ALARM stands for 'A Learning and Responding Matrix'. ALARM is the literacy framework (part of the College’s strategic directions) that Wyndham College has introduced across all subjects.
It is designed to help students understand the learning and responding process and explore the different levels of thinking required in examination and assessment questioning. This matrix (PDF 274KB) assists students to learn their content, understand the language of exams and produce comprehensive written responses which will greatly assist students in developing essay and short answer responses, exam performance, assessment and confidence in oral presentations and class discussions.
ALARM helps to do the following:
- provides a step by step guide to the process of learning
- responds to a question through the explicit ordering of concepts from simple to complex
- students tap into higher order concepts throughout the teaching process
- students identify gaps in their knowledge
- students communicate with a common terminology across the curriculum
- provides a template (matrix) which can be adapted to suit content area
- matrix adapts to complexity of information and level of depth required.
The matrix helps students understand the specific type of question or questions being asked which enables them to answer with greater clarity and depth. It can be adapted to suit content area and complexity of information which ultimately enables the students to achieve better results in the higher examination bands.
With practice, students' written responses progressively show clear evidence of 'higher order' or 'critical thinking'. By demonstrating this they are able to critically evaluate the different components of questions and are then able to provide a more refined and relevant answer. Students become more adept at evaluating and assessing content thus analysing its impacts and effectiveness.
ALARM is now embedded in all Wyndham College lessons and our ALARM team are working hard to develop and refine ways in which its benefits can be delivered to benefit all staff and students across all KLAs.