The Power of COVA


If I’m honest, I thought this program would be more about using technology tools as a means of delivering lessons. Granted, we are only one class in; so, a deep dive into these tools may still be yet to come. I am surprised at how much the program has focused on learning theory. But I must say, it is a pleasant surprise. As I have worked through the weeks in this first course, I have come to understand the importance of understanding the research produced by the authors and thinkers we have been exposed to. And in a sneaky move perpetrated by the cunning creators of this program, We are being asked and encouraged to demonstrate our learning using a variety of technology tools. Our clever professors have wisely not made the digital platforms and technology tools the end, but rather the means to an end.

Without a doubt, the most insightful message I have learned so far is Michael Fullan’s explanation of the push/pull dynamic in education. To summarize, kids get increasingly bored as they move through their education, but there are practices and tools we can use to reverse this trend and lure them back into meaningful, relevant learning.

Enter the COVA approach to learning. All of the components of the COVA approach will contribute to my having a sense of agency over my learning because everything is based on choice for me the learner: choice in the types of projects that will reflect my learning; choice in the way I present it; and the ability to relate my learning to my real world experience.

The ePortfolio is a perfect example of the utilizing the COVA approach. Because of the personalized nature of the learning I have demonstrated using this approach in the ePortfolio, the likelihood is high that I will continue maintaining an building the portfolio after my program of study has ended. The reason for this is that this product is something I am invested in because I was given the freedom to make it mine, rather than merely submit an assignment that checked off the requisite boxes.

Simon Sinek’s Tedx talk “Start With Why” hammered home for me what is important when you are trying to connect with people. Be it selling a product to consumers or delivering a lesson to students, it is the why someone does something that people gravitate to. In the context of teaching and learning, students are less inclined to be engaged with what I’m teaching, be it sonnets, photosynthesis, quadratic equations, or the French Revolution, as they are to why I teach—because I believe any student if he/she dedicates her passion and effort into a realm of study can contribute to it.

Harapnuik, D. COVA. Retrieved September 23, 2018 from

Harapnuik, D., Thibodeaux, T., Cummings, C. (2018) COVA, published under a Creative Commons license

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