Friday, 19 June 2015

Learning re Google Apps for Education

I have passed the Basics Exam for Google Apps for Education (GAFE). A small start.

Some reflections on the process

 In some areas, of interest perhaps, I have gone much further and deeper than the exam required. In other areas I needed to 'review' as the exam suggested.
While I have done the learning and have 'passed' the exam I still feel somewhat underhand and shamefaced that I both required and used the opportunity for further review. Why?

Interesting that to me the word exam immediately conjures up the idea of cramming and preparing and of failing if I don't do this well enough.

I did the Basics lessons, practices on the various elements and answered the self-review questions, mostly right so I thought I was on track.

So what happened?

Once I hit a few questions in the exam where I didn't know if I was correct in my multi-choice answer, I decided to go back to the element and have another go or search it so as to find out 'the answer'. I decided to do this based on the facts that:
  • I was here to learn rather than pass or fail an exam so better to learn it now
  • In two months time the learning is the important thing not the exam pass or fail
  • The GAFE exam tool recommended to review questions so it must be okay mustn't it?
  • Some of the questions were... "Really? I 've go no idea even though I've been using Chrome for years and I've never needed to do that specific action and was it in the lessons 'cos I did those."
  • If I failed the exam I would going back to the lessons again but I would not know where I should focus. This would be disheartening and I might find it all too hard and even give up.
Even though I have now 'passed' I would still like to know what questions I got wrong so as to learn what I obviously missed, misunderstood, or just plain got wrong.

Effective feedback is so important -  it  needs to be timely, specific and with next steps. I like Hattie and Timperley's 'three questions'. for effective feedback. Elegant, in it's simplicity, as the mathematicians would say.

As an independent learner I did what I felt I needed to learn.

Perhaps on reflection I have missed the whole point. Perhaps I could have reviewed every answer I submitted and know that I would in fact get 100%.
Either that or maybe as well as that a multi-choice assessment is not the best way to assess this learning. Could be that is why the Google Educator exams are currently being reworked. I'll find out as that is my next goal.

Thanks to Allanah King for her reflections on becoming a Google Certified Educator. It gave me some ideas.

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