Learning to Learn

Our Learning to Learn research strand is concerned with the diverse initiatives that encourage students to be more aware of themselves as independent learners.  

Projects in this strand are focusing on: feedback strategies; self-reflection; critical thinking; discussion based learning; assessment; and study skills.

Some example of projects in this strand include: 


The impact of feedback strategies on pupil progress- Elen Harris, Geography 

Elen Harris is investigating the impact of feedback strategies on pupil progress by trialling the use of exercise books with dedicated sections for feedback and student reflections. The study will compare a student group who will continue to experience existing feedback strategies, with a student group who will use the exercise book and have feedback guided by the DIRT principal (Directed Improvement and Reflection Time). A metacognition test will be completed by all students at the start and end of the year to quantitatively ascertain the impact of these feedback strategies on pupil performance.

Harkness discussion-based learning in the History classroom- Rachel McQuillin, History 

While developing her use of Harkness discussion-based learning in the History classroom, Rachel MCQuillin is interested in trying to identify and measure the impact, if any, this style of teaching and learning has on her students. She is interested in exploring whether Harkness discussions have an impact on students’ learning in History, their confidence in independent thinking and making their own judgements, active reading skills, essay writing, and ability to critically engage with historians’ perspectives. 

How does marking aid student learning? Anna Mack, History

Anna Mack is interested in the way Assessment for Learning strategies can help students to develop greater autonomy. Anna is exploring how students reflect on comments made on their work and to feedback more generally, and recent research that suggests a piece of work with a mark and comments has the same effect on progress as a mark given without comments.  This might suggest that the time spent marking with detailed comments might be better spent on other forms of marking and feedback.

See our recent ITL newsletter to find out more about all of these projects