Wednesday, October 11, 2017

5 Tips for Creating Your Own Assignment Tic Tac Toe Board

Choice is an important aspect of student engagement. If we know that it works, why do we sometimes limit the amount of choice that we give students? I know that it is not always appropriate or possible, but there are always ways to provide options.

With this in mind, I decided to combine the idea of a Tic Tac Toe board and choices. There are many great examples across the Internet of educators using this idea to create assignments. Here is an idea that I created:

Here are 5 tips for creating your own assignment Tic Tac Toe board:

1. State Your Goals 

If you notice, because humans are naturally goal-oriented, I provided the goal for each section. We need to understand "why" we are doing something; therefore, I stated it in clear terms (i.e. find a current event, summarize, share your opinion).

2. Clear Goals, Require Clear Assessments

Although it is important to share your goals, it is also important to have a rubric communicating specific behaviors and actions. Students should have access to your rubric. Avoid Likert scales 1 - 5 without any description of the behaviors!

3. Structured Options

Too many options creates the burden of choice. I have learned to provide students with a few structured choices. My Tic Tac Toe board provides students with the ability to construct (hand written or typed) or create (with audio or video).  In my experience, if students have too many options, they will sit there and do nothing.

4. Scaffolds and Supports

In any assignment, there are always high-probability barriers. It may be helpful to provide scaffolds, supports, and examples of what you are talking about. In the Tic Tac Toe board, I provided several different scaffolds and supports. For example, I suggested approximately 2 -3 tools they should consider when doing the project, such as Google Docs, QuickTime, etc.

I also placed arrows on the Tic Tac Toe board as examples of what diagonal or vertical mean. Why? This can be a difficult concept for some students.

5. Create an Electronic Version

If your students have access to technology, I would create an electronic version of your Tic Tac Toe board. Why? It provides students with visual difficulties with the opportunity to zoom in and out. Students can print out copies if they lost the copy you handed out. Hyperlinks provide an interactive component to take students to various resources.


Have you created your own Tic Tac Toe board? I would love to hear about it! Please share a comment below.

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