Total Learning Architecture Project - Lake Harding Association

Total Learning Architecture Project

Total Learning Architecture Project

By Micah Moen 0 Comment August 14, 2019


The purpose of the Georgia Total
Learning Architecture (TLA) demonstration is to show how a state wide open ecosystem
built on technical standards can enable a blend of traditional virtual and
personalized competency-based learning. Hi I’m Caitlin McMunn Dooley Deputy
Superintendent for Teaching and Learning at the Georgia Department of Education.
We’ve been working hard to transform the Georgia Department of Education into an
agency dedicated to helping our school districts serve the whole child. This
summer Georgia embarked on a bold new approach
leveraging an open learning architecture conceptualized by the Department of
Defense Advanced Learning research group ADL. This total learning architecture is
an evolving set of standardized web services to facilitate responsible
sharing of essential learning processes in progress data between applications.
Hello I’m Dr. Keith Osburn Associate Superintendent for Georgia Virtual
Learning. This innovation is being led by Georgia Virtual Learning which operates
the Georgia Virtual School. Georgia Department of Education Georgia Virtual
is a SACS CASI accredited institution and
operates in partnership with schools and parents to offer middle and high school
level courses across the state. Georgia virtual provides a teacher led
virtual classroom environment and has over 100 course offerings in the core
content areas as well as world languages, CTAE, electives, and a vast AP course
selection. This state developed curriculum is made available outside of
the virtual classroom as open educational resources for use in local
programs or for personalized learning and independent study. Georgia Virtuals
TLA vision is not just a system or a platform while it does provide secure
access to online courses and operates as a supplemental school it’s also an
architecture for an open ecosystem providing core services such as a single
sign-on to learning management online tools and secure teacher access to
student records, learning standard services to enable common alignment of
assessment and instruction around student expectations, and
open-access library of high-quality learning resources which can be easily
searched to discover and select the most effective content for each student or a
group of students, Learning Management for course delivery, and a “Learning
Records Store” containing records of student learning experiences work in
activities as evidence of mastery expressed as “Competency Assertions” and awarded “Badges”. We’re going to build on our successes at Georgia virtual
learning and pilot a focused implementation of the Total Learning
Architecture vision. We’re using computer science to build the initial Proof of
Concept and already have most of the pieces in place. The challenge is
coordinating the sharing of learning experiences and progress data across
systems and institutions securely and in a consistent form. We decided to start
with computer science because there’s a growing recognition of its importance in
preparing the next generation of Georgia learners. Additionally, there’s an
openness to new teaching and learning models and tools in the domain. There are
nearly ten times as many computer science jobs as there are qualified
applicants to fill them. Additionally, minority and female students are
underrepresented and missing some of the best opportunities for upward mobility.
The approach is to provide learners with a range of learning experiences in the
classroom, after school, and for self-directed learning, all aligned to
computer science skills and learning pathways. While we are starting with
computer science we intend this work to extend to all subjects over time. We set
a few initial goals. First, to create new types of embedded assessments that go
beyond state summative assessments. Instead, now choosing to focus on timely
feedback of progress and asserting the whole learner. Also, we set a goal to
enable transferability of competency assertions in an open ecosystem to
support any time, any place, any pace learning, in school, out of school, and
online. We believe that the component technology services we are putting in
place are indispensable to enable schools to transform to enable
personalized competency-based learning. The starting point for this change is a
new technical specification from IMS – global called CASE, The Competency and
Academic Standards Exchange. Georgia is the first state to use the standard to
publish our Georgia Standards of Excellence in this new format. Until now,
Georgia, like most other states, published our academic standards in PDF form. While this was okay for humans to read the standards typically needed to be retyped
or imported into each digital resource learning tool and environment
independently often with incompatible formats. To solve that problem, now, we’re
using an open source CASE tool called OpenSalt to publish our Georgia
Standards of Excellence in machine readable form with unique reference
identifiers that can be managed and automatically updated assuring everyone
uses the same and current references. This is actually one of the most costly
and vexing challenges for districts looking to transition to digital
materials and assessment tools. In support of our Proof-of-Concept,
Georgia is developing a set of pathways for computer science and computational
thinking. This is done in public Consulting Group’s OpenSalt application
incorporating explicit crosswalks on lining our standards to both the
national computer science teacher association framework and local district
and program specific standards. That way resources aligned at the national and
state level can be discovered and assigned using each districts locally
managed learning targets. Once the learning standards are published as data,
the curriculum team at Georgia Virtual uses an open source content management
