As I have reflected on my teaching technique, one thing that I keep being drawn to and have mentioned in several assignments so far is the idea of authentic assignments. The reality is that the vast majority of my assignments had one audience…me. They did it; I graded it. Every now and then we’d open it up and share the work with other classes. There was even a few times we invited parents, but for the most part, the assignments were for me.
The more I have looked into it the more I feel like that is a waste of time. If I want students to fully invest in doing something, and I give them ample amounts of time to do it, they ought to have more than one person looking at it other than a family member.
In CEP 816, we have been tasked with choosing something related to Teaching and Learning Across the Curriculum and New Media that I will become an expert at this semester. Our dear friend Ericksson (1993) tells us that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. Fortunately, I am a decently fast learner.
With this task in mind and my reflection on the need for authentic assignments, I have decided that I need to blend the two. Therefore, it is my stated goal to become an expert on utilizing New Media tools to create curriculum based assignments that will be shared with truly authentic audiences that expand beyond me and classmates (and parents).
Indiana University relates the following list of expectations for authentic assessments that are taken word for word from their website:
- is realistic.
- requires judgment and innovation.
- asks the student to “do” the subject.
- replicates or simulates the contexts in which adults are “tested” in the workplace or in civic or personal life.
- assesses the student’s ability to efficiently and effectively use a repertoire of knowledge and skills to negotiate a complex task.
- allows appropriate opportunities to rehearse, practice, consult resources, and get feedback on and refine performances and products.
I feel that NMTTs will help with this particular endeavor, because of the ease of distribution and the variety of options available for students to maximize their creativity. For instance, students that feel that the best way to teach about Alexander the Great is a video could utilize WeVideo or Animoto.
A student that wants something more static which information is easily accessible could use a program like Piktochart to create an Infographic. Another student may feel that a presentation is the way to go and create something with Haiku Deck or Google Slides.
In short, their is no limit to the creativity and tools for expression available for students to create worthwhile, shareable creations that can reach a broad audience rather than work on something for hours, present it for four minutes, and then trash it.
So, is this a worthwhile goal? Any suggestions of resources to dive into to research and become more effective in this area? Feel free to pass on your collective wisdom.
Authentic Assessments. (n.d.). Retrieved September 14, 2016, from http://citl.indiana.edu/resources_files/teaching-resources1/authentic_assessment.php
Ericsson, K.A., Krampe, R.Th. and Tesch-Romer, C. (1993). The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance. Psychological Review, 100, pp393-394.
Expert [Definition of Expert]. CC BY-SA 3.0 NY. Retrieved September 14, 2016, from http://www.thebluediamondgallery.com/highlighted/e/expert.html
Unnamed. [Socially Engaged Instruction]. CC BY-SA 2.0.. Retrieved September 14, 2016, from https://www.flickr.com/photos/jrhode/8597749214/