Home-Page : Visible-Learning

Welcome! This site page provides resources for techniques described as visible teaching for maintaining the best possible impacts on the community as a teacher and for maintaining optimal teaching and learning outcomes. Clicking on the map below will bring the reader to the corresponding module, termed mind frames

The purpose of 'Visible Learning' is to create clear and measurable outcomes from learning activity, and to be able to demonstrate the overall impact of teaching, as it empowers students to become successful in the larger life-contexts of the economic milieu and global ecology.

(This site is optimized for Landscape Orientation)

  • Each module demonstrates best practices and provides resources for the development of materials for the classroom. 
  • This page also can be commented on if you are signed in with Google+, and a forum for professional development and collaboration is presented as a part of this section. 
  • Please feel free to log in with Google+ and add resources to the materials presented. 
  • Please click here to join the Alliance for Public School Technology Resources mailing list

The Visible Teaching Concept:

  • If you have visited the site before, please use the links in the map. Otherwise, scroll down for instructions on how to use this site.

(Clicking on an area of the image, or links in the table below, will call up the selected module)

Frame 1
Frame 2
Frame 3
Frame 4
Frame 5
Frame 6
Frame 7
Frame 8

Mind Frames:
Frame 1:
Teachers believe that the essential task is to evaluate the effects and outcomes of teaching on the student's learning, achievement, and well-being

Frame 2:
Teachers are change agents and as such are accountable for teacher, student, community, and school successes and challenges.
Frame 3:
Instructors, as leaders want to communicate and engage more about learning than they do teaching.
Frame 4:
Teacher leaders and innovators view assessment as a means of receiving feedback about their impacts in the community.

Frame 5:
Instruction is a process of engaging in "Dialogue and not Monologue". 
Frame 6:
Instructors strive to engage with challenges and develop solutions, and tend not to settle for "Doing the best we can".

Frame 7:
Teachers consistently develop positive advising relationships along with the learning of students and professional engagement with colleagues. 

Frame 8:
Teachers speak and inform about the language of learning. 
Source of Challenge:

Purpose of this Page: Introduction and Lecture.

Facilitating Communities of Inquiry - Developing Expertise

Presented here is a video presentation on the elements which may contribute to successful collaboration and the development of teaching expertise in the field. 

Currently, this is the lower-resolution video as the author is still seeking to re-license the high-resolution video rendering software. As a consolation, since there are many citations in the video, the author would like to offer a preview to the Meaningful Learning manuscript which also contains this information and an annotated bibliography for citation. 

Additionally there is a Program Proposal for the development of technology and education materials for professional development purposes. As a part of that program there is a proposal for a music in education study group, for educators and interested stakeholders to help and develop the inclusion of music and overall collaboration in the classroom environment.

There is also a Music in Education Study Group Presentation available to be presented to any educators who may be interested in understanding the need for, and forming the discussion group meetings. 

Lastly, since the video features music production equipment, there is some sample electronic music made form the equipment available for listening at http://www.soundcloud.com/corey-hixson 

The workstations themselves are relatively inexpensive and can be donated to public schools and education related non-profits. For information please visit http://www.apstr.org

Important - Lesson Plans:

This site is designed as a collaboration resource for the development of lesson plans and teaching materials based on a series of templates. Please visit these links to download the available templates, as they may help in participating with this resource.

This site is a collaboration resource, all of the lesson plans, templates, and materials can be edited, copied, and then redeveloped with new content embedded for teaching other standards and courses. In order to do so, it is necessary to set-up a Google+ account, for more information please view this presentation:

As the presentation mentions, there are these resources available, in addition to those from the Home Page:
Please feel free to sign-in with Google and comment and add to these materials. Please write Corey@dxed.org to join the group of collaborators, and add contacts to Google+ to connect for the real-time chat and webinar capabilities.

Frame 1: Be Accountable for Learning.
Fig. 1. Ethics Infographic (Hixson, 2014).
  • Stakeholders in the classroom all have a reciprocal relationship within the larger community, town, city, state, country, and global ecosystems. Connecting classrooms to the larger community can help provide meaningful experience as a part of the learning that happens inside the classroom community. Understanding the need for striving, and beneficial mistakes is emphasized in community learning, as learners understand that the community is also a helpful resource for correcting mistakes and exploring new learning opportunities. The following exhibit from the Meaningful Learning manuscript details community learning.

