Friday, April 26, 2013

Chasing the Fun Factor

Yesterday, a student informed me that class was no longer fun. Admittedly, I had changed the format to allow students greater choice in their projects.

Some students had expressed that they like the ability to choose what work needed done. But one brave student spoke up to share their uneasiness and I truly appreciated it.

When I gave the students a choice of project, I also moved to a high-score style points-accumulation method. That created for some, the sense of a looming deadline on the horizon which resulted in paralysis.

It made me realize some students need the freedom to choose WITHIN a smaller context. Then today another class mentioned that they really like working through Codecademy which only confirmed what I had recently learned. There, students can choose the topics of study (and one has switched mid-stream already) but everything is broken into bite-size pieces.

As I continue to develop my curriculum map for next year, I'm going to allow students to choose their projects but only give them limited choices in a shorter time frame.

View my current class framework.
View the beginnings of a modified class framework.