36. Contributions to my learning community

As a learner, I met the goals set for this course. I was able to go back in my learning journey and reflect upon the skills, beliefs, and values acquired through each one of the experiences I had the opportunity to engage in throughout the program. 

In this course, I had the chance to investigate and evaluate how the COVA approach has helped me learn and then apply the COVA approach’s principles to design meaningful learning environments that give my students choice, ownership, voice, and authentic learning opportunities. By analyzing my learning process, evaluating the lessons learned, and using these insights to guide future innovation project leadership, I was also able to structure and analyze my innovation project.

I am aware that, as a teacher, I must push my students’ ideas. But I must also push myself to consider what lies ahead for my kids. What challenges will the young brains in my class encounter in 5, 10, or 15 years? What kind of talents will they require in ten years? According to Mitra (2013), educators need to concentrate on the changes that are yet to come in the rapidly changing world we currently live in. Humans tend to rely on what is comfortable for them, yet seeing ahead on the road might be difficult. I have never felt more equipped as a teacher to fulfill the needs of my kids. I have been forced to act as a result of the changes in the educational landscape. My students weren’t interested, which was something I was able to realize after reviewing my own work. The literature review gave me the background knowledge I needed to understand more about blended learning. I view myself as a lifelong learner, and the body of literature has given me a new perspective on how to recognize and address the needs of my kids. Action research thus provided me with a method to use my findings right away in my classroom. I contacted other colleagues from my district as I was creating the action research plan. There was a lack of student participation in other foreign language courses, according to the foreign language teachers themselves. Knowing this, I chose to focus on boosting student involvement when developing the research question. To build a network of support, I connected with other teachers who were using blended learning in the classroom. I have started following other educators on Twitter and have joined a few Facebook groups. Additionally, I went to a conference on foreign languages where I spoke about my problem and got feedback on the action research plan I had in place.

“My learning journey” post helped me reflect upon the action steps I took throughout the course to get to this point. It has been a great learning journey. I used the feedforward provided by Dr. Harapnuik to revise and edit my work. The last assignment gave me an opportunity to put all the pieces together. Looking back at how it all started and where I am now gives me goosebumps. I was pushed by each assignment and although I felt a bit uncormfortable with the process, I pushed through it. Change is not easy – yes, it is easier said than done. But the work I put in throughout the program allowed me to be a better educator for my students.

Discussion board participation was needed for the course. I shared a number of my thoughts and actively engaged with my classmates, offering feedback and feed-forward. They provided me with input, which I used to improve my study questions.

Self-assessment grade: 92

35. Contributions to my learning community

Key Contributions

Throughout the Resources Digital Environments course, I engaged in a highly collaborative environment in which I felt out of my comfort zone. The different assignments allowed me to dig deeper into the implementation process of my innovation plan.

The videos and readings of the course allowed me to push my thinking. As an educator, I have learned how to share what I do in my classroom with informal posts via Twitter or comments via Facebook groups and discussion boards in the course. I truly feel that I have grown tremendously in this area (discussion posts). The readings and videos gave me the context to make connections and share my thinking with my peers about the variety of ways technology can enhance learning, how my learning environment is changing and how I can share the changes I am making in my classroom. These discussions gave me the tools and experience to step out of my comfort zone and share what I do with a wider learning community.

Discussion Board – Examples

All the articles, videos, and discussion boards gave me a good foundation to think about writing an article to share my ideas with the learning community. I had read articles in Edutopia and We Are Teachers and admired the educators who were sharing their work. But, it never crossed my mind that I could do something like that. The discussion posts were done in a trusting environment, which is why I felt and still do completely comfortable doing it. But, writing an article pushed my thinking and I struggled with the idea at the beginning. Creating the publication outline helped me put my key ideas together. I went back and reviewed my blog posts and decided what I wanted to focus on. I embarked on the writing process and designed my first draft with lots of stumbling blocks. First, my draft was over a thousand words. But Edutopia’s guidelines only allowed 750 words. Second, I literally forgot my audience. In order to refine my work, I joined a Facebook group where I placed my draft for my colleagues to provide feedforward. Christine Glenn, Angie Ariza, and Jennifer Marlor were amazing at giving me comments that pushed my thinking and let me realize that I had to keep my audience in mind. The assessment rubric was designed in collaboration with other peers. Although I lost the focus of my audience during my first draft, I edited the document four times using the rubric the team created.