Exhibit I. Meaningful Learning Excerpt (Hixson, in press)
Meaningful Learning in the Community

Community Learning

Other than the analogous representations of identity through mass media and the recognition of communally held stereotypes and intragroup prototypes that demonstrate social identity, there is also the communally recognized role that individuals inhabit as a part of their work. Workplaces are social spaces where in The United States individual achievement is recognized. The author should also note that in The United States the idea of not having knowledge about a skill or an area of expertise is considered tantamount to inability, and that as an American the overall sense of efficacy is reduced if an individual does not feel that she or he knows about a subject that is relevant to the work group (Shiraev & Levy, 2010). In the west, workplaces recognize independent achievement and accomplishment according to the same model of attribution theory described by Bernard Weiner (2010), as cited previously. In the west classrooms also function much the same way as our assessment systems and scores of achievement are focused primarily on the awareness of content knowledge and not necessarily the ecology of the knowledge as written previously. Bernard Weiner (2010), cites the fear of failure as the primary factor which regulates the decision to motivate resources to accomplish a task, and later elaborates that he had not thoroughly evaluated the idea of meaning according to failure-avoidant personalities who struggle in the modern workplace. Having the ability to cope with failure is an understated skill set in the west, and many education institutions are finding that internships provide students with opportunities to engage in the workplace that are more involved and demanding of skills than the classroom environment. Being trained in the workplace requires motivation toward belonging to the workforce and understanding the communally held goals about the work needed to accomplish. Sometimes experiences far outside the comfort-zones of individuals can cause individuals to facilitate peak experiences as the individual calculates whether or not the impending success had been probable, in very realistic terms this meant that veterans who had returned from armed conflict found connections with the larger life context because survival was difficult and success was not likely, but the experience resolved successfully through some contact with unknown larger factors; veterans who are trained about transpersonal meaning in the larger life-context may have been given more than adequate means for coping with traumatic stress and post-traumatic stress disorder because of perceived greater-context influences in the personal dynamic (Osran, Smee, Weinberger & Sreenivisan, 2010). Having the opportunity to perceive the risk of failure is imperative to success in terms of discovering intrinsically motivated desires to achieve. Internships in the workplace for young people can be incredibly challenging, but they offer a chance to learn a different system of expectations and workplace skills that were previously unknown, without the fear of incompetence. The internship is an experience designed to bring young people into the workplace to learn practical skills but it also provides an opportunity to leave the classroom environment and engage in achievement where success is not always probable. Internships are discussed extensively in some web log  community activity and discussion entries online (http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/04/15/teens-try-out-real-life-with-internships-for-academic-credit/) in a lot of current education trends, and provide real-life experience that contain value which is not easily measured with a standard (MindShift, 2015).

MINDSHIFT. (2015, April 15). Teens try out “real life”

     with internships for academic credit. [Web Log].

     Retrieved June 2, 2016 from:  



An online article describes the success of hands-on community learning activities for young people. Internships are examined as beneficial learning activities for students in the larger community, that engage students in real life work experiences.


     WEINBERGER, L. (2010). Living outside the wire:

     Toward a transpersonal resilience approach for oif/oef

     veterans transitioning to civilian life. The Journal of

     Transpersonal Psychology, 42(2), 209-235.

The authors examine the therapeutic potential of transpersonal psychology in the treatment of veterans who experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The authors conclude that individuals who suffer from PTSD benefit from the experience of connection with the larger life-context and community.

SHIRAEV, E. & LEVY, D. (2010). Cross-cultural

     psychology: Critical thinking and contemporary

     applications (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

In a 4th edition textbook, the studies of cross cultural psychology and processes of intergroup differentiation and workplace motivation are examined; in a way that adapts traditional western contrasting with eastern dynamics describing the subject, toward an individual contrasting with collective dynamic respectively, when describing cultural differences between global societies.

WEINER, B. (2010). The development of an attribution-

     based theory of motivation: A history of ideas.

