Episode 3 – Exemplars

In this episode, I discuss why we should be using and providing exemplars to our students and some of the best practices around how to use exemplars to improve student learning and help to create life-long learners.

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Exemplars by Daniel Jackson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Why Exemplars

  • Exemplars show students what success looks like
  • They are a great reference for feedback
  • They help improve peer feedback and student self-assessment
  • They work really well when they are directly connected to the learning goals/intentions
  • They have a positive impact on students achieving success
  • Success feels good and helps students to love learning

How to use exemplars

  • Start with an exemplar of what your students might produce as evidence of their learning by the end of your lesson, or by the end of this week.
    • Creative writing piece
    • Video explanation
    • Dramatic performance or
    • A pamphlet they could create
  • Make sure your learning goals or intentions are clearly evidenced in the exemplar
  • Ensure students understand that they do not have to replicate what you have done, but should use it as a reference to check their work
  • You will use the exemplar to help you provide feedback

Level up

  • Have more than one exemplar using different methods for achieving the same learning goal
  • Annotate your exemplar, maybe use Screencastify and make a video explanation, or use the comments/track changes section of your document to put comments that help explain why the exemplar is so good
  • Have examples at different levels that you compare and contrast with your students to help them know what is required to move from where their first draft might be to where you want them to get to
  • As they progress, highlight this and celebrate it with them.
  • Remember the more you celebrate their achievements the more they will develop their confidence in learning and the more they are likely to begin to enjoy the process.

Create your own

  • Pick 1 lesson or sequence of lessons, and create 1 exemplar that shows your students what success in that lesson or those lessons might look like.
  • Make sure you show and explain the exemplar to your students so that they understand why the exemplar is a good example of successfully achieving the learning goal/s
  • Celebrate students achievements, and use them as exemplars for each other.

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