I chose to include my writing and assessing a collaborative task activity that I created during the 676 class as my second artifact. I chose this because I strongly believe that collaboration is extremely important to the learning process, and I think I have created an activity that will foster collaboration in my classroom. As a part of this activity, I have also created a rubric for assessing not only the assignment itself, but the collaborative efforts of the students as well. Andrew Marcinek says that “Collaborative assessment must be part of our learning today. We, as educators are doing our students a disservice if we don’t attempt to make this type of assessment available to our students” (Marcinek, 2011). I feel that this activity and rubric is a great way for me to include more collaboration into my classroom.
The biggest challenge I had with creating this activity was coming up with questions and topics that allowed for deeper thinking and discussion between the partners. I also had to decide which tool would allow the students flexibility and creativity to provide answers in a unique and fun way. Generating student interest and engagement is something that can be difficult to do, and I think this activity does just that.
I can use an activity like this for many different topics that I teach. While this particular one is designed for weather and climate, the principles can apply to many other topics as well. One aspect of this activity that I really like and will use more often is the student feedback. I like having students comment on each other’s work. According to the Center for Teaching Innovation at Cornell University, “students teach each other by addressing misunderstandings and clarifying misconceptions” (Cornell, n.d.). I like the idea of students teaching and helping each other. I think they learn and retain the information much better when they are working together, rather than always relying solely on the teacher. I will definitely try to include more activities like this one into my teaching in the future.
I have learned so much about collaboration and assessments from taking this class. Without this class, I would not have gained so many tips and tricks for including more collaboration into my classroom. I would definitely not have the same confidence in creating and using collaborative rubrics without this class. These ideas are ones that I will carry with me the rest of my career and I am thankful to have gained so much knowledge over the last few weeks. I wouldn’t have been as successful in this class without my classmates. Their ideas and thoughts have helped me so much. Having discussions with other teachers that are in the same position as me was very beneficial and provided a lot of different viewpoints I would not have thought of myself. I learned quite a bit in this class, and look forward to learning much more as this program progresses.
Collaborative Learning: Group Work. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://cte.cornell.edu/teaching-ideas/engaging-students/collaborative-learning.html
Marcinek, A. (2011). Importance of Collaborative Assessment in a 21st Century Classroom. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/collaborative-assessment-digital-classroom-social-media-tools