     Educational  Psychologist, 45(1), 28-36. Doi:  


In a capstone work, ten years of research concerning the attribution theory of human motivation are examined, and new research directions for the understanding of human motivation are stipulated. 

Hixson, S. (In Press). Meaningful Learning. [Program Capstone for a Master’s of Education

     Program]. School of Education, Colorado State University, Global Campus. Retrieved from:


Hixson, S. (2014, September 29). Teachable ethics.

     [Multimedia submission for course COM-520]. School

     of Education, University of Phoenix. Retrieved January

     31, 2017 from:



  • This embedded resource demonstrates the process of social change and the development of social capital as it had occurred in Jefferson County, Colorado in the year 2015.

Schools and Social Change

Fig. 2. Social Change in Jefferson County (Hixson, 2016).

Hixson, S. (2016, April 10). Dynamics of social change in

     Jefferson County. [Multimedia submission for course

     OTL-505]. School of Education, Colorado State

     University Global Campus. Retrieved January 31, 2017



Alliance for Public School Technology Resources Development Group

Google Group

  In previous coursework, assessment has been challenged and discussed. Here you will find two resources.

  • Be Demanding: Measure Performance Against Clearly Set Standards.

Exhibit II: 12 Touchstones of teaching, Section I. Item 4. (Hixson, 2015a).

4. I Measure Understanding Against High Expectations

          Goodwin & Hubbell (2013), create a fine argument for the necessity of optimal challenge and the setting of expectations which are high in the context of the expected performance of students. Having high expectations that are clearly established can facilitate deep learning and also be motivating for students who are engaged in learning the standards set for the course, and by being challenging enough students are asked to set goals which contain some risk, but that are optimally attainable for success in the course (Goodwin & Hubbell, 2013). Holding high expectations also demonstrates to students that success is expected and possible. Albert Bandura (1989), establishes that the perceived sense of efficacy in social space creates a relationship between perceived ability to accomplish a task and the value of the task at hand. In terms of attribution theory the value placed upon the accomplishment of a goal is related to the sense of perceived risk according to an individual’s available skill set which affects choices about whether to become motivated to achieve the task (Weiner, 2010). Demonstrating high expectations of students also demonstrates a belief in the efficacy that students have in accomplishing the task, which motivates student performance. Goodwin & Hubbell (2013), emphasize that performance in class must be demonstrated according to the standards in the course and also the learning goals set for the class, but do not address whether or not students have a sense of efficacy in accomplishing the task. Likert-scale assessments are often used to measure confidence as a part of any self-report instrument designed to measure understanding or confidence (Stangor, 2011). One study was specifically designed to create an instrument for the measure of student efficacy and confidence, that was based on a scale (Silver, Smith & Greene, 2001). Goodwin & Hubbell (2013), conveniently excuse the use of scales or self-evaluation and establish that standards must be measured through either multiple choice or open-ended essay questions. In my experience, this established the need to re-examine the use of standardized instruments created to measure student performance, because they exclude student efficacy in the context of a framework that is otherwise designed to inspire student confidence. In my work I value the sense of efficacy reported on a scale designed to measure confidence as an instrument more than I would value the outcome of a content-related final exam, and this experience in postgraduate education clearly illustrated the need to better understand assessments created for education that could have better established statistical validity, if they were more closely related to other instruments created for scientific study in human motivation and psychology.

The 12 Touchstones of Good Teaching

Imperatives Touchstones
Be Demanding Item 1. I use standards to guide every learning opportunity.

Item 2. I ensure students set personal learning objectives for each lesson.

Item 3. I peel back the curtain and make my performance expectations clear.

Item 4. I measure understanding against high expectations.

Be Supportive Item 5. I engage student interest with every lesson.

Item 6. I interact meaningfully with every student.

Item 7. I use feedback to encourage effort.

Item 8. I create an oasis of safety and respect in my classroom.

Be Intentional Item 9. I make the most of every minute.

Item 10. I help students develop deep knowledge

Item 11. I coach students to mastery.

Item 12. I help students do something with their learning.

Fig 1. Table of Contents (Goodwin & Hubbell, 2013).

