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Agency and perspective

For the final week of #el30 I would like to consider some of what Stephen Downes presents in his intro to the topic of Agency (below in blue). These initial words sparked so much in me, that they were catalyst enough for a post. My thoughts are interspersed with bits from Stephen’s intro (in blue) and ideas presented by Sylvia Baldiris and Jutta Triveranus, his guests for the week’s hour-long video chat.

In Stephen’s intro he asks:

How do we ensure that what we project to the world is what we want to project, both as teachers and learners? 

I’d like to turn this on its head. How do we ensure what we project is receivable? Just as there is no one way to teach or learn, when we project, can this be received? Let’s think literally. Humour me with a metaphor: A projection, of a film can be seen. Can be seen by all seated in a theatre. Can be seen by those in the theatre if the lights are off. You can’t see it from the street. Seeing requires certain conditions and the same is true of any projection. Receiving is one step further along the line of engagement.

For me, the ‘what’ of the projection is the basics, and in considering agency, there is a need to not only project but to also consider (and I mean actively) the conditions that facilitate and enable people to receive and act upon what is projected. Read More »Agency and perspective

Linking Skills, Feedback, and Assessment to develop Student Agency and Deep Learning

After giving a workshop it was suggested I write an article based on the principles. I have submitted it to present at the 2018 Learning and Teaching Conference at my university. There is not proceedings or publication from it, so I am sharing here. Slides are embedded below the text.


This article examines the concept of constructive alignment in learning (Biggs, 2005) and how integrating reflective practice throughout teaching and learning, encourages deeper learning experiences. Teachers are encouraged to aligning learning outcomes, activities, feedback, and assessment to benefit students as they progress from learning and preparing for assessment to achievement. Recognising and understanding the student perspective is essential to understanding the balance of how taught material, experience, and avenues for application of learned skills can impact student engagement. The principles of student self-efficacy beliefs (Bandura, 1986) and the influence these have on student’s self-regulation of their learning behaviors (Zimmerman, 1998; Schunk & Usher, 2013) is explored. The importance of integrating feedback in accessible ways and providing opportunities for students to develop their agency throughout learning is highlighted and presented alongside practical suggestions for teaching.

Keywords: feedback, assessment, learning design, student agency, reflection


Across higher education there is great variety and diversity in the spaces used for learning, from the indoor traditional lecture hall with one teacher speaking to hundreds of students, to small-group seminar or lab type environments, to one-to-one teaching or tutorial sessions, to the on-site placement learning that takes students into the professional workplace. Each affords different dynamics and possibilities for skills development, interaction, and feedback. The size, shape, and context of teaching and learning spaces impacts how teachers structure content and how students approach learning.Read More »Linking Skills, Feedback, and Assessment to develop Student Agency and Deep Learning