Introduction

Introduction to ELLI

ELLI stands for the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory. It is a questionnaire that is designed to find out how learners perceive themselves in relation to seven dimensions of learning power. An ELLI profile will provide information about how a learner or a group of learners are doing on the seven dimensions of learning power. These dimensions are Changing and Learning, Meaning Making, Curiosity, Creativity, Learning Relationships and Strategic Awareness.

Doing an ELLI profile is a learning experience in itself. It will challenge the learner to think about all sorts of aspects of learning, which they may or may not have been aware of. It is usually introduced to learners as part of a more general focus on getting better at learning.

Most teachers will have introduced the ideas about learning power to their students before they do the ELLI profile and their students will be aware that they can take responsibility for their own learning.

This ELLI profile can be used diagnostically by the learner and by the teacher. It will help both focus on areas for development and change. For example, it may be that a group of learners turn out to be relatively low on strategic awareness, curiosity and meaning making. Then the teacher can use this information to facilitate learning opportunities that begin to develop more awareness, curiosity and higher order thinking.

Here’s what one teacher has to say about ELLI

‘ELLI’ has completely altered my feelings about teaching. I feel I can now teach learning skills quite explicitly, or at the very least expose pupils to situations where they can develop them. Before I felt that learning was more a set of skills which you either had or your didn’t and that I could promote them simply by talking about the importance of listening, working together well, trying hard etc. I now feel I can support my pupils immeasurably more in taking responsibility not just for the work they do, but for how they do it. I feel I can get them to work at developing, for example, resilience, building up that skill from week to week. I feel that I am no longer a teacher just of English but a teacher of learning as well. This is incredibly positive. Throughout my teaching career I have told my classes that the whole point of education is to make them think for themselves and become better learners. I now have begun to understand how to teach them to do this, rather than just hope that it happens along the way.

An individual learner may have an ELLI profile that indicates that although they achieving high grades, they are in fact they are quite fragile and dependent as learners. This information can be used sensitively and formatively to nurture and strengthen individual and group ‘learning power’.

Once the learner has filled in the questionnaire the research team will then analyse it according to the dimensions of learning.

The feedback to the learner and their teacher is in the form of a profile that indicates a pattern of strengths and development areas for individual students and for whole groups of students. The feedback is in the form of a histogram, or graph, with mean scores and frequency counts for whole groups, and in percentage scores for individuals on each of the learning dimensions. This information can be used diagnostically by the teacher for the whole class and for individuals. For example, it may be that a very ‘easy’ class turns out to be relatively low on strategic awareness, curiosity and meaning making. Then the teacher can use this information to direct their teaching strategies. An individual student may have an ELLI profile that indicates that although they are in many ways effective learners and are probably achieving at high levels, in fact they are quite fragile and dependent as learners. This information can be used sensitively and formatively to nurture and strengthen individual and group ‘learning power’.

Using ELLI in your school

ELLI is an invaluable tool to improving learning but it is important to understand how to interpret the data and the potential impact on teaching strategies.

  • To enable you to use ELLI effectively our approved consultants provide:
  • Training on using and interpreting ELLI data in schools
  • Support materials to help you administer and interpret ELLI
  • Guidance on the technical aspects of registration (See also the Administration web page)
  • A licence for an agreed number of student profiles

If you would like to discuss how ELLI can be used in your school please contact one of our approved organisations listed on the contacts page.