MY JOURNEY BEGINS……
This course was my first experience with creating a formal agreement for my own learning, that is, Learning Contract. I reviewed the timetable for the INTAPT Course – week 1 and noticed that we were required to create and submit our learning contracts on day two of the course. I subsequently spent many hours reading both the course material provided on the topic and information online to try to understand what a learning contract was. Once I was satisfied that I had gained enough knowledge about the topic, it was on to deciphering and distinguishing the component of the learning contract. Even though some of these components seemed quite similar to me, each required a different set of details for description.
It was evident that a learning contract was not a superficial venture but one that required a lot of thought, should be grounded in learning theories, requires keywords obtained from relevant taxonomy domains and most importantly, contain SMART objectives. It is these objectives for knowledge, skills and attitudes that specify the self-directed educational achievement to which one aspires. My introduction to Bloom’s Taxonomy, and the different levels of demonstrating learning, occurred during that first week. I had to do further reading to finally understand what these levels meant in terms of stages of the learner and the importance of using verbs appropriate to the learner’s level.
Feedback points on the first iteration of my learning contract sparked confusion to some extent but as the weeks went by and my experience evolved that feeling changed. When it came time to complete the second iteration of this learning contract, it was clear to me what those points were about. As I created the second contract and compared the two, I could see the transformation of the first contract into the required document. That is, using only first level taxonomy objective, in the knowledge, skills and attitude domain. I was now able to create a learning contract that was SMART.
Overall, I am satisfied that I have learned a great deal. Having a document to review periodically as a measure of one’s progress is quite helpful. I have seen how my perception and understanding have evolved just by simply completing these two versions at different time points in my journey. I have a deep appreciation for the use of learning contracts as way-marks in my teaching and learning endeavors.