My Authentic Learning Experience

When I created my learning manifesto to communicate the passion that motivate me as an educator, I began to understand what the COVA approach to learning was. This allowed me to determine how I would develop my innovation plan and focus on gaining knowledge of how to implement my plan in the devoted towards early literacy in young children. My choice of what I wanted to research was centered on this. I also felt that what I chose was something I could take ownership of.  By communicating my research with my instructors and colleagues, I found that my learning was more important to me. I recognized that by applying what I learned to my profession, as a teacher, it made what I learned more authentic and the research I conducted vital in  facilitating my passion.

My initial response to COVA, learning based on working on an authentic project, was apprehensive (Thibodeaux, T. N., Harapnuik, D. K, & Cummings, C. D., 2017). I had never done an ePortfolio, and I was limited in the knowledge of how to create one. As a result I asked a student, a marketing major, to help me understand how to create one. They tutored me on how to setup one and I did it. This was my first major accomplishment in the COVA approach because I learned by doing it myself!

Most of my instruction up to this point was traditionally instructor originated. In that type of learning, the student was given resources up front and learning is instructor lead. I was accustomed to the instructor giving me what they wanted and not supporting any personal goal of mine. Initially, I went through struggling with being insecure about my knowledge of teaching literacy. Personally, I had no background in literacy instruction and felt inadequate in my ability to understand it enough to create a curriculum for instruction. During this course, we were given an assignment to prepare a literature review that contained researched-based resources that had content that could be used in helping to create our innovation plan. After examining these resources, I found that my teaching methods used in the classroom were similar to the resources I found. I only lacked the clinical terminology for what I was doing. After realizing this, I was able to get pass the insecurities, follow my passion, and continue to educate myself about literacy. Knowing this now, in reflection, I should have trusted the process more by having looked at it from the stand point of me only lacking the knowledge of how to precede, and not the ability to do it.

Taking ownership of my innovation plan was not difficult as long as I stayed focus on the goal of my plan, after working through my lack of self-confidence. My challenge with my organization was more with the lack of resources that was available to implement my plan. I have learned through this course of instruction that promoting change in any organization is a process not a one-time event. Humanly speaking doing the same routine is comfortable, but if you want to improve results, change is necessary. My innovation plan was authentically something that was a personal goal of mine and I expect to improve my organization. If I am a part of any organization I should add value and not take it away and I believe this innovation plan will be a valuable asset to my organization. The COVA approach and Creating Significant Learning Environments (CSLE) aligns with my personal learning philosophy because I believe in constructivism, learning is centered on the learner’s interest, it should encourage the learner to reflect, it should give a voice to the learner, and it should be authentic,   (Thibodeaux, T. N., Harapnuik, D. K, & Cummings, C. D., 2017). After personally using the COVA approach my ability to communicate ideas has improved. I am not afraid to explore and research information about things that interest me on my own. Also, I communicate with others better because if they do not agree with me I do not take offense, and I use it to motivate me to examine what I understand more thoroughly.

At this time in my innovation plan, I am teaching young children and learning is experiential for them. They are learning new things all the time. Learning is scaffolded and the practice of critical thinking is facilitated by the teacher with questions, collaboration in groups of their peers, and the exploring of resources in their environment blended with technology. So, they approach learning with a choice of activities in the learning environment, once they learn something they remember it and it becomes their own. Consequently, they are encouraged to verbalize what they learn and this give them a chance to voice their observations while learning, the authenticity of their learning is uniquely their own at their pace and their own way.

I will be using the COVA approach  to provide training to implement my plan with the professional learning I created. It is structured around a CSLE design for their classroom.  The teacher is guided through the process of centering learning around their students (Harapnuik, 2015). They are able to create a personalized plan that will work for them in their classroom. This gives them choice, ownership, voice, and is authentic in application to them (COVA) because their are included in the process of change to increase productivity in the classroom. I have used some of the instructional design methods I have gleaned from this course to help them prepare them for change. Ongoing coaching support will be provided subsequent to the training to help with the transition.




Thibodeaux, T. N., Harapnuik, D. K, & Cummings, C. D. (2017). Factors that contribute to ePortfolio persistence. International Journal of ePortfolio, 7(1), p. 1-12. Retrieved from

[Dwayne Harapnuik]. (2015 May 8). Creating significant learning environments (CSLE) [YouTube]. Retrieved from

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