23 April 2013

How to give Learners a Choice

For one of my Flat Classroom challenges, I must demonstrate ways I give learners a choice in outcomes or topics in projects.

As part of my PBL teaching course, I wrote a couple of blog posts about choice, as this important element is one shared across the two courses but also, one that my school fosters as part of the learning culture. See Choice and Voice and Myths of Learner-Centred Teaching and Learning.

Here are some examples of the way I have incorporated choice this year.

A unit that introduced concepts of digital citizenship and the online personas, asking learners to think about how they want to present themselves to the world. Part of this, was writing a 'Me' poem expressing who they think they are in exploring autobiographical writing. Learners were given a choice of HOW to present their final products from the following, or one of their own choosing.

- PowerPoint/Key Note (450 slide presentation-animation)
- Animation (Making Claymation Instructions)
-Puppet Show
- Podcast/Interview
- Painting
- Song
- Collage/Mood board (Mural.ly)
- Cartoon/Comic Strip (Toondoo, Makebeliefscomix, Pixton, Slideshare, Stripgenerator,Storyboard That)
- T-shirt

Here is the SHOWCASE of some of their final products.

A unit that was developed for my PBL teaching certification.

This highly complex unit asked learners to make decisions about every step of the process of the design of a 21st century classroom (see the entries in my PBL journal). In particular, we focused on REFLECTION as part of the learning and decision making process.

Is a current teaching unit and one I am developing collaboratively with members of my online PLN as part of the Global Design project element of the Flat Classroom course.

This unit is more 'traditional' to satisfy the doubters who can't see how technology and global, flattened teaching enhances English learning. Learner choice comes in two parts - one in their INDEPENDENT RESEARCH PROJECT and one in the FINAL PROJECT

THE INDEPENDENT RESEARCH PROJECT builds on skills developed in The Octopus's Garden Project but asks learners to choose their own topic and research question. They are given some suggestions on the task sheet but, with discussion, can feasibly choose anything that fits with the unit theme. They then complete the planning sheet that allows them to develop a personal learning plan to complete their research successfully. Not only are they given free choice about topic and research question but also on final outcome.

THE FINAL PROJECT asks learners to choose a way to share our learning about the need for understanding, tolerance and kindness to everyone, despite our differences. 

I hope that in particular, this final project is the part we can develop into a global element. 

Watch this space!

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