There’s a large body of research that supports a shift in the role of the teacher from the traditional lecturer to that of facilitator, where students become co-constructors of meaning as the class engages with the content. In the rapid move to online learning, many educators turned to innovative means to involve students in cocreating knowledge in virtual learning environments.
This cocreation can continue as we head back to the classroom, and whether students are participating in online or in-person learning, cocreated notes are a helpful tool to increase ownership and empower students to take part in meaning-making in the classroom.
The teacher and students generate cocreated notes as class unfolds. The structure and format may vary, but the fundamental principle remains the same. As the teacher delivers content, they utilize questioning and discussion to elicit connections and synthesis from the students. For example, rather than simply presenting a new vocabulary word, the teacher may ask students to share any background knowledge they may have as to the word’s meaning and include a student-generated definition in the shared notes.
As students reveal their thoughts, they contribute information to a shared document that the class organizes together. The teacher highlights important pieces of information to ensure understanding, and this results in teachable moments that the teacher can utilize to clarify important concepts.