Sep 8, 2012

Self-Directedness Game

Student Self-Directedness Game

Agile Learning is highly collaborative and empowering to students, with students rapidly taking ownership over their own learning while the teacher shifts to the back of the room as a coach.
As I help teachers implement Agile Learning in the classroom, a reoccuring fear is that the classroom will slip into chaos and that students will not focus on the learning outcomes. I usually suggest to teachers to start out by making learning and the Agile process visibile, with the teacher still control. As the teacher and learner grows in confidence of the process, begin turning up the dial for students to begin taking control of their learning.

Most classrooms are not ready, students and teachers, to deep dive into full student autonomy. The current education system has developed teachers and students to learn to do the opposite, and teh self-directedness muscles are not yet build up.  The beauty of Agile Learning is that the teacher can turn up and down self-directedness in any area of the framework. To make this easy and collaborative, I have started developing the Student Self-Directedness Card Game. I was inspired by several sources, mostly Jurgen Appelo's Management 3.0's Delegation Poker for Agile teams combined with idea's from Dr. Gerald Grow's article "Teaching Learners to be Self-Directed".

This is still a very rough draft, but, felt it would be releasable enough for others to start using it and provide feedback on how to improve it. 

Self-Directedness Assumptions
    • Self-Directedness is a dial. The teacher and students will need to adjust the dial at different times.
    • Self-Directedness progresses in controlled stages. The teacher grants, and the students ask, for more empowerment in incremental and defined stages.
    • Self-Directedness is differentiated by contexts. A student or student team may be a Stage 1 in one area of their learning, but, a Stage 4 for another context. 
    Basic Usage
    The teacher chooses a context for student learning or classroom chores. She assigns a card to that context, making it visible, and explaining to the students why.
    As students move up in their self-directedness, the teacher and the students can begin playing a card game, and negotiating. The teacher can present the context, and on a count of 3, the students and the teacher flip over the level each think they should be at for that context, explaining why. Once explanations are done, the process is repeated until the teacher feels there is enough consensus or understanding. The teacher makes the final decision. This can be done with the whole class in the classroom context and with each student team, as well as individual students in special cases. The card or the Stage Number can be marked in a visible area for the context.

    The 4 Stages of Self-Directedness:
    1. Dependent: Teacher is the master. Students do not have any choice.
    2. Motivating: Teacher inspires and persuades. Teacher considers student feedback from learners.
    3. Collaborative: Input from students. Teacher provides options for students to "pull". Learners can work together with minimal supervision.
    4. Self-Directed: Teacher is "pulled" when needed by students. Learners develop own goals with agreed upon checkpoints with the teacher for coaching. Learners are in control of their own learning and are achieving their learning outcomes in their own way.

    1. Clearer and simpler descriptions for the cards. 
    2. Develop clear and fun rules to play the game in multiple contexts.
    3. Obviously need to make the look and feel better.
    4. A Self-Directedness Board for the classroom (See the Jurgen's Authority Board), with the goal of having the students at Stage 4 in each context. The excitement builds as the class goes from Stage1 in most areas in the beginning of the year to Stage 4 in almost all areas at the end of the year.
    5. May add more stages, as there may be some smaller increments that may be valuable, see Delegation Poker's 7 Levels.
    6. Specific actions to take in the Agile Learning Framework. For example. Stage 1 for Sprint Planning looks like..., Stage 4 Sprint Planning looks like.....
    7. Perhaps a Self-Directedness Burn up Chart, charting the progress of the classroom's journey throughout the year, and using it as a Retrospective tool for how to increase student Self-Directedness.

    What are your ideas in developing the Student Self-Directedness Card Game?
    Let me know if you you might want to give this a try in your classroom, I would love to get your feedback on your experience.