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KWL Charts in Canvas Discussions

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I am an Upper Primary teacher in Australia and I often use KWL charts as thinking proformas for formative assessment of student understanding. A KWL chart, for those of you who are unfamiliar, is a three column chart split up into K-What students know, W- What students want to know and L- What students have learnt. It is a good tuning in activity to see what questions students have about a topic and what prior knowledge they have of the topic.

I wanted to utilise this activity in Canvas so that students could record their thinking and observe other's thinking so I have slightly adapted it and completed the activity in Discussions. An example of this setup in Discussions with an activity I did on 20th Century Australian Democracy is below.

  Rights of people in Australia in the 20th Century- KWL

Know- What rights did different groups of people have in Australia in the 20th Century?

Want to know- What questions do you have about the rights of people in Australia in the 20th Century?

Learn- Document your learnings throughout the unit.

Please choose the correct colour text when responding. Green for what you know, blue for what you want to know and purple for what you have learnt.

Using different colour fonts works really well as it is clear what question the student is answering. It is also a place where students can come back to at anytime to record their learnings. It then becomes a bit like a learning journal and the teacher can keep track of who is posting what. I also utilise the 'Users must post before seeing replies' button so you get students initial understandings that haven't simply been copied from the discussion.

Using discussions in Canvas has allowed for a more formal way for formative assessment as it is clear what each student has written and each student can be assessed inidivdually. It has value added to the original task and therefore was something I thought might be worth sharing.

1 Comment
Community Coach
Community Coach

I love this idea

KWLs rule. So handy for planning and keeping track. We used to throw in an H as well. KWHL.

HOW are you going to find out and present your findings? 

Discussions rock!