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CSLE + COVA
Creating Significant Learning Environments is what we all strive to do as educators. It is why you have come across this site. You are looking for something to help in your classroom to provide students with a better learning experience. If you think of your most successful lessons where students were fully engaged, we often think of projects that the students had the most independence in the learning process. When students are engaged in this manner, it is normally through a limited form of COVA.
So, what is COVA?
COVA is an acronym that describes the ingredients needed to develop a significant learning environment when we are developing curriculum and practicing pedagogy.
Choice: The freedom of choice to determine the path the learner will take to demonstrate the learning that has occurred to meet the goal. The choice of the product, the choice of media to produce that product, whether it is a video, paper, slide deck, flipchart, presentation, or a combination of these media lead to ownership.
Ownership: Freedom of choice leads to ownership. The learner is invested in the outcome by exercising choice. More important than ownership of the project is ownership of the learning to complete the project. The student takes ownership of the learning required to produce the product.
Voice: Voice is one of the important features of COVA. Voice is about more than speaking up. It is the ‘voice’ of ownership and choice. Yes someone who has an invested interest in their product through choice and ownership is more likely to speak up. It is their ‘voice’ throughout the project that shapes and defines their learning and the product produced as a result.
Authentic Learning: Authentic learning is the result of the student utilizing choice, ownership, and voice. Think of it as a formula; C + O + V = A, or more accurately, COV = A. Instead of adding the results, it is multiplied just as in the latter formula. As teachers, we act more as guides to the learning, keeping learning on track. Steering students toward the goal, not through being the font of knowledge ourselves, guiding the learner through feed-forward. Keeping the learner from going on tangents that will lead them away from the learning goal. As educators, authentic learning is our goal.
Find Out More:
COVA is an acronym that describes the ingredients needed to develop a significant learning environment when we are developing curriculum and practicing pedagogy. The link below will take you to Dr. Dwyane Harapnuik’s CSLE + COVA web page. He is the lead developer of the CSLE+COVA mindset at Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas.