What is COVA/CSLE?
Choice, Ownership and Voice through Authentic Learning (COVA) is a method of Creating a Significant Learning Environment (CSLE) to empower students to take control of their learning. To have students take control and become responsible for their learning and making it theirs. John Hattie, researcher in what influences students achievement have on school-aged students, summarized " To make learning and teaching visible, teachers must see through the eyes of the learner and help the learner become their own teachers, help them to exceed their expectations, and help their learners to learn how to learn." (Harapnuik, 2018, pg 13)
We have been teaching pretty much the same way now for over 200 years. Even though times changes, new inventions and technologies emerged, teaching stayed the same. We lecture, have them take notes, complete worksheets and then give them a test. So they pass the test, move on and next year they have forgotten what they learned. They also have nothing to show for it except a grade on a transcript. The real question we should be asking is did they master the lessons? We are making students excellent test takers, many of whom have mastered the art of taking a test. The can regurgitate the information but have no idea what to do with it. The first step in making a real change is in changing the teachers.
What is COVA dong for me? It has me realize that if i have a choice on how I learn, then its mine. I have ownership and if i own it, I will take far more care of it than if it's the teachers. This ePortfolio is a prime example of how I have had the choice of showing what I have learned in the manner of my choosing. We were told, create an ePortfolio and given the basic requirements of what was to be on it. We had the choice of how to present the information, writing, PowerPoints, videos, etc. to get the assignments done. Though it started with the basic concept, It is growing as i am growing. it is a reflection of my learning and understanding. Have I mastered it? Far from it, the best lesson I have learned is to not fear failure. to turn is from failing to just being unsuccessful, finding out why and learning from it. To analyze it to determine what needed to be changed and then change it and improve it as well.
I invite you to learn more about COVA/CSLE and see what changes you can make. Change has to start somewhere, and it starts with me and you. To get a copy of the free COVA e-book, select this link, COVA
Harapnuik, D., Thibodeaux, T. & Cummings, C. (2018) COVA: Choice, Ownership and Voice through Authentic Learning. Retrieved from