Bandura, A. (1989). Human agency in social cognitive theory. American Psychologist, 44(9),


Goodwin, B. & Hubbell, E. (2013). The 12 touchstones of good teaching: A checklist for staying

     focused every day. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development

Silver, B., Smith, E. & Greene, B. (2001). A study strategies self-efficacy instrument for use

     with community college students. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 61(5), 849-


  • Be Critical of Assessments and Assessment Data. 
In previous coursework I had created a brief report based on the statewide Colorado testing system. Although I found that the system itself was able to process and collate big data efficiently, the data itself showed problems with construct validity. When designing and implementing assessments, it is important to be sure that the outcome of the assessments are a measure of student learning, and not some other factor. Click here to download the file in Google Docs or the image to read the report online (Hixson, 2015b).

Fig 3. Standardized Assessment Report Card (Hixson, 2015b).

Hixson, S. (2015a, May 31). 12 Touchstones. [Portfolio for

     a course on advanced teaching OTL-502]. School of

     Education, Colorado State University Global Campus.

     Retrieved January 30, 2017 from:



Hixson, S. (2015b, October 11). Critical thinking

     application II: Standardized test report card. [Course

     deliverable for a course on evaluation and assessment

     OTL-541K]. School of Education, Colorado State

     University Global Campus. Retrieved January 30, 2017




Frame 5: Effective Feedback is Dialogue, not Monologue

"Teacher Talk vs. Student Talk"
According to a leading visible-learning handbook, Hattie (2012), stipulates that instructors ought to measure the direction of learning. Additionally, Shea & Bidjerano (2009;2010), stipulate that functional communities of inquiry are most effective when the instructor facilitates epistemic engagement by being both cognitively and socially present in the class and consistently engaged with student learning. Instructors can therefore benefit from measuring the impact of teaching and analyzing the optimal time management strategy for student interaction and discussion. For more information about the Communities of Inquiry setting, please also read forward into the resources presented in Mind Frame 6

  1. Coaching. 
Peers and mentors can benefit from having an effective plan containing the expected outcomes of development. 
The Coaching Resource Toolkit can benefit educators seeking to implement a feedback strategy for professional development.

Fig 4. Coaching Resources (Hixson, 2016).
2. In-Class Best-Practices
  • Student Self-Report
Developed as a part of this program is a system for measuring student confidence via self-report that is based on a confidence inventory. Please see this link to access the course templates.
Fig. 5. Backwards-Design Templates (Hixson, 2015).
  • Student evaluation
Asynchronous peer-to-peer and instructor-student interactions can be built into each course module and e-learning system. Please see the associated lesson plan example which was developed based on computer-mediated student feedback and engagement. Computer-mediated feedback can improve the quality and quantity of in-class feedback engagement (Boling & Beatty, 2010).

Fig 6. E-Mail Student Feedback Interaction Example (Hixson, 2015).

3. Feedback Examples and Peer-Review
  • Presented here are some feedback strategies from other teachers.
  • Please see also the feedback discussion group in Frame 3.

Feedback in Practice

Fig. 7. Student's Feedback (TeacherTube.Com, 2016) (http://www.teachertube.com/video/students-feedback-314738).

High-Quality Feedback

Fig 8. High-Quality Feedback (TeacherTube.Com, 2016) (http://www.teachertube.com/video/high-quality-feedback-415000).

Boling, E. & Beatty, J. (2010). Cognitive apprenticeship in computer-mediated feedback: Creating a classroom environment to increase feedback and learning. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 43(1), 47-65.  

Hattie, J. (2012). Visible learning for teachers: Maximizing the impact on learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Hixson, S. (2015, November 22). Critical Thinking


     Application VII: Lesson Plan Templates. [Multimedia


      submission for course OTL-541K]. School of


     Education, Colorado State University Global Campus.  


     Retrieved January 31, 2017 from: http://www.dxed.org/course_templates

Hixson, S. (2016a, July 25). Coaching work plan.


     [Multimedia submission for course OTL-515]. School of


     Education, Colorado State University Global Campus.

     Retrieved January 31, 2017 from: 



SHEA, P. & BIDJERANO, T. (2009). Community of

     inquiry as a theoretical framework to foster “epistemic

     engagement” and “cognitive presence” in online

     education. Computers & Education, 52, 543-553.

