Student Choice

The Last/Next Time
Teaching blog shorts to get you thinking.

The Last Time
When was the last time you offered a choice project for students?
When were you able to let students choose how to prove their learning? What was the set-up for the choice project? In what ways were students allowed to present what they now know and connect to their own lives?

The Next Time
Take advantage of the next time you can offer choice in the classroom.
Many teachers already offer choice projects throughout the school year and realize that letting students create is the culmination of 21st century skills— critical thinking, communication, and collaboration all lead to creation. Choices therefore help for both learning enjoyment and preparation for the future. Freedom in assessment style is not always best, but consider offering choices when possible/plausible for students to buy-in and take ownership of their own education.


2 thoughts on “Student Choice

  1. I like the idea of a choice project, however, in the past I experienced many students or groups will choose the easiest/shortest project. Then it seems that all of the projects are the same, and I think the idea is to have different creative ideas to demonstrate learning and understanding. I need to figure out a way to make the project equal work but can still allow students to be creative in their own way. For example, we are creating a photo slide on iMovie on a drug of their choice. Students are required to add narration, background music, pictures, and sound effects. If I give them other options such as a PowerPoint or Poster, it seems like those are easier and would require less work than an iMovie. You know what I mean??

    • Absolutely, and thanks for chiming in, Tyler.

      Totally agree— often we need parameters when offering choice projects. In fact, when faced with too much choice, humans can feel lost. (Great Ted Talk on this.) So with students, it’s that balance: how do we allow creativity to shine through while awarding/grading correctly. I know some teachers who actually build their whole course around total points, at a certain amount for an A, B, etc. The more difficult the project, the more points possible and awarded. Sort of like an Olympic routine in diving/gymnastics. So if students chose the “easier” route for the term, it showed in their total grade. This may work for some projects/courses/teachers. Other times, perhaps a simpler set-up works better, as long as students cover assignment criteria. Always tough to find what’s best! Don’t want to stifle motivation or productivity but we do need to assess correctly.

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