Refinement Protocol

Refinement Protocol and Feedback

The Learning Sprint is an iterative and time-boxed learning cycle composed of five self-directed learning routines:

  1. Refinement – clearly expressing, prioritizing, and breaking down objectives into smaller achievable chunks. Refinement can happen at any time and multiple times within the Sprint to prepare for future sprints. 
  2. Planning – determining what will be achieved by the end of the Sprint and how learners will accomplish it.
  3. Check-In – short and frequent conversations around the learning to align, check progress, adapt, address impediments, and provide support. 
  4. Review – assessing, validating, and providing feedback on the learning in the Sprint. 
  5. Retrospective – reflecting on the Sprint and identifying actionable commitments to improve how we learn and collaborate. 

In this post, we will get you started with the first Self-Directed Learning Routine: Learning Backlog Refinement.

The Learning Backlog is an adaptable, prioritized, and shared list of goals, skills, and products for future learning. All elements in the Learning Backlog are considered Learning Backlog Items. A Learning Backlog Item can include, yet is not limited to: learning objectives, standards, skills, and project deliverables.  Learning Backlog Items may be resequenced, broken down, changed, combined, or removed.

Each Learning Backlog Item should have clear Success Criteria to clarify the evidence required for sufficient mastery and completion. The Learning Backlog is continually inspected for relevance and adapted as needed. This process of inspecting and adapting the Learning Backlog is called Learning Backlog Refinement, which can happen anytime.

An Agile Classroom intends to incrementally grow the capacity of students to choose what and how they learn. You configure Learning Backlog Refinement along the spectrum of student choice. The spectrum ranges from the teacher deciding to the students taking complete control. We’ll share more on the spectrums in the future. Of course, we teach it in our workshops if you are inclined to join us.

Sure, this is great conceptually. Yet, you may be left wondering, “How do my students and I do this day to day? How do I provide feedback on how we are doing with each routine?”.

To help, for each of the five self-directed learning routines,  we created a protocol checklist and a feedback sheet for you. These are not meant for compliance but for support and guidance. Use it as is or adapt it.

Refinement Protocol Checklist

Refinement Feedback Sheet

We identified five key qualities to look for in Refinement. You can use all five, but, some may find this overwhelming.

A bite-sized approach might be better,  focusing on one quality at a time until you reach sufficient proficiency. Then choose another quality to focus on.

Download the Refinement Protocol and other free resources on our Agile Educator Resource page.

We are happy to offer these resources to help you in growing your Agile Classroom.

Please share the good with colleagues and let us know how these work for you.

Download the Refinement Protocol