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Use GRASPS for Real-World Assessment

Teenage students writing
(Image credit: iStock/AntonioGuillem)

Innovative educators understand that there is more to learning than processed worksheets and tests. That's why real-world tasks and assessments are finally making it out of just the elite schools and are becoming more prevalent in mainstream education. 

At the Tech & Learning Leadership Summit experts in the area of technology and education came together to discuss a variety of topics including how technology supports bringing real learning experiences to the classroom. 

G.R.A.S.P.S. Model

One model popular among attendees was one adapted from Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe.  It is called GRASPS, which is an acronym standing for:

G: Goal

  • Provide a statement of the task. Establish the goal, problem, challenge, or obstacle in the task.
  • Possible sentence starters:
  • Your task is to… The goal is to… The problem or challenge is… The obstacle to overcome is…

R: Role

  • Define the role of the students in the task. State the job of the students for the task.
  • Possible sentence starters:
  • You are… You have been asked to… Your job is…

A: Audience

  • Identify the target audience within the context of the scenario. Example audiences might include a client or committee. 
  • Possible sentence starters:
  • Your clients are… The target audience is… You need to convince…

S: Situation

  • Set the context of the scenario. Explain the situation.
  • Possible sentence starters:
  • The context you find yourself in is… The challenge involves dealing with…

P: Products or Performances

  • Clarify what the students will create and why they will create it,
  • Possible sentence starters:
  • You will create a … in order to… You need to develop a … so that 

S: Standards

  • Provide students with a clear picture of success. Identify specific standards for success. Issue rubrics to the students or develop them with the student.
  • Possible sentence starters:
  • Your performance needs to… Your work will be judged by… Your product must meet the following standards… A successful result will… 

Note that it is unnecessary to use all or even any of the sentence starters. You can replace a prompt with your own. These are provided to help the learning designer think about the task. Generally one sentence starter can be used to write 

cross posted at The Innovative Educator 

Lisa Nielsen (@InnovativeEdu) has worked as a public-school educator and administrator since 1997. She is a prolific writer best known for her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator. Nielsen is the author of several booksand her writing has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times,The Wall Street JournalTech&Learning, and T.H.E. Journal.