Listening to Learner Voice

By Murray Bourne, 23 Oct 2006

Futurelab has an interesting article about Learner Voice (no longer available), which is an initiative that advocates an institutionalised requirement to listen to learners.

What tools or methods, if any, are being used for listening to learners' voices?

  • Does the school or college offer a range of different types and levels of engagement to understand and respond to the needs of learners?
  • Are there different opportunities and ways for learners to have an input and an impact on decisions?
  • Are there alternative or more effective ways of involving learners that have not yet been used?
  • Can new technologies provide alternative approaches that empower learners?

There is a lot fear about the concept of letting learners have a say in classroom decisions and curriculum content. The fear is that there might be a loss of "face" and a loss of control. But it doesn't have to be that way. One pre-requisite for passion in learning is that the learner has ownership of the learning - and that requires the educator to listen to the learners' voices.

So allow blogs and allow wikis. Better yet, build them intelligently into the learning design.

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