Software Measurement & Testing

Decades of software testing experience condensed into the most important lessons learned
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Lessons Learned from the Flock | Life raising children …

I consider myself the enemy of activities! Loading lessons with things to do actively gets in the way of students learning whatever your clear, thoughtful objective was. Time spent planning card sorts, writing worksheets and lovingly crafting resources is, by and large, time wasted. Or at least, time that could have been spent doing something more profitable. If you’ve followed the first 2 principles, this one’s a no-brainer. Does the evidence in books match the expectations of your medium term plan? If not, remediate. If it does, move on but beware that what you think students have learned may well be forgotten by the time they need it, so ensure you plan to revisit this learning multiple times. Top tip: ask yourself, what will students think about during the lesson? What they think about is what they will remember.

True progress cannot happen in a single lesson but if everyone knows the learning destination we can judge how close we are to arriving.
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Life raising children and chickens in New Hampshire

This sounds insultingly obvious but is easily forgotten. It’s a widely accepted truism that good teaching is founded on good relationships. Good relationships are, in their turn, founded on detailed knowledge and understanding of the kids you teach. At Clevedon School we use a system called Pen Portraits. Every term we write a mini ‘portrait’ of 5 students in each class based on the data we collect and our knowledge of their personalities, backgrounds and potential. By the end of the year you will have written a portrait of every student in every class you teach. This is all fine and dandy, but what gets done with this information? I try to work out how exactly I might be able to help these particular pupils and make sure that every student I teach gets at least one (but in practice more) lesson which has been planned just for them. And I tell them. Today you are my Pen Portrait student and this lesson is yours!

The title of the book is taken from the first essay in the volume, in which Fulghum lists lessons normally learned in American kindergarten classrooms and explains how the world …
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One week we had a two-day departmental inspection by a lone HMI. It was a Big Thing to this new HoD and I decided I’d reverse my usual order of doing things and plan the following week’s lessons first, when I had plenty of time/energy and I was fresher. The difference was striking – my lessons had always been fine (these were biddable students) but having spent considerably more time and thought on what I wanted to do and what I wanted them to get out of each lesson, the lessons were so much better. I enjoyed them more, and I could see the students were just moving further forward in their thinking and learning.

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10,000 Hours with Reid Hoffman: What I Learned - …

The activity is largely irrelevant. What’s really important is what students spend the lesson thinking about. As Daniel Willingham says, “Memory is the residue of thought”: they will remember what they think about. So if you want students to learn about, say, osmosis, it won’t help for them to be asked to write rap or perform a short play. This would distract them from the idea of osmosis and make them think about rapping or acting. These might well be fun and interesting activities but they won’t help students learn what you want them to learn.

All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten is a book of short essays by American minister and author Robert Fulghum. It was first published in 1986.

So, these are the lessons I’ve learned about planning. They are, of course, just my thoughts although they are underpinned by 12 years of bitter experience. Please feel free to use, adapt or disregard as you see fit.