SHEA, P. & BIDJERANO,  T. (2010). Learning presence:

     Towards a theory of self-efficacy, self-regulation, and

     the development of a communities of inquiry in online

     and blended learning environments. Computers &

     Education, 55, 1721-1731.

TeacherTube.Com (2016). Teach the world. [Video Podcast Library]. 

     Retrieved January 22nd, 2017 from: 


-To Map-

Frame 6: Social and Cognitive Presence.
1) Constuctivism.
  •     Functional Communities of Inquiry classrooms allow the students to apply existing knowledge about learning in order to develop shared epistemologies for the development of new learning. Students first learn how to work in groups and along with the guidance of the instructor can begin employing strategies for learning that are modelled by the instructor, other students, and the course materials, as well as existing knowledge that connects to the students personal learning and contribution to the learning group. Conradie (2014), briefly describes constructivism, which in the article is termed connectivism, and the importance of the Personal Learning Environment. 

2). Communities of Inquiry. 

  •     Shea & Bidjerano (2009; 2010), when investigating the efficacy of e-learning found that instructors who are socially and cognitively engaged in student learning groups, were able to facilitate optimal epistemic engagement and facilitate better student learning outcomes. 
  • A great example of a functional Communities of Inquiry environment is already being demonstrated in a California, USA school system: 

Encouraging Students to Take Action

Video: Colley, M. (n.d.). Encouraging students to take action. [Video Podcast]. teachingchannel.org. Retrieved January 26th, 2017 from: https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/prepare-civic-engagement-edda

CONRADIE, P. (2014). Supporting self-directed learning

     by connectivism and personal learning environments.

     International Journal of Information and Education

     Technology, 4(3), 254-259. Doi:


SHEA, P. & BIDJERANO, T. (2009). Community of

     inquiry as a theoretical framework to foster “epistemic

     engagement” and “cognitive presence” in online

     education. Computers & Education, 52, 543-553.

In the introductory article the authors present the thesis that online learning environments function as self-regulating communities of inquiry, which then foster epistemic engagement as described by the authors’ synthesis of research.

SHEA, P. & BIDJERANO,  T. (2010). Learning presence:

     Towards a theory of self-efficacy, self-regulation, and

     the development of a communities of inquiry in online

     and blended learning environments. Computers &

     Education, 55, 1721-1731.

In continuing research the authors include blended learning formats on instruction in the communities of inquiry classroom instruction model, and further develop the idea of community epistemic engagement. 

As teachers and education developers, peer support and networking is the greatest resource in terms of facilitating persistence and the development of techniques for deliberate practice and intentional learning. This group is offered by the Alliance for Public School Technology Resources, a 501(c)(3) in Denver, Colorado. The group is intended to support teachers through collaboration, networking, and resource sharing. Please join us! Click-through the image presented to visit meetup.com, join, and review the details of the peer-support group.


Group Description

Collaboration Group Purpose and Charter

The functioning of this group is supported by the research in the following presentations:
Also, please be sure to peruse the research available in the manuscript which is being developed for the purposes of promoting communities of inquiry and blended learning.

Frame 8: Teaching about Teaching, and Communications.

    In this section you will find resources related to public speaking and presenting about teaching.

  • Cross Cultural Communications, Leadership and Social Change Advocacy

Communication Guide for Educators and Leaders

Communication Guide and Overview (Hixson, 2014).

Video Campaign Description

APSTR Travelling, Teaching Description

-APSTR- Teaching, Travelling Campaign

  • Award Ceremonies and Other Visible Presentations
The Laureate Education Here for Good award creates an example of highly visible ceremonies and presentations that help to share the language of learning. I've created this working proposal and shared the ideas presented in the program with the Laureate Education staff from Walden University

Hixson, S. (2014, September 29). Communication guide

     and overview. [Multimedia submission for course COM-520]. 

     School of Education, University of Phoenix. 

     Retrieved January 31, 2017 from: 


Source of Challenge: The Five Skills of Effective Teaching

To integrate the knowledge of each of these modules, termed mind-frames; Hattie (2012), also stipulates five skills that effective teachers consistently develop and maintain. Now that the reader has had the opportunity to visit the visible-learning concept, here are the skills which help to coalesce the knowledge of the mind-frames and demonstrate best-practices.

