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Collaborative Learning Environments: Setting The Standards With Trello

collaborate learning: standards based learning environment

For high school pre-calculus teacher Rik Rowe, adding technology to his classroom seemed like a logical fit. His high school students were already on their devices all the time, so why not bring the classroom to a place that they were already dialed into?

Standards Based Breakdown

Rik discovered Trello as the ideal way to centralize his classroom’s workflow. As he puts it, “Our class is a collaborative learning environment, and so is Trello.”

Rik’s classroom is a standards-based learning environment, and each Trello card is the standard by which the students assess what they have learned. In standards-based learning, curriculums are broken down into core concepts. Students are required to master the concepts in each standard before moving on to the next.

Students are added to the Trello card that corresponds to the standard they are currently working on, then the card goes through the process of “Now Learning,” “To Be Assessed,” and “Assessed.” Rik attaches assignments, discussion questions, and adds due dates so that students on the corresponding card can reference it for any resources and timelines.

“I can lay out that this is our current marking period, these are our goals, and this is the progress,” Rik explains. “Trello shows where we are with each standard or learning outcome, and where the student is in that process.”

Discussion Outside The Classroom

Rik explains that one of the most essential elements of Trello is the centralized space where he can collaborate with his class. “Previously there had not ever been a platform that teachers shared with their students, and why not?”

On the Trello boards he makes for each class, the students are able to use the board as a forum to ask not only Rik questions, but also each other. Often he finds his students are answering each other’s questions before he even has a chance. Using the “Activity” section of the card back, discussion surrounding that standard occurs back and forth using the @mention feature.

Trello in the collaborate learning classroom

A Platform For Learning

Collaborative learning Trello board

One of the greatest benefits for Rik has been the ability to provide a high level perspective to his students about what they are learning. Instead of just jumping into lesson after lesson, students are able to see the process they are taking to ingest the material. Teaching a subject like pre-calculus, for example, requires building upon concepts in order to tackle the next one. Students can scroll through a Trello board and easily see the journey to each lesson, and are also able to see what is next.

“Trello lets me as a teacher have a platform where I can go and have our lessons, our curriculum, our flow, and our standards, and all of my students can get there as well.”

Special thank you to Rik Rowe for being a pioneer of Trello in the classroom, and spreading the good word!

Hey, teachers! Check out these resources made for educators to learn more about going back to school with Trello. Go Back to School with Trello!