Students Learing - Right Questions - David Truss

Yesterday after school I was in the hallway at Inquiry Hub, talking to a student about an idea he is launching with one of our teachers, iHub Talks. These talks, organized by students, will be presentations on diverse topics aimed to have appeal to a variety of students and community members. During the hallway conversation another student approached us and waited for a polite time to interrupt. He told the student I was talking to that he ‘hit an error that put him in a loop that he couldn’t get out of’. The student I was talking to finished off the conversation and excused himself to go help this other student.

Educators get interrupted like this all the time. However, it is usually us that have to go help the other student. It is also usually during the school day that this happens.

Students Learing - Right Questions - David Truss

I remember being asked, “How do you know when your students are learning?”

My quick response was, “When they are asking the right questions.”

Thinking about it now, I would add:

“When your students become the experts.”


“When students seek the appropriate help when they get stuck.”


“When students are motivated beyond confines of the school day.”


“When students are co-constructing or designing their own learning events and activities.”

These are subtle but important shifts in creating a personalized learning experience in a school. How do you know when students are learning?

14 comments on “How do you know when students are learning?

  1. And they just see teacher as another learner sometimes even ignoring them in their desire to reason with fellow students. When students make/utilize connections to prior knowledge, diverse ideas and when they verbalize their ‘aha’ moments especially if the desire to do so is evident (and infectious!).

    1. So true! Isn’t it exhilarating when you not only see a student reach that ‘aha’ moment, but then they can also articulate it too!
      Thanks for sharing.

  2. After recently suffering through a visible learning workshop (based on Hattie), it is refreshing to see a focus on qualities that represent real learning. I am a huge fan of open to learning conversations & this acts as a good platform for co-contructing & discussing questions. I think I might add something like seeking out & engaging with collaborative or critical friends.

    1. Excellent point about seeking out critical friends though I think this is an area where teachers have an important role to play since many students may not see the value in critical friends and/or shy away from critical feedback.

      I’m interested in why you ‘suffered’ through the visible learning workshop?

      Thanks for sharing!

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