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The Hierarchy of Audience

The typical student experience is doing a task and showing it to a teacher. Sometimes there's feedback, most often there's not. Sometimes the work is revised and sometimes it lands in a student backpack, never to be seen again.

In project-based learning, we try to change that experience.

Project-based learning requires students to present their learning at an exhibition, with an authentic audience at the end or in the process of the project. Not all audiences are created equal though. Creating projects where students produce work that serves a real purpose in the world empowers students to engage with learning differently than only presenting to a teacher.

To find the ultimate audience for your project, ask yourself these questions:

  • Who could use the information we are learning?

  • Who could use the products we are making?

Every project is different and may require a varying level of audience, but if engagement and motivation is lacking in your students, thinking critically about audience is one good place to start making changes.

This work is adapted from the amazing work of Ron Berger and EL Education in Leaders of Their Own Learning.


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