Assessment Rubric

As a learner, I have refined my writing skills and taken risks that helped me grow. I watched all the videos, read all the articles, and responded to each discussion board (and three or more peers) in a timely manner supporting my thinking with sound research. Such a collaboration process was key to my growth as a learner.

The reflection process and collaboration I engaged in this course also helped me grow as an educator. My next step is to publish the article. I will submit it in August to We Are Teachers.

Self-Assessment Marking: 92

34. Publication Final Draft & Compilation Post – Resources Digital Environments

The resources digital environments course provided me various opportunities to analyze digital resources and apply new learnings to my learning environment. Such a process was done in various collaborative environments but mainly through a Facebook group of 26 colleagues who craved for learning from each other. I truly believed that the main goals for the Resources Digital Environments course were met.

During the first two weeks, I dove into the ISTE standards and other articles that pushed my thinking. For example, the article Publishing: Can I really do that? provided the guidelines for exploring the idea of publishing what I do in my classroom. As an educator, I feel I undermine the work I do. However, this article really encouraged me to share what I do or implement in my room because it is valuable. This journey sent me to explore and evaluate digital resources through which I could share my teaching and learning experiences. I discovered that my innovation plan – How the station-rotation blended approach can increase engagement – has value and can support other educators that want to learn how to use technology to enhance learning.

The first step I took when I embarked on this journey was to develop a publication outline. This process allowed me to refine my ideas and think about the intended audience. I have to say that I struggled with this step. I believe I am a big idea person who most of the time think about details last. I had not thought about publishing my ideas before so it took me some time to come up with a coherent outline that had a clear direction. I researched some of the agencies that would publish posts from educators, like me, who wanted to share what had been implemented in their classrooms.

I pre-selected three sites where I planned on submitting my publication. This step helped me when writing my draft because I had a clear goal and audience.

  1. Edutopia: ​​In order to submit an article to Edutopia, I need to send them an email with a few sentences describing my proposed post and a high-level outline. I know that the finished outline should be around 750–850 words. In addition to that, I need to have a clear audience. In my case, the intended audience is all educators who want to implement the Blended Learning Approach in their classrooms. 
  2. We Are Teachers: In order to submit an article to We are Teachers, I need to resemble the tone and style of their blogs. Their blog posts run between 500–700 words.
  3. ACTFL Language Connects: I can submit my article to the In the Classroom Department as the article will be on a topic directly related to languages in the classroom.

Another piece that helped a lot was the class discussions regarding digital tools in digital environments and perusing and sharing publications. I realized that I was not the only one who felt vulnerable when sharing their work.

Example of Discussion Board Posts
Feedforward Vs. Feedback

Once the outline was created, I started developing my first draft. In order to refine my publication post, I engaged in a feedforward loop with three more educators – Jennifer Marlor, Angie Ariza, and Christine Glenn. All the communication and collaboration happened through a Facebook group. Each participant posted the rough draft and requested feedback using the assessment rubric. When I received the feedforward, I “listened” to it carefully. Writing is a process that never ends, which means that there is always something that can be changed. My main goal was for my peers to hear my “voice” and for the article to be coherent and meaningful to most educators. I have added an example of the interactions that took place on the Facebook group.

