Students choose how they want to showcase their learning at the end of a unit or particular area of study.
STUDENT CHOICE AND VOICE
Offering students a choice in how they showcase their learning increases their engagement in the project and often helps them to learn more than they might with a more teacher-directed approach. It also allows them to share their learning in their preferred way.One of the important ways to accomplish this extended learning is be setting up navigable guidelines for the project so that students are clear about what they are supposed to be doing. These guidelines can composed collaboratively by both teachers and students, and should allow for a variety of final products.
For my opening unit this year, my students investigated how their brain learns and how they can help it along through different habits and study techniques. Largely influenced by Barbara Oakley’s Learning How to Learn course, the idea was that students would learn the basic skills and procedures needed for English class through the content of how to be better learners in general. At the end of the unit, students put together a presentation on one particular area of study. They knew that they would be presenting their information to the class, but they held the reins on how to present their information. The result was impressive. There were educational videos, formal presentations, acted out scenes, and even a parody music video of a Taylor Swift song. When given freedom in exploration and presentation, students were able to come up with ideas that I may never have even thought of. Here’s what some of these students have to say about their presentations:
How We Learn - slide show
- Student Choice Leads to Student Voice by Joshua Block, Edutopia
- 5 Tips for Giving Students Choice that Leads to Student Voice by Kathleen Ralf, Edutopia
- Let it Go: Giving Students Choices by Cassie Shoemaker, Creative Educator