tool to select and align high-quality learning content to the Standards of
Excellence for Computer Sciences and organize them into reusable units and
modules. With the content organized intact with the Georgia standards of
excellence any educator a student or system can discover this content and
included in course sequences or as part of personalize “playlists”. This is exactly
what we are doing for this pilot in Georgia Virtual. Georgia Virtual course
developers use the D2L learning management systems LTI tool to select
the appropriate units and modules from the statewide CMS acting as the “Tool
Provider”. Developers can search or browse CMS for a line in vetted parts were
simply select and use the organized units and modules within their LMS to
assemble the course content and sequence it as a complete program. The process
results in a course populated with content aligned to the most current
state and district standards which can be centrally updated and managed but
used across all the districts in the state. The next step in the course
creation process is to set up the assessment elements of the course
instance. This is done within the LMS directly by adding gradable assignments.
One of the activities included in our example CS course is a culminating
project that is part of a Code.org lesson. The link to that interactive
lesson is included as a “Performance Task” assessment of the students ability
to “Decompose problems into smaller components through systematic analysis
using constructs such as procedures modules and/or objects”. This is one of
the CS “Competencies” in the CASE framework and the teacher must create an
evaluation rubric for the students work on this coding challenge to determine
how well she mastered that competency what is termed the competency level. This
is done in the D2L assessment module by crafting a new or using an existing
rubric; the same rubric that can be included in the CASE computer science
framework itself. Now that the course and these assessment elements are complete,
students are able to take the course. George’s next generation of learners can
assess learning resources in both personalized pathways and through group
managed courses. For example, within the introduction to computer science course
there are rich interactive activities available at Code.org. The Georgia course
uses select activities of the full Code.org course. Through the CMS LTI linking
either a whole Code.org course or a smaller course component such as a
specific culminating activity can be included within the Georgia Virtual
course sequence. Students are instructed to take a screenshot when they complete
their Code.org activity and submit it to their teacher through automated Dropbox
integration using a simple “I Did it” Chrome extension or a handy mobile app
to capture evidence of learning. Similarly, students might take a
sure of their toothpick bridge physics project or music performance for
evaluation by the teacher. These new Georgia tools make it easy for students
and teachers to capture learning activities assigned or not formal or
informal. The learning activities become part of their learning record store and
trigger teacher evaluations of that student work. Student activities that are
graded assignments and culminating activities are evaluated by the teacher
or a system using a competency rubric that is constructed as part of the
course assessment plan. The teacher’s evaluation produces a record we are
calling a competency assertion. These assertions can be stored in the LRS and
awarded as an automated badge to the student using the open badges standard
or OBI. The portable badge contains a link to the mastered competency in
GeorgiaStandards.org and a secure access link to the student’s work as
evidence of their level of mastery. It’s also another gate along the career
learning pathway. These awarded badges are presented to learners as a step
along a pathway to some larger career goals, such as a college degree, the
military, or even an entry point to one’s career. Once attained, badges open
gateways to new and progressively more rigorous learning opportunities. In more
traditional settings students often achieve passing grades for credit
without mastering the full set of competencies targeted by the class. As a
result by the time they graduate high school and attempt to make the
transition to college, military, or workforce, many have huge gaps in their
learning. Colleges are forced to remediate these gaps by requiring
students to take full courses which out course credit towards their
post-secondary degree to ensure that these gaps are filled. This is among the
barriers that result in less than half of students who enroll in state and
community colleges completing their degrees and one of the driving forces
for this Proof of Concept. Learning pathways are not the only benefit of
this architecture. The Learning Record Store captures all student activities
and outcomes in real time. With these data, we were able to identify trends and
patterns and learning behavior and academic performance use then to effectively alert instructors and administrators
targeting academic interventions when and where they’re most needed. These data enable the creation of predictive models based on the alignment of educational
activity and learning outcomes and provide the big data set needed to drive
insights and leverage developments in student-centered learning. Hello
my name is Richard Woods State School Superintendent of Georgia. How can you
help? Your partnership allows us to explore and realize this vision. Georgia
Virtual Learning is committed to leading the way in building the future of
personalized competency-based education. The experience gained through this
initial total learning architecture or TLA computer science Proof of Concept
will be leveraged to a full-scale pilot quickly. while starting with CS, we will
take what we learn and apply it to other subjects in Career Pathways
progressively.

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