The feedforward allowed me to see different perspectives and adjust my writing piece to the intended audience. In addition to that, the course pushed me to step out of my comfort zone by creating a media pitch for my publication. I have to say that I see myself as an introvert. However, the media project gave me an opportunity to dig deeper into my WHY so that I could share it with others. I tried different tools to create the media pitch such as Doodly, Prezi, and Powtoon but I decided to use Canva and uploaded the video to my YouTube channel. The goal is to present my ideas to influence others in a positive way. The video showcases my “WHY” and “HOW” I want to bring about change in my classroom to increase engagement and student agency in my classroom.

Media Pitch Project

Media Pitch Project

Sharing my ideas in the digital community Publication Article

After the feedforward provided by my peers and the revision and editing process, I can say that I am ready to submit my article to Edutopia and/or We are Teachers. The article will be submitted in August with the main goal to share my ideas with other educators.

Throughout the Resources Digital Environments course, I engaged in a highly collaborative environment in which I felt out of my comfort zone. The different assignments allowed me to dig deeper into the implementation process of my innovation plan.

Reflection: The videos and readings of the course allowed me to push my thinking. As an educator, I have learned how to share what I do in my classroom with informal posts via Twitter or comments via Facebook groups and discussion boards in the course. I truly feel that I have grown tremendously in this area (discussion posts). The readings and videos gave me the context to make connections and share my thinking with my peers about the variety of ways technology can enhance learning, how my learning environment is changing and how I can share the changes I am making in my classroom. These discussions gave me the tools and experience to step out of my comfort zone and share what I do with a wider learning community. I blogged about all the contributions to my learning in one of my most recent posts: Contributions to My Learning Community.

The reflection process and collaboration I engaged in this course also helped me grow as an educator. My next step is to publish the article. I will submit it in August to We Are Teachers.

Self-Assessment Marking: 92

Final Draft

33. Media Project

Sharing what I do in my classroom is new to me. It was only until I started the ADL program that I found it important to create a space like my e-portfolio to share my ideas with others. It was not an easy process though because I truly believe that whatever is out there for the public has to be meaningful and relevant to the intended audience. When I started the ADL program, I created an innovation plan based on the needs of my students. The problem I found was that my students were not engaged during my classes, which was a problem also shared by other teachers in my learning context. I dug deeper into the content and found an extensive number of researchers who had discussed the benefits of blended learning, which was my viable solution to the problem I had identified. The literature review allowed me to select a specific blended learning model I wanted to implement in my classroom: Station-Rotation.

Creating a significant learning environment was of utmost importance. I was able to identify fixed mindsets and prepare to overcome those obstacles before and during the implementation of the station-rotation approach.

It is now time to make my innovation plan known. I feel it is my duty to contribute to the field and support other educators. I took knowledge from lots of educators and it is my time to give back by sharing what I have implemented in my classroom. I created a media pitch project and wrote an article that was reviewed by three educators. Their feedforward was key in refining the writing piece before I submit it to We Are Teachers or Edutopia in August 2022.

Media Pitch Project

Sharing my ideas in the digital community Publication Article

After the feedforward provided by my peers and the revision and editing process, I can say that I am ready to submit my article to Edutopia and/or We are Teachers. The article will be submitted in August with the main goal to share my ideas with other educators.

32. Publication Rough Draft

Peer Assessment – The rough draft linked below was assessed by my core peer group. They used the following guidelines and provided the points listed below:

  1. PURPOSE AND AUDIENCE: 10 points
    • The written text effectively expresses the writer’s purpose and effectively addresses audience concerns.
    • The written text demonstrates a logical arrangement of paragraphs, logical use of transitions between paragraphs, and a logical organization of ideas within paragraphs. The organizational logic enhances a reader’s understanding of the text’s ideas
  3. DEVELOPMENT: 8 points
    •  The written text effectively employs reasons and evidence—i.e., all reasons support the text’s purpose, and specific evidence supports all reasons.
    • The writer’s voice in the text demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of the content and a personal engagement with the content (via the writer’s ideas, values, beliefs, and experiences). Readers perceive this textual voice as trustworthy.
    • The written text contains few or no errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, or sentence structure. Style is effective. Documentation is thorough and effective. The article follows all of the publication guidelines.

