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  • Writer's pictureJanelle Safford

The COVA Learning Approach

How might the COVA learning approach impact your learning in the Ed Tech/DLL program?

I believe that embracing the COVA approach during my time in this program will definitely increase my learning.  This approach takes into consideration the natural human desire to have choice and control in any situation. Having the ability to choose how I will learn as well as how I will demonstrate my learning is vital to the engagement, motivation, and persistence needed to be successful in this program.  Everything I learn will eventually be something I can use in a real career. This brings ‘authenticity’ to my learning which in turn will elevate the importance of effort and true conceptual learning on my part. “Authentic learning projects, designed to create ill-defined problems, mimic the types of problems that students will confront after graduation. They put the emphasis on the mode of discovery, not the answer, helping students develop the critical thinking skills necessary to reach a conclusion.” (Windham, 2007)

Does the COVA model appeal to you and could this work toward fixing the issues identified with traditional didactic models of teaching and learning?

The COVA model appeals to me personally because I have an end goal in mind and I understand that I have the resources and abilities necessary to take control of my own learning.  I also believe that a deeper level of understanding occurs when a learner(myself) is given an opportunity for choice, voice and ownership.

Do I think that the COVA approach to learning could change the way traditional teaching is delivered in classrooms today?  I HOPE SO!  However, I think that there will need to be an effort among teachers and school officials to learn this shift in thought and philosophy.  

Another roadblock that I foresee with applying the COVA method to traditional learning is the amount of time required for deeper learning to occur.  Today’s students are expected to learn so many different topics that deeper, reflective learning is simply not practical. Teachers feel pressure to cover all of the TEKS required and are hesitant to relinquish the control and time necessary for personalized learning to take place.  I am not advocating this, however in my experience this is the current reality in the majority of classrooms today.

What part of the COVA learning approach might challenge you the most? Which part(s) do you perceive as beneficial?

I think ‘choice’ will challenge me the most.  I often second guess my decisions and doubt my abilities when it comes to deciding on a topic.  It is much easier for me to simply do what someone else tells me to do.  I feel a sense of safety when I can stay within a certain parameter when completing an assignment or job.  However, my logical brain tells me that is the point to incorporating choice into my learning.  I think it forces me to really consider my options and allows me to develop learning goals and choose how I demonstrate learning very carefully.  In other words, considering my options and choosing a tool forces me to truly assimilate new knowledge and how I would like to show what I have learned.     

What resources (content, video, media, etc.) might you use to help you develop your own voice in your ePortfolio?

This video by George Kuh describes how eportfolios were chosen as the 11th High Impact Practice HIP by the AAC&U. (George Kuh, 2016)

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