By Roxanne H. Fuentes
Education in the new normal has challenged every teacher to think of ways to deliver quality teaching and learning among students. Suddenly, the delivery has shifted from face-to-face classes to other kinds of learning delivery modalities such as online and blended learning. One of the challenges brought by this change that we experience is on measuring students’ performance. It is difficult when we cannot see our students physically and there is also a limitation on what they can do virtually and how much time they can spend online. That is why we give them asynchronous activities which they can do independently at their own pace to ensure that learning will continue without our presence.
As a teacher, one of the amazing ways that I discovered to measure student learning is by using GRASPS, a model in designing authentic performance-based tasks advocated by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe. I have used this before the pandemic and I see it as a very good model to deliver asynchronous tasks in online and blended learning. I see a lot of advantages in using this model in class and here are just some of them:
- It can be used in any learning area and whatever mode of learning delivery a teacher uses.
- It can be used for problem-solving activities.
- It allows students to think critically and creatively.
- It leads students to produce a tangible product or a visual performance making learning authentic.
GRASPS is basically an acronym for
G – Goal states the challenge to be solved. This is based on the objective of the lesson.
R – Role explains who the students are in the scenario and what they should do to solve the problem.
A – Audience states whom students are solving the problem for or creating the product for.
S – Situation explains the context of the scenario including factors and risks that could hamper the solution of the problem.
P – Product/ Performance explains the product or performance that the students need to create.
S – Standard states the criteria to be met and how their work will be measured or assessed. A teacher can create rubrics for this.
Sample Activity in English
This is a sample activity that I have used in one of my English grammar lessons.
Lesson: Count and Mass Nouns / Count and Non-countable Nouns
Objective of the Lesson: Students will create phrases and sentences using count and mass nouns.
Target Grade Levels: Grades 4 – 6
Goal: To create a nutritious but tasty dinner menu.
Role: You are a chef and a nutritionist.
Audience: It is for kids who are picky eaters or those who like to eat unhealthy junk foods.
Situation: You need to prepare a nutritious but tasty dinner menu set for a picky eater. Make sure to use and label different kinds of count and mass nouns used in your menu.
Product: A menu plan for a nutritious but tasty dinner with descriptions of the ingredients used in the menu.
Standard/Criteria: Your menu is well-balanced following the USDA’s My Plate. Phrases and sentences in the descriptions contain count and mass nouns and are properly identified.
Variation / Integration to Other Subject Areas
Though I am primarily an English teacher, I also teach other subjects in my advisory class. As a teacher teaching different subjects, I also see the GRASPS model as an efficient way to integrate lessons from different subject areas and an opportunity to engage students in project-based learning. For the sample activity above, you can add these activities to integrate the lesson to other learning areas:
Math: Computation of calories in the menu using a food calorie chart
Science and health: Identify the food group to which each of the food on the menu belongs.
Civics: Identify locally produced food and food products and include these in the menu.
Arts: Create a visual output of their menu (drawing, photo, digital drawing, video, etc.).
Some students may have difficulties in producing a product of this performance-based task. You may provide guides to students and give relevant examples beforehand to prepare them in this task. You might also want to consider having them work in groups so they can work collaboratively with the task. They can also ask adults and experts to help them.
The GRASPS model can be used in a variety of ways and for different purposes. In education in the new normal, this can ensure asynchronous learning opportunities for students and through this, the learning becomes less boring, more engaging, and absolutely meaningful.
About the Author
Roxanne Fuentes has been teaching in the Philippines for 11 years and currently works as an Education Program Specialist in the Department of Education.