Total points: 45

The feedforward provided by my colleagues – Jennifer Lynn Marlor, Angie Ariza, and Christine Glenn – allowed me to work on gaps and expand my ideas when necessary. I know I get all into the topic of blended learning and I sometimes forget that others – in this case, my audience – might need additional details to understand where I am at in the process and where I am going to accomplish my goal.

Where do you plan to submit it? I am planning on submitting my article to:
a. Edutopia
b. We Are Teachers
c. ACTFL Language Connects

31. Innovation Plan Update

The educational field has been changing constantly in an attempt to meet the needs of students. Blended learning has the potential to shift traditional instruction to a more sophisticated way of learning that provides students with the opportunity to have more control over their learning (Maxwell, 2016, paras. 1-2). The flexibility the approach provides through the different blended learning models serves as the medium for students to become more self-directed learners. I started working on my innovation plan in 2021 and the initiative continued during the 2021-2022 school year. As an educator, I want to challenge my students as I meet their cognitive and socio-emotional needs in my Spanish classes.  

My Innovation Plan is now in phase 5. In this phase, the teachers who implemented the program and I will present the final findings to the administration team. However, I will adjust my innovation plan by adding two more phases:

Phase 6: This phase will be implemented in September 2022. I will collect feedback from the admin team and adjust the implementation process of my innovation plan. The feedback will be collected through a survey and a debrief session. I will also share some additional resources (see videos below) that were key while I was learning about the blended learning approach.

How and why to integrate station rotation into your classroom

Phase 7: This phase will be implemented in October 2022. I will present the findings to all staff. The purpose of this phase is for them to enable them to use this type of process to reflect upon their own teaching and adjust it if necessary. 

During the month of August, the data will include the following topics:

  1. Why? I will discuss why I changed the way I taught my students and what I tried to accomplish. 
  2. Review of data: The two teachers who implemented the components of blended learning will showcase the results of their surveys to determine if student engagement increased. 
  3. What went well? What roadblocks did we experience? Teachers will present qualitative data showing what worked for students. I will also explain the growth and impact the innovation plan had on student learning and my personal growth. 
  4. Student samples: By showing teachers the different e-portfolios students developed as evidence of learning and engagement in the classroom. This work engaged and energized my students through authentic learning experiences giving them choice, ownership and voice. Teachers guided students to collect all the academic work that learners implemented through the steps in my innovation plan. Here are some examples of the students’ work:
  1. Student 1    https://bit.ly/3d3vTDP
  2. Student 2    https://bit.ly/2ZDt2hT
  3. Student 3       https://bit.ly/2ZDt2hT
  4. Student 4  https://bit.ly/3xDdd7c
  5. Stuident 5   https://bit.ly/3xZxpCN
  6. Student 6    https://bit.ly/3xVzw8A
  7. Student 7 https://bit.ly/3G5tvsE
  8. Student 8     https://bit.ly/31hgCgy
  9. Student 9     https://bit.ly/3peSXFm

What worked during the planning/implementation of the innovation plan? All the different collaboration opportunities that have been provided throughout the program. The fact that I was challenged to think outside of the box to meet the needs of my students, who are facing changes. Throughout this learning, I have learned that I am not alone. Other educators want and are willing to take risks, but it takes collaboration to move forward and support each other. This is one of the lessons that I learned and something I need to do better. I did not reach out to everyone due to the magnitude of the project – from my perspective – but it is definitely something I want to do for my future innovation project. Expanding the initiative will allow teachers to support each other and reflect upon their teaching process. I took a huge risk with my innovation plan by going almost solo. I realized it is necessary to have more people in the team who are invested in growing themselves and their students, which is my goal for my next innovation plan.

30. Capstone Reflection

How do the COVA approach and the significant learning environment created in the ADL aid me in my learning process?

