A New Classroom Model

When our school began our 1:1 computing project, teachers had lots of questions:
  • How will my class change when everyone has a computer?  
  • How should my class operate on a daily basis?
  • What kind of assignments should students do? 
  • How do students "turn in" assignments?  
These are all legitimate questions that should be addressed by EVERY teacher as we enter the 21st Century.  The rapid influx of computers brought these questions surging to the surface for teachers and administrators alike.   One thing was for sure, we didn't buy 350 Macbooks so we could continue the same education we had in the past.  Things needed to change.   We needed to move our pedagogy and assessment into the 21st Century.  We are all at different stages of change.

Before school started, my collaborator Joey Till stumbled upon a progressive teacher named Mark Barnes.  Barnes developed a new model called ROLE--Results Only Learning Environment.  ROLE "is a system of education that uses project-based learning and evaluates students' mastery of learning outcomes, based strictly on the results, rather than the methods used to get to the results". No worksheets, no tests, NO GRADES!  Yes, you read that right.  Assessment is done through narrative feedback--conversations with students.

Barnes and progressive educators have inspired Joey and a few other people I work with to abandon tradition.  This year I have yet to give a quiz or test and my students are learning more than ever.  How do I know?  I talk to them.  When students finish an activity, we sit down together and evaluate their work based on the requirements of the activity.  They assess their own work and assign a grade we can both agree on.  I ask them content questions to make sure they know it.   My next post will go into greater detail about my grading process.


  1. Your method of teaching must really make an impact on the typical student day. Your classes are the ones the kids will talk about for the rest of their lives, you are changing lives. I hope all that you have given so selflessly, for the joy of teaching gets noticed, not for noteriety, but to spread to more educators.
    love, mom

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