Thursday, 30 September 2010

Group assignment on the English-speaking world

The last couple of weeks, my first year students have worked on a group assignment on various countries in the English-speaking world. I split the class into six groups, and each group was asked to prepare a presentation on an English-speaking country. For this project I also challenged the students' creative sides. I am just feed up with boring power point presentations, and therefore asked them if they could come up with something more creative. All in all I am quite happy with the results. A couple of groups had prepared role plays, two groups had made films, and the others tried to include creative elements in their, well, PP presentations. I must say that my favorite as far as creativity is concerned, was the group who had made their whole presentation into a "Who wants to be a millionaire"-show. The content of their presentation could have been better, but I was nevertheless happy to see that some of the pupils really stepped up and showed their talents as actors/actresses!

As far as assessment is concerned, I asked all the groups to hand in suggestions for assessment criteria, and I used these criteria when making this rubric for assessing the presentations. In addittion, I asked the students to assess themselves afterwards. They needed to say something about how the group had cooperated, how they themselves had contributed in the process, and also what they had learned from the presentations of the other groups. Here are some of the comments from the students:
  • The assingment was actually very nice. It was fun to have the opportunity to be creative.
  • I actually learned a lot about the English-speaking world from the presentations of the other groups, it was fun to watch, and I liked that it was a different learning method then we usually use. Eventhough I feel that I am going to forget a lot. This is not the way facts get stuck in my brain.
  • I think it was fun to do something different in our class. I think it’s good to use different kind of ways to learn English.
  • The assignment was interesting, but hard.
  • I enjoyed the assignment very much actually. I'm very interested in geography, and countries, so this project suited me perfect. Although I would have preferred a different country, like Jamaica or South Africa. The reason to this is probably my interests would have suited better to these countries. Like the World Cup in football (South Africa) or Bob Marley’s life and career. But it was interesting learning about Canada too.
  • From the other groups alltogether, I learned that English is a very common language. The presentations taught me that whereever I am, there is always someone who knows the English language, and that's why it's so important to learn English at school.
I may as well admit that not all the students were just happy about the project. Some were not happy about the country they had been assigned, others complained about groups that did not work. In other words, the usual stuff... My overall impression is nevertheless that they liked the creative part of the project, and that they had some fun working on their presentations. Time will show how much of the material they will actually remember though...

9 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your good ideas. I really like your suggested rubric assessment.

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  2. FAbulous! I promptly stole your idea to use in MK. And your blog looks great; mine is very amateur-like in comparison... But hopefully I will get better with time. M

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  3. Tommelen opp fra meg. Syntes dette hørtes ut som en strålende måte å tilegne seg kunnskaper på -og at en får "litt frie tøyler" til å være kreativ er jo bare et kjempepluss. Mange flotte tilbakemeldinger og noen er jo "alltid litt negative av natur... hihi..

    Tusen takk for hyggelig hilsen inne hos meg. Snart helg, hurra.
    Ønsker deg en strålende helg! (:

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