2019 was a year full of changes for me at a personal and professional level. I decided to start teaching Spanish at the Secondary level in 2017. As I was learning the content and new strategies to meet students’ needs, I faced a challenge that was common in the Foreign Language Department: student engagement. I started integrating technology in my classroom but did not really know where to start, which is when I decided to pursue the ADL program to support myself and my students. A second big change was COVID-19. This change caused me to rethink the way I was teaching and meeting the needs of my students.

Throughout the program, I was given the freedom to CHOOSE what I wanted to change in my learning environment. That’s how I started my innovation plan. The main goal was to pilot the blended learning initiative in my classroom during the second semester of the 2020-2021 school year and continue with a wider initiative during the 2021–2022 school year. In addition to that, I created a platform – an e-portfolio – to reflect upon my learning throughout the program. I felt I had OWNERSHIP of my learning, which is exactly what I wanted for my students. I have to say that it was not an easy process. But I realized that what I was doing in my classroom could help other educators too.

E-portfolios are built on platforms with digital resources. They allow greater versatility, scope, access, and the use of a multiplicity of formats in the presentation of documents. They can store “visual or auditory content, including text, images, video, or sound.” I believe that the author of an e-portfolio has a very clear basic purpose: to organize their work so as to share it with the world. And this is how the COVA (Choice, Ownership, and Voice through an Authentic Learning Environment) authentic learning environment ) begins: by creating an e-portfolio, all I want to do is to take ownership of my learning and share it with the world. I control the content I share, how much detail I give, the tone I use when describing my experiences, and the impact such experiences have had on me as a learner. The role of the reader is to take what they want – as little or as much – so that they can relate, agree, or disagree with what I have to share. I really want others to share their thoughts with me when creating my posts. By doing that, they can push my thinking and make me reflect on how others perceive my experiences. I do have to say that before being a teacher, I was a learner. The person who dares to search and collect the content is the true owner of the e-portfolio, which is exactly what I became. I started sharing information on Twitter and Facebook groups. I got replies from other educators asking how I got started and how the process was going. I felt the work I was doing was valuable to not only me but to other educators.

What I shared on my e-portfolio and gathered throughout the ADL programs is based on research as shown in my literature review. By doing my literature review, I was able to sift through enormous amounts of information and evaluate what could support my innovation plan. The theories were shared with my colleagues and the school community.

This program has reinforced principles I’ve always known were important for students but hadn’t had the opportunity to see firsthand. I comprehend their power now that I’ve had true choice, ownership, and voice over my project and the route my learning took in this program. When a learner is enthusiastic about studying, it is impossible to stop them. Teachers face difficulties when they are mandated by the state to teach specific subjects and have never had the opportunity to experience the power of choice, ownership, and voice through authentic assignments. How can you lead others on this journey if you don’t partake in its power? My perspective on education and learning has transformed dramatically as a result of this experience, and I now see myself as a learner. I hope that more teachers were able to participate in this program. It would, in my opinion, make a significant difference in our educational institutions.


The main goal of my innovation plan was to keep students more interested and engaged in the learning that was happening in my classroom. Before using the COVA approach, I used the curriculum and pacing guide provided by the district to perform my responsibilities. However, my students were not engaged. I needed to change the approach I used in my classroom so that students could feel more invested in the instruction I planned for them. I was aware that my teaching style needed to evolve and be adjusted to a new way of providing instruction that would meet the needs of each one of the students I served. Throughout the ADL program, I discovered new elements that guided me to the goal that I had set for myself. I started to put the CLSE (creating a significant learning environment) into practice in my classes. In order to create significant learning environments in my context, I intentionally added more elements to my original growth mindset plan, which gave me a new way of thinking about obstacles and failures. I used the four CSLE steps. The first step was to build trust and rapport in the environment. Trust-building cannot be sped up. The process requires interactions amongst the different stakeholders on a daily basis. By taking this step, I fostered a new culture in the environment in which students’ learning is influenced by the actions and behaviors of their teachers. My behaviors as a teacher had an impact on how students perceived new information, how I placed myself in my classroom, and how classroom interactions affected students. As a teacher, I expect my learners to consider the information I teach so that they are able to construct an interpretation. In other words, the learner assimilates new knowledge into current organizational schemes. A second step was to identify learners’ fixed mindsets. My goal was to identify a fixed mindset, reflect upon it and change how my students express themselves with thoughts that are focused on growing and learning. The third step was to set goals. Having a growth mindset assumes that challenge and failure are springboards for stretching learners’ abilities. In order to accomplish this, my students identified and set goals that they wanted to accomplish. Such a process helped them feel successful. The last step in the changing mindset process is receiving feedback with a growth mindset. This is easier said than done. Feedback is a major area where a growth mindset proves worthwhile and one area of growth for me.  

