In preparation for our DML V Trust Challenge Workshop held at DML 2015 Conference, we asked grantees to answer three questions that we planned to workshop as part of a larger design exercise. The following represent the questions and answers provided by Global Gateway.
1. How does your project change or contribute to the narrative around trust in the larger conversation?
Our platform (viflearn.com) is designed as a trusted inquiry-based learning environment in which teachers from around the world are engaged in experimentation and learning to develop as globally competent educators. An open feedback loop currently exists where teachers are creating learning products and self-reflecting as part of that process, but there is no feedback or collaboration external to the self-reflection.
The opportunity to build trust that our project seeks to address is creating structure for peer review that leads to deeper collaboration and mentoring relationships. The purpose of our entire platform is to support teacher autonomy and growth in this trustworthy space.
2. What challenges do you foresee as you implement your project, and what might others in the DML community be able to offer in the way of support or solutions?
Conceptually, we need to understand how to incentivize teacher participation, the "opting in" to a work conversation and review. Teachers in a punitive, top-down environment likely have experiences of non-constructive feedback; Institutional limitations have also created a skill gap in constructive critique — this creates a distrustful space. We are currently using small pilot program feedback, existing peer review research and other critique-driven community models to define user outcomes as our incentive foundation.
Our platform uses the Joomla CMS for infrastructure, and we are thrilled to partner with Little Bird Games, which will allow us to integrate our badging system and existing peer review models utilizing best practices in game design. We need to understand how best to create a collaborative workspace that interacts seamlessly with the existing community of practice, while also being able to plug in to another system.
3. What do you foresee the impact of your project will be once it is implemented (particularly in terms of the conversation around trust)?
Our system will be built to be content-agnostic. The system could be applied to any adult-learner system, and the framework can be applied to other systems. Peer review is about co-construction of knowledge, iteration and improvement. Our intent is to develop a system that incorporates best practices, tools and resources for formative and summative feedback to effectively support collaboration and self- and peer-directed learning.