Adding deeper understanding, fun and choice to classroom project tasks with Learning Event Generator

Teachers often look for fresh ways of setting classroom tasks for pupils to demonstrate their learning. That is, to be able to show that they have understood what they have been learning by presenting or applying that information in a different form to the way in which it may have been taught or learned. This gives pupils the chance to show a deeper understanding of information , concepts or processes, while at the same time having some fun. Also teachers have found that learners given freedom to choose or personalise their learning can be more engaged with that learning.

One way of finding imaginative ways for pupils to demonstrate their learning, while also having fun and giving choice to learners, was to use a Learning Event Generator such as created by John Davitt. This is, however, no longer available.

The premise was that, with a simple click a task is randomly generated, matching the subject of the learning with an activity. So it might be “Do the continents of the world as a dot-to-dot activity” or “do the life cycle of a tadpole as a role play.” And with 400 possible permutations randomly generated in the first Learning Event Generator a teacher or pupils can click a few times to find an activity which provides the stimulus for the activity. Of course the subject can also be set by the teacher and the generator simply used as a means to provide the way of presenting it. The generators are quick and easy to use and to adapt any idea to any learning situation. They don’t have to be used as the hard and fast stated activity but can readily be adapted to other situations or provide the spark for an idea by teachers of learners to use in their own learning situation.

While John Davitt’s Learning Event Generator is no longer available the following may be useful

The Magical Maths blog has provided a list of 50 different ways in which pupils could demonstrate their understanding of their learning. Although the title suggests this is for maths lessons the ideas can be applied in many situations.

Alternatives to traditional homework – a post in the form of a chart which provides tasks which might be considered traditional tasks set by teachers to help embed learning in their students, as well as provide a form of assessment, alongside alternative tasks which might instead be set to more fully engage a learner in their own learning.

Kenny O’Donnell provides examples of this in practice with his pupils here
Here also are some examples of the learning event generator used in classrooms

101 Ways to show what you know – a visual infographic poster shared by Greg Miller of different ways for pupils to demonstrate their learning in any context, with suggestions grouped into four categories: visual, written, performance or spoken.

So whether you wish to use the original Learning Event Generator, or one of the others such as the Homework Generator (e.g. “do whatever your teacher told you as a public service announcement at a station”) these tools, with a click of a button, can quickly provide ideas to use in a learning experience across the curriculum. And if the first idea doesn’t seem to work for you or your learners, then a few more clicks and the activity generator will either display an idea which engages you or your learners, or spark an idea to adapt.

Efficient Ways to check for understanding – a post by Todd Finley which provides a list of 53 ways to check for understanding which may also increase engagement with learning by pupils.

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