Transforming learning through global collaboration
In implementing the Apprentice project, I was more concerned with the final outcomes in a holistic sense and knew that I would be able to incorporate development on our Assessment Focuses (AFs) along the way. Perhaps this is not the usual way of planning (in a UK framework) but I believe that it is possible to incorporate many skills to a flexible project, and part of the expertise in being a teacher is identifying these opportunities once the 'bigger ideas' have been decided upon.
For this project, we focused mainly on Speaking & Listening and Reading AFs as the learners were pushed to decode meaning from various media, as well as prepare presentations for different audiences. There was an element of writing, but the focus was more on 'text production' than sentences, paragraphs and punctuation as their final artefacts were multimedia and heavily visual.
Overall, I consider the alignment to have been somewhat useful for accountability but the real assessment of their learning came through in their products and final presentations. These showed real creativity and a firm grasp of the concepts we had explored connected with media manipulation and control.
I suppose that my hope is that one day, standards will reflect the dynamic and inspiring learning that we want to take place in the classroom, rather than simply being a checklist to satisfy external stakeholders. Brave new world; I look forward to that day....