Think of teaching as delivering and facilitating learning experiences. How best in your professional work can you consistently improve:
  1. Challenge
  2. Commitment
  3. Confidence
  4. Clear Student Expectations
  5. Conceptual Understanding
Finding appropriate sources of challenge can also be described in terms of Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development, where it becomes clear that learning is both challenging and attainable through interaction with the larger community. For a brief description of the theory please visit this summary on the Simply Psychology website (McLeod, 2010). For current discussion of the idea please visit the MindShift article (MindShift, 2014).

What motivates commitment? In the discussion of student motivation in Meaningful Learning it becomes clear that stakeholders in learning tend to become more motivated when their learning contributes to a sense of efficacy and belonging to a larger community of learners. Also in other motivational contexts, according to Hattie (2012), students tend to become intrinsically motivated to learn through the establishment of clear expectations for students and optimal environments for engaging in the learning and meeting expectations, where the impact of the learning activity can be measured and shown to be effective in the community.

Confidence may vary, in fact, in the system of assessment presented on this web page student confidence can be expected to increase as the student engages in the learning, and then briefly decrease as the student becomes aware of knowledge beyond the surface of the content that must be learned to succeed. In measuring confidence the instructor then has a way to determine if students are engaging their learning skills, and then a way of measuring the student's perceived success as confidence levels increase. Instructors who are both socially and cognitively present for the students in a Communities of Inquiry setting tended to improve social and cognitive engagement of students which then improves the confidence of the student (Shea & Bidjerano 2009;2010). The assessment system provided here then creates a way to measure student engagement and the impact of instruction. 

Student expectations must be set at the beginning of the course, as instructors elaborate the course rubrics and explain the utility of the course standard, the student should be able to reflect in a self-evaluation later in the course that the new skills intended to be taught have been learned throughout the class term. Goodwin & Hubbell (2013), also emphasize the need for clear expectations and rubrics for learning that all stakeholders in the classroom are accountable to, outside of interpersonal expectations between students, instructors, and administrators. 

The conceptual understanding is described in the introductory video on this site. Meaningful learning which can be measured contributes to the student's larger life-context and conceptual framework for learning, and applying knowledge, as well as problem solving, and new skills for acquiring and organizing information. Conceptual understanding then fits the content knowledge of the course standard expected into the larger community and schemas for the student understanding the course material and how the knowledge contributes to her or his identity in the larger community. 

GOODWIN, B. & HUBBELL, E. (2013). The 12

     touchstones of good teaching: A checklist for staying

     focused every day. Denver, CO: McREL

The checklist format for teachers also presents an accurate formula and technique for teaching class to a mutually agreed upon standard. The text formalizes the process of breaking down agreed upon education standards and presenting them to students through the use of rubrics for grading that are objective and are not influenced by factors other than the academic performance of the student, according to clearly defined mutual expectations. The checklist objectifies the teaching process in a way that is more accurately operationalized for accountability measures.

HATTIE, J. (2012). Visible learning for teachers:

     Maximizing impact on learning. Thousand Oaks, CA:


MINDSHIFT. (2014, March 21). What's the 'Sweet Spot' of difficulty for learning? 

     [Web Log]. Retrieved February 5th, 2017 from:  


SHEA, P. & BIDJERANO, T. (2009). Community of

     inquiry as a theoretical framework to foster “epistemic

     engagement” and “cognitive presence” in online

     education. Computers & Education, 52, 543-553.

In the introductory article the authors present the thesis that online learning environments function as self-regulating communities of inquiry, which then foster epistemic engagement as described by the authors’ synthesis of research.

SHEA, P. & BIDJERANO,  T. (2010). Learning presence:

     Towards a theory of self-efficacy, self-regulation, and

     the development of a communities of inquiry in online

     and blended learning environments. Computers &

     Education, 55, 1721-1731.

MCLEOD, S. (2010). Zone of proximal development. [Web Log]. 

     Simply Psychology. Retrieved February 5th, 2017 from: 


-To Map-