Learning Approaches & Authentic Assessment
A group of ELLs with access to tablets and/or laptops is to be educated about the use of adjectives and grammar of comparison. The teacher chooses a hands-on learning activity from a learning module on World Records to achieve the learning goal. The activity starts with the teacher presenting the three degrees of comparison (positive, comparative, superlative). Each degree is explained and exemplified by the teacher, followed by a quick Q&A session for learners to eradicate misunderstandings.
Following this, students are asked to form small groups and position themselves at previously prepared stations in the classroom. At each station, students now compete in four different disciplines: longest hair, biggest fot, most claps and best memory. To compete, students at each station get to watch a video demonstration, read instructions and use tools to measure, calculate, convert, note and compare their respective results.
To assess learning development and achievement, an authentic, experential meothod of assessment is chosen upon the completion of all stations by all groups. To determine the students’ ability to describe and compare their records with adjectives, the teacher invites all groups to participate in a sum-up and evaluation exercise. In this exercise, a table with rows and columns is drawn on the whiteboard, allowing each group to fill in their group record per discipline. The results for each group are described and compared with adjectives. This authentic use of comparative grammar allows students to determine a winning group and an individual record-holder for each discipline.
The learning theory tied to this learning approach is project-based learning: Students gain knowledge about comparative grammar through the investigation and practise of adjectives in their comparative forms as it relates to class records. The approach is student-centered, as it takes into account the need of every ELL to describe and compare the world around them, making practical use of language. It is also highly motivational, as it incorporates competive challenges associated with Gamification. The approach features a relaxed learning environment and is designed to create the sustained engagement of its learners through connectivity and collaboration.