviewers understand the rules. They will also need guidance for the structure of the review in order to make it constructive for the learner. In my view when working with young people and doing peer review, a significant amount of time ‘will’ need to be put into the ‘training’ of young people for it to become effective. Also, some thought needs to placed on how they can be engaged in the process?

For Information:

Here is a list of basic criteria which has been taken from the course guidance from @eu-schoolnet and should be considered when creating the lesson plan.

– The lesson plan is well aligned with its learning outcomes: Activities and assessment clearly link with the defined learning outcomes and allow the teacher to determine by the end of the lesson(s) if the objectives have been achieved.

– The lesson plan is balanced: There is a good mix of activities with at least four different Teaching & Learning Activities used (TLAs in the Learning Designer) and none of the Activities taking up more than 35% of the time (check the pie chart for this)

– The lesson plan is learner-centred: The lesson plan facilitates personalized learning, engaging students directly and encouraging them to take responsibility for their own learning (taking into account individual learners’ prior knowledge, motivation and abilities and offering tailored and detailed feedback)

– Feedback to students is properly taken into account: The lesson plan should clearly indicate how students receive feedback at various points of the lesson; are they involved in any self-assessment or peer assessment activities? Are they receiving feedback from the teacher through a whole-class discussion or in group work? Are they receiving feedback from a computer programme? Moreover, how is this feedback contributing to students’ learning, and allowing them to make progress? Is it effective in doing so?

– The lesson plan incorporates elements of Technology-Enhanced Learning: The students’ use of technology should be clearly linked to the lesson’s learning outcomes, and should allow them to achieve learning outcomes that otherwise wouldn’t be possible, or at least would not be achieved as effectively, if it were not for using a specific technology in a particular way. The way in which the technology should be used and for what pedagogical purpose should be clearly indicated in the lesson plan.

– The lesson plan incorporates elements of Technology-Enhanced Teaching: The teacher’s use of technology, whether in the preparation, implementation or follow-up of the lesson, should clearly bring added pedagogical value (i.e. not just be used for the sake of using it, and not be used as an alternative to other more effective ways of bringing about the same outcome)

My completed lesson can be found within the Learner Designer and by following this link.

The idea of the course is to receive peer reviews in order to make improvements to my own teaching and learning within this lesson plan. I also intend to use the constructive reviews to improve my teaching in the future. We are due to receive 3 reviews as part of the course. My reviews can be seen below:

  1. Excellent topic, absolutely stunning implementation. Well done.” By Petros Boboris.
  2. I think your lesson plan has all the necessary stages and optimally allocated time for each activity. Lesson Plan aims to introduce pupils to know environment, the scripts, comprehension by students the basic programming routines and apply for creating a simple game. Congratulations on the well done job!” By Bircan Keleş.
  3. Hello! It is the most organised lesson plan from the three that I have had to review. Very well planned lesson. The use of engaging and innovative methods is clear. It’s focus on teaching concepts, progress and skills is well aligned with its learning outcomes. Finally, it is well balanced and the timing has been designed clearly. Congratulations!” By Angeliki Syropoulo.

Thank you to all my reviewers. I would of course be happy to receive any further constructive reviews from any teachers who read this, in order to improve my own teaching CPD.

THIS is Module 4… and now the courseDone!

THIS is my MOOC_Certificate for completing the course.

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Featured Image My fourth Mozilla Badge showing that I have completed the fourth and final module of the course.

THIS is an update:

While the comments I received about my TET lesson from participants on the course was flattering I was hoping to gain some constructive feedback to allow me to make some improvements. I therefore decided to adapt my plan and ask a work colleague, Simon Lawrence, who delivers workshops to teachers to aid their educational CPD for teaching and learning. This demonstrates how I have sought additional support and how I have adapted my strategy to gain to gain further constructive advice

His advice is highlighted below…

“Greater emphasis could be placed on how technology could be used to decide on the methods and techniques that the learners will use. They could create a short questionnaire or survey that they could then use with other learners, this could also be used as part of the pairs activity. They could also look at the pros and cons of using different methods/techniques.”

“You could start this lesson with some Flipped Learning. Find a few short clips on You Tube to do with carrying out research or some short documents for them to read. Provide the learners with a link to the videos or documents before the lesson for them to prepare for this new topic. Emphasis the fact that learners will find it easier to engage in the lesson by preparing in this way. Ask each learner to come to the lesson with two points they had learnt from their preparation. You could create a Padlet wall for learners to post their responses and ask any initial questions they may have.” 

Simon Lawrence (ASDAN – National Development Co-ordinator)


MOOC Module 3 (#MENTEPCourse Learning Diary)

THIS is my learning diary for module 3. The title of module 3 is ‘Existing online assessment tools for TET competence‘.

The learning objectives for this module are:

1. Understand the design and objectives of the Norwegian and Greek teacher assessment tools aimed at monitoring the progress of a teachers’ technology-enhanced teaching competence;
2. Appreciate the benefits and limitations of the Norwegian and Greek tools for helping a teacher monitor and improve their technology-enhanced teaching skills;
3. Exercise your self-assessment skills by taking the Norwegian Teacher Mentor survey, keeping in mind all the self-assessment tips and principles discussed in the course so far.

Question to think about:

  1. What was useful/less useful?
  2. What was difficult?
  3. Was the advice useful?
  4. What will I do to act upon the advice?

