Section 3: Interpretation & Communication

Guiding Questions:

  • How might we interpret the evidence?
  • How will we communicate the evidence of learning to others?

The final step in the toolkit is making meaning, or drawing reasonable inferences from the evidence you have collected. We are still testing and exploring how to make meaning from the data collection tools, and want to invite educators and practitioners into the conversation.

In our co-design with teachers, we have used a Field Guide as a metaphor. Field Guides are tools used to identify plants and animals in the wild. If you are looking for a Blue-winged Teal in the woods, you can use a Field Guide to show you what the bird looks like at different ages and stages in development and what it looks like soaring overhead. In the Beyond Rubrics Toolkit you will find documentation of our working ideas about implementing a Field Guide with your students. Members of the Playful Journey Lab built on the idea of a Field Guide during a series of workshops in a school-based makerspace in Bangalore, India. You can read a reflection on their Showcase of Thoughts.

As you and your students collect more evidence of your making process, take time to sit down and discuss with colleagues what you see emerging. The School Reform Initiative has a protocol for learning from student work that thoughtfully provides space for teachers to center classroom evidence and have a discussion. We recommend this protocol as a starting place for having conversations about documentation in your classroom or makerspace:

ATLAS: Learning From Student Work Protocol

We are interested in continuing the conversation about making sense of the evidence from maker processes. If you use, adapt, or remix any of the Field Guide ideas here, we would love to hear from you.