Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Hacking Assessments with Augmented Reality

In my new role I am overseeing the students enrolled in our help desk course. I am in the process of invigorating a program that has been languishing. To do this, the I returned to the core of what the program is supposed to be or supposed to accomplish: independent learning by students and service to the community. Each student has identified a problem, of sorts, that they want to solve, they are working through design thinking protocols to develop and prototype solutions as well as identifying areas of new learning for themselves in order to implement the solution.

Two students have partnered to help revamp our freshmen orientation and new student transition programs by creating a 3D virtual tour of our school.

One student is investigating high levels of stress in shelter animals and plans to use our makerspace to create toys and other tools for donating to local shelters.

Another student is responding to teacher frustrations with our current program for reporting grades by building a grade book as a Google add-on.

Yet another student is hacking assessment.

He decided that the problem he experiences impacts his classmates as well, and that is, lack of choice in assessments. From his perspective, students are assigned to do the same thing in all of their classes. No variety and little choice. So he is learning augmented reality tools to systematically hack assessments that are assigned to him. His goal is to apply an AR hack to one assessment in each discipline over the course of the semester.

He has started by using Metaverse to create a guide to solving a complex math problem. He is anticipating all of the errors a student could make while solving the problem and using his AR tour to provide hints and redirection. This is the student explain his progress so far, obstacles he has encountered, and how he is getting around them.

He is still doing all of the work that is assigned to him. He is using the one period each day during which he is assigned to help desk, to show the same learning his teachers expect in a different (and personalized) way. When he is done, he will share both products with his teacher: the assigned one, and the hack. Once he has completed two or three of them, we plan to offer an "Appy Hour" seminar for faculty to learn from him about his projects and what he is learning along the way.

To that end, he is regularly sharing with me his metacognitive moments along the way. Here he is sharing his reflection about learning while working on his math problem:

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