The Teacher Mentor is an online learning tool which allows a teacher to reflect on their own practise based on levels awarded through the programme. The levels are awarded based on statements made by the teacher in reflection of their own practice. A demo version can be found at

Taking the Teacher Mentor Survey:

I chose to focus on one area which was the 1st section in ‘Pedagogy and Using ICT’. This is the area that I would most like to develop. The results of this section and the survey taken can be found in this link TeacherMentorSurvey_Oct15.

The most useful thing that I found was to get feedback on the the possible next steps to improve my own teaching and learning strategies. This is my reason for doing this course and is what will help my teaching of young people in the future. It is very time consuming to do this so I would recommend that (as I decided) you should only choose one section at a time to make as a focus. The advice in the videos was very didactic and I so found myself not listening to much of it. I am an active learner myself so only really became engaged when actually doing the survey myself and so being active in my own learning.

Based on the feedback that the system has given me, I would like to try follow theses action steps in the future:

  1. Collaborate with other teachers about my own development in such networks, but also be conscious of involving other teachers at the school in the discussions.
  2. To coach other teachers in planning and execution of their teaching involving digital media. In particular I would like to work on Gamification strategies. Through doing this I hope to develop my own competence through discussion and feedback.
  3. Look for opportunities to combine different elements to facilitate creation of new teaching aids.

I aim to use this feedback in my work with ASDAN to develop digital programmes, accreditation and teaching resources. Moreover I will use this in the future when I become a teacher once again.

THIS is Module 3… Done!

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Featured Image My third Mozilla Badge showing that I have completed the third module of the course.

MOOC Module 2 (#MENTEPCourse Learning Diary)

THIS is my learning diary for module 2. The title of module 2 is ‘how can TET competence be meaningfully assessed‘. The module is based around reflecting on my own self/peer assessment.

Personal note for the European Schoolnet Academy

This module involves completing a quiz. Whatever this is dressed up as, it means that the course delegates have to do a test based on knowledge retention and regurgitation of information. I feel very uncomfortable about this within the context of this course and I believe it should not be used. Why do we have to do a quiz which will mean that we may not be able to make progress on the course? This is a course that is based on developing skills not stopping that development at some point? Surely development is an ongoing thing and should not be tested? Although I passed the test I found myself to be guessing what was actually meant by the question on occasion. I found the questions difficult to understand.

The learning objectives for this module are:

1. Understand the principles of effective teacher self-assessment.

2. Appreciate how teacher self-assessment can support innovative technology-enhanced teaching.

3. Reflect on the process of self-assessment, and in engaging in it yourself, identify what you find personally challenging and how you might improve on these aspects.

Questions to reflect upon are:

  1. Why and how is self/peer assessment important to me? See 2.2 and 2.3 below.
  2. When have I engaged in self and peer assessment and what benefits have I gained? See 2.3 below.
  3. What aspects did I find most challenging? Being able to take the criticism about my delivery of learning. I have now learned to accept this and move on with improving my skills/competence. Peer assessment has helped me to improve my own resilience.
  4. How often do I take part in this type of assessment and what stops me doing it more often?  See 2.3 below. I also take part in self-assessment after every experience I have of delivering learning.
  5. What precise gains do I have and what concerns do I have? My main gain is to always look at improving my teaching practice and to achieve the points as outlined in 2.2 below.

One thing that I have picked up is that there should be a focus on certain competencies and not everything at the same time. I need to agree with a peer or peers what those competencies will be from the start. When being critical, make it constructive and positive and base it on a criteria. Don’t be sensitive to criticism. Compare your own self-assessment with the peer review fro a more thorough analysis.

Something that should be done in English schools is to create more opportunity to observe other teachers practice in the classroom. This would build on the comments about peer assessment mentioned throughout this blog.

It is important that we have descriptors to be able to reflect upon performance to base our self and peer assessments on. In England we have the Ofsted Teaching & Learning Level Descriptors (Sept 2015) which can be used to develop the agreed competencies and the focus for improvement.

2.2 What are the principles of effective teacher self-assessment?

For me the simple outcome of this is that in every lesson a teacher should be reflecting on the experience that the learners have had. Was it engaging? Was it interesting? Why were the outcomes met/not met? Did anybody get left behind and why? How do I know that every child made progress? What do I need to do in order to adapt the learning for the next session? My opinion is that learning is like a journey where the destination can be found by using different routes to the destination. Occasionally the mode of transport or the route needs to be changed in order to reach the target destination for every young person.

2.3 How can teacher self-assessment support innovative TET?

For the past year I have been using this personal blog to put my ideas for teaching and learning into an online learning community. I use Twitter and Facebook as my platform to engage constructive peer feedback. Twitter has been especially useful to use as a learning community. This has helped to improve my own CPD through learning from others and their feedback on my ideas. I think that blogging has helped me to write down the things that I have learnt through my own experiences and from discussions with others. This has helped me to develop my own pedagogical performance. Through using these platforms I have been able to rigorously reflect on my own skills and to make improvements. The key to self-assessment and reflection in my view is that the findings are put into practice.

I have also had the opportunity to take part in developing two different online learning platforms while working at ASDAN. The learning platforms I have been involved in the development of are Lifeskills Challenge and Short Courses Online. Both these online platforms are aimed at developing the skills of young people for life and employment. I have found that these not only engage young people but also develop teaching competence in TET strategies.

THIS is Module 2… Done!

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Featured Image My second Mozilla Badge showing that i have completed the second module of the course.