By Tanya Stogre and Abby Saadeh
Continuing the Journey with Pathbrite, we took up the challenge of finding See our second blog the most meaningful platform. After exploring a variety of platforms, Pathbrite emerged as one that could work best for all individuals and groups at our school. With this information, we launched into a pilot study with all 100 Grade 7 students, their parents, and teachers to track their experiences with this new platform.
Initial survey results from all groups indicated a frustration with different platforms being used across and within grades and a lack of cohesion with requirements of the Student Learning Plans (SLP’s). There was also a disconnect between parents and their child concerning the awareness and understanding of SLP’s.
With this information we recognized the overall need for a common digital platform for Student Learning Plans that would meet our criteria as teachers, students, and parents.
Though the four-month pilot process with Grade 7’s some interesting trends arose. We were able to capture this information through student and teacher surveys, one-on-one conversations with students, class discussions, and a student-parent home conference with students showcasing their Pathbrite SLP. Overall, the work with Pathbrite for SLP’s has been a positive one for all groups. Specifically, using Pathbrite, students found it met their needs as a learner and it was helpful to create their SLP’s compared to the platform(s) they had used in the previous years at Connect. Additionally, students discussed that the organization and structure of Pathbrite allowed for students to more readily connect their work to the Exemplary Learning Framework and use this to reflect on their process as learner. An additional insight that arose was that students have a stronger understanding of the purpose of SLP’s. It is unclear at this point whether or not we can attribute this to Pathbrite itself of the more focused and purposeful approach to SLP’s as a Grade 7 educational community.
The challenge that emerged throughout the process was the issue of the value of Student Learning Profiles in general. Although not the majority, there are still a number of students and parents who are not convinced SLP’s are an important part of the learning process. As well, students indicated that they did not feel that they were able to understand themselves more as learners because of their work with Pathbrite. However, we wonder if this can be attributed to our students having spent a lot of time exploring themselves as learners over the years. Also, because our pilot project was only for four months, the timeframe for students to understand themselves more as learners could have been limiting. This is an area that would be interesting to further explore.
In our conversations regarding Pathbrite and our journey, participants at a recent conference held at our school InnovateWest, suggested that providing an authentic and safe audience and assessing SLP’s might add value for some students. Perhaps this is something as a grade team that could be discussed further with students.
Launching into next year we have several offerings. With the overall successes of our pilot project using Pathbrite for SLP’s, we suggest it could be worthwhile to engage all teachers and students at our school in using Pathbrite. The power and value with an initiative related to learner growth and insight requires several years to come to fruition. It could be interesting and meaningful to use SLP’s to inform the reporting process. We would suggest there could be power in using the Pathbrite SLP’s as a student’s report card.
Part 1: Profiling SLP's
Part 2: Student Learning Plans: Choosing a Platform
Part 3: Student Learner Profiles: Student Voices