Using the Interactive Jagged Profile Tool to Understand Learner Variability
Ask preservice educators why they want to become teachers, and you may hear, “I enjoyed school, and love to learn.” The education system ‘worked’ for a majority of students who seek to become educators; it matched their strengths for how to engage, take in information, and demonstrate their learning. However, today’s K12 classrooms consist of a wide range of students who each bring their own set of interests, strengths, and experiences to the classroom.
Creating a Learner Profile
As Todd Rose shared in his TED Talk, The Myth of Average, every student brings with them their own jagged learner profile. It’s necessary for us to shift future educators to see their learner experience is truly that- their own experience. Understanding learner variability in our classrooms plays a critical role as a prerequisite to designing instruction that supports every student.
We can do this by facilitating our preservice teachers to look at their own learner variability. At this year’s 8th Annual CAST UDL Symposium: Learner Voice, Learning Key shared the new Interactive Jagged Learner Profile tool. This tool allows users to rate themselves across different dimensions, and then see an anonymous display of their responses as well as their peers.
As educators, we “optimize relevance, value, and authenticity (UDL Checkpoint 7.2)”. What is more authentic than having our future educators consider their own variability within the context of their college classrooms? Teacher educators can then guide preservice teachers through the connection between learner variability and instructional design decisions. “Look at how different your profiles appear from one another- what could I do as your professor with this in mind?”
Image Description: Two individual Jagged Profiles visually represent the variability across individuals across 7 self-rated dimensions including critical thinking, creative thinking, technology literacy, flexibility, initiative, social skills, and leadership, rated on a scale from 0-10. (Images from https://learningkeyworks.com/)
Try it Out
Are you ready to try it out with your own students? Here’s how:
- Register for an account with LearningKeyworks
- Log in, select Tools, then Interactive Jagged Profile
- Create a New Group
- Name Your Group (Consider naming this for the course you teach, e.g., EDF 1234)
- Use the default Item Set or click Create a New Item Set
- Enter your Item Set Title (e.g., 21st Century Skills)
- Provide an optional description of your item set.
- Click “Add an Item” and add dimension (e.g., flexibility, focus)
- Repeat for each dimension.
- Save when complete.
- Click Share for a link to distribute to others.
After your students access the link, they will rate themselves on each dimension using a slider. They will be able to view their profile and see how they compare to others. As the creator, you can view all responses and use the provided graphs to facilitate discussion.
Continue the Conversation
We’d love to hear how you use this tool with your own students. What are other ways you prepare your preservice educators to consider learner variability? What has worked for you? What challenges have you faced? We’d love to have you share out in the CIDDL community.