Does Choice = Confidence?

Here’s a quick update to my last blog post (“You Can’t Handle The Truth”), where students in my grade 12 English class are working on a summative evaluation that gives them total choice on the content and form of their ultimate summative evaluations.

Today is Monday. Presentations/Assignments are due on Wednesday. Using Google forms as an entry ticket to gather data on where the students are proved to be an invaluable tool this morning. This data impacted the direction of my class, helping me determine who I should be conferencing with and who had a comfort level with their plan and next steps. When given a chance to ask me a question about the assignment, most students instead asked questions on unrelated topics.


So, what are my expectations for Wednesday’s due date? I have three students giving oral presentations out of 16. I know that students will want to conference some more, likely outside of class time. We have spent a great deal of time reviewing and building the rubric for this assignment (using a shared google doc and curricular expectations). I guess my expectations are that students will enjoy the process of putting together their summative evaluation for this unit to a greater degree than had I asked them all to do one type of an assignment, all on the same stories.


Again, my questions remain:

  • will the quality of student learning be enhanced because they have been given so much choice?
  • does an emphasis on authentic understanding and application make a difference in their success?
  • what will my students remember about this assignment and these stories one year, five years, or ten years from now?

Only time will tell. Until then….

3 thoughts on “Does Choice = Confidence?

  1. @brenthurley Thank you for opening up your rubrics to the world. Evaluation is the toughest part of our job and where teachers are most vulnerable to criticism. It takes self confidence and an passion for improvement to share in this way. Thank you for also modelling what we want all of this years cohort to do. Share, reflect and question.

    Thank you coaches for all that you do to help drive this conversation forward!

    @adamcaplan @jweening @vhcivan @timrollwagen @rarcher @cschindler @jsmith @egelleny

  2. @brenthurley

    I love your “entry ticket” idea. I’ve often heard of an exit ticket, but using an entry ticket instead allows you to really focus in on the areas of need for that class. The questions you asked, as well, seemed to really give you information that was useful for making decisions about the direction of the class.

    I can’t wait to hear your final reflection on these projects! Will you be polling the class afterwards as well, to find out their thoughts on how the whole process went?

    • I can’t tell you how much I love this blog. You’ve put it all out there and it’s great that you’re asking your students for feedback!

      How will you ask them to reflect on this experience? I think that will answer your question about their learning.

      One of the things I find is helping my students is facilitating activities and discussions around how they demonstrate their understanding and how their understanding can be deepened or shifted even as they share ideas with their peers. Goobric is great as it allows for Peer Feedback and using with Classroom is pretty user friendly.

      Looking forward to reconnecting tomorrow friend!

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