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How do you know if you are learning? The importance of feedback

Home Forums Designing Active Learning (Week 3) What is learning? (Activity 3.0) How do you know if you are learning? The importance of feedback

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    On reflection, the most recent thing I feel I have learned is how to create a self assessement report for our directorate – but have I learnt it?

    I have:

    1. Learnt ‘facts’ and ‘concepts’ that I have needed to write about servcies other than my own

    2. Practised my reasoning skills (does this evidence prove this claim?) and my problem-solving skills (what is the best way to persuade anotehr manager to give me some information in a usable form

    and then put all this in to action – including finding ways to motivate myself to do the task ‘on top of’ my other priorities

    BUT I am still not sure I have learned anything – I hope I have – but without the ‘assessment’ of peer and line management approval for the document I have produced I cannot yet know if I have learned effectively

    So once again, I seem to have come to my key dilemma for instructional design – how do you ensure enough, regular formative feedback and social interaction to make the l;earner ‘feel like they are learning;?




    Wiki has a good definition of learning – Learning is acquiring new, or modifying and reinforcing existing, knowledgebehaviorsskillsvalues, or preferences and may involve synthesizing different types of information. Most of that you have done in (1), and it is ‘active learning’ as you have chosen what you want to learn rather than being forced to learn it.

    You have proven your learning (as you suggest) by all measures in (2) and are now, in fact, onto next ‘level’ by explaining your learning to others:

    “if you can’t explain it simply you don’t understand it well enough” Albert Einstein
    Your key dilemma seems to be gaining confidence to move on to the next ‘learning experience’, so you ‘feel’ like you have learnt.  Does peer-to-peer feedback line this help?


    Thanks Marcus, this is a really useful perspective and has made me do some interesting reflection on the relationship between learning and confidence and the role of practice and reflection

    Particularly relevant for me, since as a librarian the skills I teach are not assessed directly


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