Making thinking visible

Learning becomes more effective when students can visualise their thinking. This can include setting goals, writing down the steps when solving a problem, and making annotations. Teachers can benefit from seeing students’ goals, concepts, and progress. Making thinking visible fits with a view of learning as a constructive activity. Students create knowledge by interacting with tools and resources. As they do so, they leave traces of their thinking in the form of written marks and interactions with digital media such as videos. Technology-enhanced assessment prompts students to show their working as they solve problems and receive automated feedback. Some systems also allow students to pose questions and discuss their progress with teachers and peers during a learning activity. These visible records of students’ personal and social learning can become resources for reflection. Teachers can see how each student is progressing towards mastery of a topic and can identify where students are blocked or have misunderstood a topic.

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