|Lead:||Martin Lackéus, Division of Entrepreneurship and Strategy, Chalmers University of Technology|
A task-based reflection tool using social learning media, that can embed EntreComp as learning outcomes for immediate learner feedback
‘Social learning media’ for reflection and assessment
LoopMe is an IT tool available on the web and for iOS and Android for anyone who works in individual and organisational development, and can be adapted to any learning outcomes such as those in the EntreComp framework. LoopMe puts the educational theory of ‘constructive alignment’ that aligns learning objectives and student activities with the assessment focus into practice through reflections on activities. These learning objectives as mapped to the EntreComp competences allow teachers to make causal links to understand which of their learning activities lead to the improvement of which entrepreneurial skill.
How to use LoopMe
- A teacher defines a set of learning activities into ‘task packages’ that students need to go through. This can be over the duration of a semester or school year, for example. Tasks can be performed in the classroom as well as outside, for instance in a job placement or in an extra-curricular activity.
- Upon completing each activity, each student reflects on the activity by filling in ‘loops’ in the app or on the website that are shared instantly with the teacher. Each loop consists of free-flow text, an emotional value as illustrated on an emoji scale (effectively a five-point Likert scale), and a selection of tags that categorise the reflection.
- The collected qualitative (free-flow loop and content of tags) and quantitative data (emotional value and number of tags per activity) allows the teacher to establish causation of which learning activities lead to which tags. The tags can be defined by the teacher to signify a variety of information, for example as the EntreComp skills to be learning outcomes and thus show which learning activities lead to the best improvement of the EntreComp competence.
- In addition, the instant feedback that the teacher receives through the loops allows him/her to amend their teaching based on the feedback. S/he might decide to reiterate content that has proved difficult for students or to assign more tasks to strengthen an EntreComp skill.
As an innovative communication and learning app, LoopMe uses a new approach combining the administrative abilities of a classic online learning environment for education with the best of connecting people as used in social media into ‘Social Learning Media’.
To date, LoopMe is primarily being used in three areas:
- Teaching across different school levels (primary, secondary, higher education and VET)
- Research in entrepreneurship education
- Organisational change management Other uses where feedback needs to be collected are possible.
Applicable in education, the world of work and policy-making
In addition to education, the tool may also be used by leaders in workplaces or policy-making who steer and follow organisational change, as causality can be established by studying activities in relation to how users, e.g. employees, reflect on them:
- LoopMe and human resources management: LoopMe can measure employee engagement and training of entrepreneurial competences based on EntreComp can be promoted
- LoopMe in start-up coaching and acceleration: LoopMe can be used to distribute prescriptive advice or mandatory tasks and to monitor which result in desired outcomes
- LoopMe in youth work: The tool can create a connection between the youth worker and youth between sessions; it offers robust reflection on their personal development e.g. linked to the EntreComp learning outcomes
- LoopMe in policy-making: Leaders that initiate change can understand the causality of their interventions
Through the real-time feedback from student reflections on each completed task, teachers get an overview of how their teaching works in practice. Students getting stuck can be identified through their negative reflections on tasks, and be given support. Teachers can also use information from students for fact based discussions among colleagues on how their teaching works. For students LoopMe represents an appreciated digital channel for feedback to and from their teachers and for sensitive discussions with their teachers when necessary. LoopMe thus leads to a better relationship between teachers and students without causing information overload for the teacher.
One challenge is that LoopMe requires each student to have access to a smartphone or computer in the learning environment. Being a new kind of assessment tool, it also requires teacher training in order to get started. It is furthermore difficult for teachers used to more traditional pedagogy to design action-oriented and authentic tasks that are appropriate for social learning.
Applied assessment methods
LoopMe is an example of an E-assessment tool that emphasizes Feedback Assessment. It is also based on Performance assessment through its reliance on authentic tasks to perform, and on Reflective Assessment through the mandatory reflections on completed tasks. Other theoretical foundations of LoopMe include experience sampling and learning analytics.
Examples from practice
LoopMe has been used on all levels of education since 2014. In the Erasmus Plus project ‘ELAN – Entrepreneuria Learning Assessment Network’ LoopMe was used to facilitate entrepreneurial education in lower secondary schools in Sweden, Norway and Turkey. Teachers found LoopMe to be useful for Assessment for learning and dialogue around critical learning events triggered by entrepreneurial pedagogy. Another example is from higher education, where a teacher professional development course at Linnaeus University, where 80 teachers were assigned action-oriented tasks requiring them to apply novel pedagogical theories in their own classrooms.