The very first slide of the very first lecture

In my ungraded course, my students assess themselves formatively and summatively, which is no small task and takes some practice. I have a great colleague/friend on Twitter (Rebekah @grrrlmeetsworld) who used this in her course(s), and I stole it (with permission) and used it as the very first activity, right out of the gates.

The slide asks students to chose what role they’d like to play in this course. I offer no judgement – any choice is perfectly fine, including “hostage”, which is the reality of our educational system sometimes. The word that the vast majority of students chose – so many that you can no longer read the word – is “explorer”, which feels exactly right. Because my students make and reflect on their own learning goals, defining their role in the course matters, and it’s also flexible. We will revisit this as a grounding exercise every few weeks.

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