In my previous post I described the structure of the unit: ICT in the classroom that I am coordinating this semester to assist 2nd and 3rd year pre-service teachers learn about authentic learning principles and using technologies as cognitive tools to support student learning. In this post I provide an overview of the assessment tasks and explain how they fit together to achieve the overall authentic task context and the unit learning objectives.
Ideally when creating an authentic learning task we aim to set one complex task that students can complete over a few weeks or months. By completing the task students are required to use higher order thinking skills to learn relevant concepts, knowledge and skills to produce a polished final product that articulates their understanding of the topic. Due to university assessment requirements the overall task needed to be broken into three smaller tasks. However, each task builds upon the previous one to produce the final end product.
Each task requires students to research and analyse information, make decisions about what to include and how to present it, and resolve problems that arise during the process to produce a polished meaningful product that could be used by other teachers.
Task 1 enables students to learn about the concepts involved in creating a website. Students research web design and implementation issues, produce a written report to articulate their understanding of the issues and create a website to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. The website produced in Task 1 becomes the presentation space for the remaining tasks.
Task 2 provides the opportunity for students to explore how other teachers are using technology to support student learning in their chosen area of teaching and to reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of integrating these technologies in the classroom. Their learning is articulated in a written report and in a 5 minute narrated video presentation they produce using the technology of their choice.
For Task 3 students draw on the knowledge and skills from the previous tasks and continue researching information and resources to create an authentic learning project for their selected teaching area and year level.
In Tasks 2 and 3 students review each others work using the marking rubric they will be assessed with (Task 2 rubric) and provide constructive feedback to each other on how to improve their work. The peer review activity provides the opportunity for students to critically reflect on the criteria for each task and cooperate with their peers to share their understanding and ideas about the task requirements.
Creating a public website enables students to access and share a range of authentic learning projects that they could use and/or adapt to create meaningful learning experiences in their future classrooms. Examples of authentic learning projects completed by previous students are available on the Task 3 page on the ICT companion website. Do you have other examples that you would like to share with fellow educators?