Monday, 28 October 2013

Using Hapara to Help Guide Student Learning

Research shows that constructive, immediate feedback, and anecdotal comments given in a timely manner, result in greater student learning (Chappuis, 2007.Hapara is a tool that supports personalized learning in this key, strategic way. Leveraging Google Apps, Hapara allows teachers to get a snapshot view of each student’s most recent work in Docs, Sites, Blogger and Picasa.

Hapara creates shared folders between students and their teachers where student work is kept. From here, teachers can see the initiation and process of student learning, and even the final product of individual student work. They can support learning during the process by provide timely feedback and by designing strategic in-class learning experiences. Watch the video below for a demo of how Hapara can help teachers support the learning process.

I have used Hapara to assess students' homework prior to class and then to organize their next class based on readiness. I no longer need to wait until they are in class to take in their homework, nor do I have to assess it, and then design the learning for the following class. Through Hapara, I use their understandings immediately and design learning experiences appropriately.

I can guide some students to engage in learning activities that reinforce the learning, while students who have demonstrated a solid understanding of the previous lesson can extend their learning. This allows me to work more directly with the students in each group to help them achieve their learning goals at a pace that is appropriate for them. This immediate feedback gives students a strong sense of their own understanding, and ensures that they know the lesson before moving on to the next concept and/or skill.

Garth Nichols
Teacher, Student Adviser Program Coordinator

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