“If this was my project…” : Using Pooled Resources for peer feedback and evalution

The first slide of a student's presenation

A slide from a student’s presentation

This post was originally featured on Thought Partners, a blog for educators, hosted by the excellent classroom behavior management app, Class Dojo.


This is part 2 of a mini-series on Pooled Resources / Individual Collaboration. For part one, click here.


Let’s say that you come up with a cool project for class.

Say: Design and build (using computer drafting programs or 3d craft and found materials) a monument to be placed in the Mall in Washington DC for something that has affected American society during your lifetime.

1331Let’s say you teach all the concepts of brainstorming and bouncing ideas around – planning, building, revising – getting feedback. The whole shebang.

Now what? You grade it with a rubric?

Sure. You can do that.

I have a better idea:

boothHave students link to their projects on a shared class document – either to a photo, a screenshot, or to whatever online link brings a visitor to the students’ work – along with a document providing a “tour” of their project, an explanation.

Next, assign an essay that requires students to explore a topic, where a component of the analysis requires them to review their classmates projects and, choosing 2-3 from below:

A. Compare / contrast / critique various projects’ details, approach, and / or themes, statements

B. Riff off ideas begun by various projects

C. Suggest changes the artist could (hypothetically?) make to make a more effective piece – using the phrase: “If this was my project,” I would ______.

Additional Notes:

1. Students may analyze their own buildings; include a slightly adjusted set of prompts for this.

2. This allows even students who bomb the project to recover and learn from the unit.

3. Knowing that others students will see their work is an incentive to create a polished piece of work!


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Collaboration With Accountability: Pooled Responses, Individual Assessments

poolThis post was originally featured on Thought Partners, a blog for educators, hosted by the excellent classroom behavior management app, Class Dojo.


Here’s the conundrum:

You’ve composed a prompt for an assessment. It has many possible answers – and many ways to succeed.

That’s good!

But some students, sitting at home, alone, will have trouble formulating a quality response.

Take this quick quiz to see if you should use Pooled Responses, Individual Assessments: 

1. Do you encourage team-work?

2. Do you feel that the best ideas are piggybacked on other good ideas?

3. Can you use a computer?


pool3

If you answered YES to all three, then you should use Pooled Responses, Individual Assessments. Here’s how:

1. Present the prompt in class.

Be sure the prompt is complex, has many possible solutions, and is relevant to the Essential Questions / Enduring Understandings of the unit.

2. Have students individually write 3-4 answers / solutions to the prompt.

3. Students partner up and together, they choose from their (now) 6-8 responses their agreed-upon top-three.

4. Students write these 3 solutions / responses in a grid in a Google Doc, accessible to the class.

5.  At home, students will be able to review a dozen or more solutions. Rather than create ex-nihilo, they can modify and build a complete response based on the best of the best.

In other words, they have pooled the resources of thoughtful solutions, but it will be up to each individual to identify and analyze the best responses.

Caveats:

1. Students must quote the ideas’ authors by name (and are permitted a note card if the assessment involves an in-class essay).

2. Students may quote the idea verbatim, but must put it in quotes.

3. Students will still have to 1) explain the idea in his/her own words, 2) justify the idea with proof texts and additional support.

4. You could even require students to pull at least one idea from his/her own partner session, and decide whether to support or critique a classmates.

Ultimately, Pooled Resources / Individual Assessments sends the message that while each student is responsible for his/her own work, progress and learning takes place as a result of the collaborative efforts of many people.

Hmmm. Sounds like real life…


For part 2 on Pooled Resources / Individual Accountability, click here.

Design Thinking at the Nursing Home: (or “how to end the year with a ‘WOW!’)

wowDesign thinking: empathy for the context of a problem + creativity in the generation of insights and solutions + and rationality in analyzing and fitting various solutions to the problem context. (Wikipedia: Design Thinking)

The last 3 months of class combined Design Thinking with Compassionate Listening — see the story, in comic form, below.

comeek1page1comeek2page2kids and seniors

Real students’ quotes:

Q: What was the goal of visiting the Rhoda Goldman Plaza?

  • “It let us fully explain our project and the reasons why we chose to create something the way we did.”
  • “To get advice from elders and see what they have to say on a topic they might know a lot about.”
  • “to make these people happy by showing them that someone does care about them and what they have to share”
  • “to be able to put our reflect and re reflecting skills to work”

Q: What are some of the things you TOOK AWAY from the experience? How was it valuable to you as a person?

  • “The connection I had with them and now, it opened my eyes to real life and the history of the people and our country “
  • “I was great to be able to make a connection with a person who is so different from me”
  • “i met a wonderful lady who was very kind and interesting… From the experience i took away practice in presenting and ways to interact with another person i just met before presenting a personal project to them.”
  • “I learned that life is very precious and to not waste it but live it everyday”