Transforming Tasks into Meaningful (Learning) Missions - Some Notes
Week 2, in our Goal-Minded Teacher MOOC, aims to help educators realize the significance of transforming a task or an assignment into a mission. This way learning becomes meaningful and students get motivated. I liked Shely Terrell's tip to say to our students ‘I’m sending you on a mission to…’ instead of saying ‘Your homework today is….'
Why does completing MISSIONS motivate Ss?
· Missions are not boring (... like homework); they provide a challenge.
· Missions are accomplished by superheroes, clergy, military heroes, agents.
· Ss are familiar with accomplishing missions in video games.
CHARACTERISTICS OF A MISSION
· A mission is a challenge Ss achieve
· A mission has a meaningful purpose
· A mission is connected to the Ss’real world experiences.
Week 2 also points out the use of badges as an effective tool to empower students to achieve goals which grades do not recognize. In addition, badges provide evidence of the students' accomplishments.
WEEK 2 CHALLENGES
🙂I consider the task above a mission because it provides students with a challenge. Instead of asking my young students to write a short story, I ask them to show kindness to a peer by offering them an ebook as a gift. The mission connects to their real world experience. They often offer a book as a present to a friend on birthdays or similar occasions. Because of their young age, they have no money to buy a real book; the idea of creating something themselves provides them with motivation and also gives them ownership of their work. As a result, it provides them with a real purpose to write in EFL.
I aim to explain my students the mission on the template above by displaying it on our IWB. As a second step, I aim to display a simpler version of the template with easy steps for them to follow as they are primary school pupils. The simpler version will be the poster below. I'll also give them a handout of the rubric they need to resort to for their mission (view below). Finally, I will let them know they will be awarded with a badge as soon as they accomplish their mission.
🙂I used Makebadges, http://www.makebadg.es/ to create a badge for students who accomplish the mission I send them to. The only criterion for my students to be awarded this badge is to create a digital book to share with a classmate following the instructions they were provided with. The purpose of the badge is twofold, primarily to award students for an act of kindness towards one of their classmates and to acknowledge the effort of their creative and fluent use of EFL (English as a Foreign Language). The badge will be uploaded and awarded through https://credly.com/ . I picked this site because I like the platform feature of being able to provide a description and a list of criteria for the credit students receive. View the screenshot below.