Today I had an amazing opportunity to be part of an authentic audience for Liberty North High School’s Child Growth and Development classroom led by teacher, Traci Silvey. Students in Traci’s classroom have been studying Mindset by Carol Dweck as a means to apply a growth mindset and generate solutions to a current issue faced by students. Take a look at the project rubric:
Traci along with Innovation and Learning Coach, Tara Harvey, brought in several adults to serve as an authentic audience for students to give feedback. Here’s where it gets interesting…
Students present their findings in a small group setting with an adult, engage in conversation, and receive feedback. As soon as they are finished, students will immediately go to another table with an adult and present again. This allows students to learn, reflect, and present back-to-back multiple times throughout the class hour. Think about that…
- Students present their ideas multiple times throughout the hour
- Students receive feedback from different perspectives and are able to improve their presentation
- Students are able to incorporate new knowledge gained through their discussions each time they present
- Students grow confidence as they move from presentation to presentation
Make sure your invited audience has a brief background of what your students are learning. This will help the audience better understand how they can assist in the learning process, engage with your students, and provide better feedback.
When designing your feedback form, simplicity is key. You want your audience to focus on students and not be bogged down with filling out a complex document. Take a look at the form we used in today’s presentations:
As an Audience Member
- Conversations between audience and students are richer when in small groups.
- Asking intentional questions during the presentation helps students quit reading the slides and start talking more passionately about their topic.
- Watching students grow and make connections through dialogue and then hearing the growth from other audience discussions makes this process really meaningful.
“Becoming is better than being”
I am not saying that it is ineffective to have students present their findings as a summative event to a large group, but it should not be the only opportunity students have to engage with an authentic audience. To me, it is important students are given the opportunity to present, quickly iterate, build new knowledge, and present again. These types of opportunities allow students to build quality products through feedback in a quick iterative situation.
How are you using authentic audience with students in meaningful ways?