Sunday, January 26, 2020

2020 #DTA: #VWEDU: The Digital Teaching Assistant can encourage practice in metacognition. Thinking about thinking for learning about learning


The Digital Teaching Assistant can 
encourage practice in metacognition.  
Thinking about thinking for 
learning about learning
Metacognition is a big word for a simple concept: Thinking about the way you think (or learn) and how you can improve on that.  A Digital Teaching Assistant can present tasks that stimulate that kind of thinking as it works with students.  Those tasks can be presented as part of normal homework to get the student used the treating those tasks as a normal part of homework.


Fixed mindset

  • "I can't do XXX!"
  • Growth mindset: "I can't do XXX, yet"
  • Educators are familiar with the fixed mindset. 
  • We don't believe it, of course.  But how can we undo it?
  • We tell them they can do it.  They are too polite to challenge us on that.
  • "If you think I can do it, tell me how!"
  • "I tried to think, but nothing happened," Curly Howard.
  • We give them a booklet telling them how to study.  
  • We tell them to study that! 

How the DTA can nudge toward metacognition

  • After the break
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How the DTA can nudge toward metacognition  

  • The teacher can tell.  The DTA can ask.
  • The teacher can't be there when they are studying.
  • The DTA can be right there with them any time they study.
  • The DTA can manage the study content.  
  • And the DTA can ask questions that call for thinking about how they study.
  • Below are a few examples of such metacognitive questions.
  • These are examples. They would not be used constantly.
  • They would probably not be used at all with A-level students.
  • Maybe only once in a while with B-level students.
  • And more frequently down the grade scale.

At the start

  • DTA: Your current assignment is Chapter 1. To get you started, here are the title, and summary.
  • DTA:  When you finish reading this starter stuff, what questions are you thinking of?
  • DTA:  Type those questions in the 3 boxes below.
  • The DTA will make the questions available to the teacher, who may give feedback.
  • The DTA may give indirect feedback in the form of good examples.
  • But the main function of the request is to cause the student to think of questioning as a study device. 
  • Yeah--thinking about studying.
  • Note that this challenge can be used anywhere in a reading assignment. 

After reading a section

  • The DTA presents reading material one section at a time.  The student clicks the  Next section button to advance
  • DTA:  Before you go to the next section, let's be sure of what you got in this section.  
  • DTA: What are the three most important things you got from this section?
  • DTA: Write them in the 3 boxes below.
  • Again, the DTA will send the answers  to the teacher and give examples of good answers.
  • But the request will cause the student to reflect on the reading.
  • _
  • Reflection:
  • "Think about how you study and look for ways to do it better."
  • Learning from reflection (search)
  • Reflective practice
  • Scholarly articles for learning from reflection

After reading the assignment

  • The student completes the assignment by clicking the Finish button.
  • DTA: What are three questions that are likely to be on a test about this chapter?
  • DTA: Put them in the 3 boxes below. 

Key word practice

  • DTA: This assignment used terms (in bold) that might be new some people.  
  • DTA: In the 3 boxes below put 3 of those terms and tell what they mean.
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