As we begin the 2016-17 school year this week, I think it is a good time to reflect on our goal of personalizing the learning experience for every student at One Schoolhouse. Three years ago, we made the decision to create a personalized educational experience for students in classes at One Schoolhouse. Corinne Dedini, Director of Academics, and Karen Douse, Director of Student & School Support, started our incredible faculty on a three year journey to define personalized learning in an independent school context, and to implement personalized approaches in our classrooms: in 2013-2014, our faculty focus was on building student-teacher relationships in the online space; in 2014-2015, the focus was on assessments as and for learning; and in 2015-2016, the focus was on empowering students to have greater agency in their learning.
Our faculty and academic team have been doing amazing work to personalize the student experience -- to the point where we are thrilled to say that we are the first independent school with personalized student courses. We have come to understand that personalization means honoring how each student learns.
How do we do personalize approaches for students? In three words: choice, check, apply. Students in One Schoolhouse courses have pathway choice in how they access content and try new skills. They can choose to watch a video, try a problem set, read a book, or try some combination of options in order to gain primary understanding of course materials. They then check their understanding of materials through a range of formative assessments. And, then they apply that understanding to complex challenges and real-world situations. Check out this video that shows how we introduce students to personalized learning in their classes.
Where do we go from here? We help our faculty build greater capacity by personalizing professional development for them! I'll write about that work soon.
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Brad Rathgeber (he/him/his)