This week’s reading focused on assessments and instructional design. Bauer (2014, p. 147) discusses that people learn in contextual, active, social, and reflective ways. What I appreciated about this information was how Bauer described each type of learning and gave an example of how technology and can enhance each type of learning. Learning does not only happen on one’s own, it also happens when people interact with each other. This is known as “social cognitive learning” (Bauer, p. 148). Reading this, it made think about our composition project for next school year. I think I will have the students work together and use one of the website or free program resources provided throughout this course. Each student will be given an opportunity to critique someone else’s work and receive feedback on their own work. Perhaps doing these types of projects together may help promote student-directed learning.
It was during a professional development workshop this year that I heard about project-based-learning for the first time. Since then, I have often wondered how this method of learning could be incorporated into my general music classroom. The examples listed by Bauer (2014, p. 151) gave me some great ideas and starting points for incorporating PBL in my classroom for next year. Often times, some of 4th and 6th grade classes are relatively small due to students being pulled out for band or orchestra. PBL would be great for those small classes. It would be easy for me to find computers for them to use because I would not have to require a lot of equipment. Also, this may take away from the intimidation factor of being in a small class.
Bauer (2014, p. 137) mentions three types of assessment that can be used when evaluating students; checklists, rating scales, and rubrics. I agree with Bauer that checklists are useful but only signify a minimal level of understanding. In my teaching, I have found that simple checklists are valuable when doing an informal formative assessment at the sub-objective level. I like to use rubrics when doing a formative assessment of an entire lesson or a summative assessment of an entire unit. Rubrics are very effective when assessing students because they are based on specific criteria which are outlined in the rubric itself. This school year, I actually had my students help me create the rubric, using an online rubric generator, and used that to critique our concert. We reviewed the elements of vocal singing that we have worked on and placed them into a rubric. In doing this, I noticed the feedback I received from the students was much more descriptive and accurate than in years past.
Overall, I feel like Bauer did a nice job of explaining how technology can be used to enhance each style of learning. Also, technology can used to assess learning and the examples and ideas provided have given me some new insights into my future teaching. Not only that, I have found that the technology that I have used to date, has been beneficial to my students’ education. While I continue to explore more technology, I am finding more and more value in using it.
Bauer, W.I. (2014). Music learning today: Digital pedagogy for creating, performing, and responding to music. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.