Reflection was one of the highlights of the ADL program for me. Every assignment I had pushed my thinking and challenged me as an educator and learner. I was able to reflect upon my learning philosophy which describes why I became an educator and what drives such a passion for teaching and learning. The pandemic and the work I did at school allowed me to change my mindset about new cultures of learning. When I first started teaching, I looked forward to designing my own units. But, little did I know the thinking behind such a task. Although I have some years of teaching experience, I am still learning how to develop effective and engaging curriculum units that are meaningful and relevant to each one of my students.

Curriculum design is an area of growth in my context.  Exploring the UbD and Fink’s frameworks and creating units using both designs was a huge task that allowed me to have a change of mindset.  To be honest, the Self-Directed Guide (titled Aligning Outcomes, Assessments, and Activities) required me to really zoom out to see the bigger picture of the unit. This is a process that I am not accustomed to being engaged in, but that certainly helped me with my growth mindset. Even though I struggled through the process, I did not give up. I read the articles two times and used a wide variety of resources to really understand the differences and similarities between the two frameworks. It really pushed my thinking and helped me grow as an educator.

To conclude, I can say that the COVA approach influenced my learning by improving my ability set with a variety of innovations aimed at increasing student engagement. When I started this program, my goal was to learn more about technology integration. However, as I advanced through the classes, I did not limit myself to that. I am reflecting upon my own practice, taking risks in the classroom, and changing my fixed mindset from “the students are not able to do it” to a more “what plan can I have in place so that I can support my students”. The COVA approach is new learning for me that I will definitely continue using in my own learning environment. I want my students to learn and be equipped with the skills necessary to be productive members of society.


Harapnuik, D. (n.d.). COVA. Retrieved from: http://www.harapnuik.org/?page_id=6991

Harapnuik, D. (2015, January 9). The head won’t go where the heart hasn’t been. It’s About Learning. Retrieved October 21, 2021, from https://www.harapnuik.org/?p=5461

29. Publication Outline

Due to the rapid changes in the ways students learn, it is of utmost importance for educators to share what they do in their classrooms to encourage others to take risks in an attempt to support students and meet their needs.

Link to document in Google Doc format – HERE

28. Connecting and Communicating Your Ideas

Part A – Detailed Action Research Plan

Part B – Module assignments

As an educator, I did not think that I could carry out research in my learning environment. After reading about action research, I created an action research outline that included the main components of the research. This allowed me to identify a need in my classroom and narrow down the topic to a research question. The next step was reading and learning more about blended learning and the different models that could be used in a classroom. The body of literature allowed me to dig deeper into the content and identify how this research will add to the educational field.

27. Literature Review

Classrooms across the globe are changing constantly due to the needs students have. In my classroom, I have noticed students are not engaged. There is a huge need for them to have voice and often choice in how they learn. Classroom action research will allow me to reflect upon how to meet the needs of my 9th-grade students in a Spanish class.

Link to document: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1371sqdWbCpElTOjFrlydzasaFflqrgNrVq7jLOg5ihE/edit