New! LR Discussion Forum
The LRO Application

Contents in Detail

Information for Students

Note to Teachers

1. Introduction

2. Uses of the LRO

3. History of the LRO

4. Online Learning Record (Forms)

5. How to Respond to Learning Records

6. Schematic Diagram and Timetable

7. Exemplars

8. Developmental Scales, Grades, and Moderations

9. Compared with Other Types of Evaluation

10. Research Projects

11. Professional Development of Teachers

12. Frequently-asked questions

13. References

14. Sources of Support
15. Credits
16. New! LR Privacy Policy

Learning Record News Updates


The Learning Record Online has received the 2001 Technology Design Award, sponsored by McGraw Hill, at the 18th annual Computers and Writing Conference in May, 2001. Darren Cambridge, seen here accepting the award, did a terrific job presenting the Learning Record in a rigorous and thorough judging process. The judges noted the project's proven pedagogical model, the accessible and usable interface, and the potential to transform teaching and learning. Competition for this award included an impressive text analysis and visualization project from David Kaufer's team at Carnegie Mellon.

Learning Record Online: Judges' Feedback

This project is an impressive addition to the computers and writing
community. The way it models process in portfolio generation and
individual growth promises to impact a wide range of teacher-scholars in
the future. The user interface is designed carefully, and the technology
appears to emerge from core pedagogical values, a characteristic too rare
in academic innovations, which more often look at technology first and
pedagogy second. I also like the way graduate students have been
incorporated fully into the project, helping them develop new skills and
mature as designers. Darren Cambridge, who presented Learning Record
Online to the judges, is an excellent example.

This technological environment has a specific purpose in that it builds
meaningful reflection or learning, and it includes a lot of scaffolding for
students. The instructor interface is really nice. There needs to be more
instructor support.

The technology enables the keeping of learning records, which promote
reflection and an informed sense of pedagogy, and, therefore, this is a
great idea. Can these learning records be updated?

The audience for this technology is rhetoric and composition
practitioners, but there is potential for interdisciplinary research. The
interface is easy to navigate, but the technological environment does
require some conceptual instruction before the user will understand the
purpose behind the sequence of assignments.

The Learning Record Online is soundly-based on assessment theory. It
encourages careful reflection on the part of students, involving them in
meaningful ways in their own learning processes. I can imagine this
technology being used specifically in public schools by impacting
educational practice in these settings with good, reliable, and valid
evaluation. I would like for the designers to think more about the fact
that the interface is particular to the learning record: 1. The icons
don't seem to have any clear graphic referent, and I'm wondering if the
graphic could fit the function of the icon more. 2. The environment
requires a special knowledge of the Learning Record and the Learning Record
terminology, and I'm wondering if more of an introduction to the uses and
possibilities of the modules could help various kinds of users see the
Learning Record's potential as a reflective educational environment.

The technology is intuitive; it is smooth yet is a powerful
behind-the-scenes teaching tool. Part A,B,C are a little unclear, as are
the boxy buttons. Perhaps these could be labeled more directly? This
technology has great potential for portfolio keeping, collection and
reflection throughout the semester, and thus, has great pedagogical use.

The public record of class activities and self-evaluation of students is
very useful to get students to be active learners involved with their work
and their learning environment. The ability to have teachers view across
other Learning Records is also a valuable way of sharing student learning
practices with other teachers. The user interface is clean but somewhat
uninviting: it's difficult to know what is possible and to find what I
wanted to do from looking at it even though I knew it was possible. Once
that is made more clear, I can see that this technology will be applicable
to many educational contexts.

2/16/01 The Learning Record Discussion Forum debuts. We invite discussion by anyone interested in the Learning Record, either online or offline, whether they are currently using it or not.

The Learning Record Online presentation by Peg Syverson at the AAHE Conference on Faculty Roles and Rewards in Tampa draws a large crowd of administrators and faculty. Session evaluations are extremely high, and the audience response is strongly positive. At the conference, Pat Hutchings, senior scholar at the Carnegie Foundation offers her official endorsement of the Learning Record Online.

1/16/01 The core student and teacher components of the Learning Record Online ( have been developed and pilot teachers begin testing them in their classes. Programmers immediately begin addressing issues raised in use.
12/29/00 Peg Syverson presents "The Heart of the Matter: Using the Learning Record for Humane Assessment" at MLA, previewing the new Learning Record Online interface.

We are well along in developing the web-to-database application of the Learning Record, which will allow students to document their learning online. The new application will be called the Learning Record Online (LRO). At the present time the development team consists of Peg Syverson (PI), Darren Cambridge (project coordinator), Bill Holloway (lead programmer), Bill Wolff (documentation and support materials), Wendy Lym (funding), and Nizar Noorani (progammer). We plan to pilot test the student application in spring of 2001, with several teachers in the Division of Rhetoric and Composition at UT. We will continue to develop and revise the model through the summer of 2001, with the goal of implementing it across the first-year composition course (RHE 306) in fall 2001. If you'd like a peek at our draft interface design, check here. You do not need to log in; simply select the teacher or the student view. The only class that is enabledin this prototype is RHE 306. Once you've selected the class, you can select a student's record to view (the only student enabled in the prototype is Joanne LaMar). This is a draft version of the interface: be forewarned that it is not working properly on the PC yet, because of the way the layers are implemented. Work on the actual interface will begin within the next two months.

The LRO is being developed as an open source project. (For more information about the open source software movement, check We plan to continue to make the plain text version of the Learning Record available online for those teachers who prefer to use it. The LRO will offer much greater flexibility for teachers and will make it easier for students to keep their materials organized.

2000 The Learning Record receives favorable coverage in MOOniversity: A Student's Guide to Online Learning Environments by Jan Rune Holmevik and Cynthia Haynes. This book, published by Allyn and Bacon, is a wonderful reference for students and teachers using the MOO environment.


© 1995-2006 M. A. Syverson