This past week I had a student do something amazing. To explain this I need to tell you of a philosophical change Aaron and I went through this summer when we spoke at a conference in British Columbia this past summer. At the conference (Touch-n-Go http://touchngo.sd79.bc.ca/confupdate.html we were introduced to Universal Design in Learning (UDL). UDL has three major tenants:

• Provide multiple and flexible methods of presentation to give students with diverse learning styles various ways of acquiring information and knowledge.

• Provide multiple and flexible means of expression to provide diverse students with alternatives for demonstrating what they have learned, and

• Provide multiple and flexible means of engagement to tap into diverse learners’ interests, challenge them appropriately, and motivate them to learn.

In our Flipped-Mastery model we have required students to prove mastery of objectives by passing a test with a minimum score of 75%. Bullet #2 above speaks to giving students choices in how to demonstrate learning. So this year Aaron and I decided to allow students choice in how to prove mastery. Most students still take our exams, but a few have taken us up on proving their understanding in other ways.

This past week I got a text from Nic asking me if he could make a video game to prove his mastery. I told him yes and now you can see him explaining his assessment to Aaron. It was quite a “wow” moment. I now have some students asking if they can take his test (the video) game, instead of my computer generated exam. See the video below to see Nic explaining his video game.

This is great. I'm wondering if it would be a problem for other students to use this as their assessment for two reasons:

(1) It seems like he has a limited number of problems so it would be easy for the answer(s) to spread around.

(2) It might be possible to do this through guess and check, just randomly dropping in symbols until the star lights up.

How long did it take Nic to develop this level?

I think it took him 3-4 hours

This is wonderful!! I just ordered your book from Amazon so I’m hoping there will be lots of ideas in it for Alternative Assessment. Thank you for sharing.

Now to read Feb. 2011 blog posts 🙂