Recently, Big Universe Learning reached out to educators who currently use their product, to ask for useful information related to features the site currently has or should have in the future. Through this conversation, many ideas were shared and the opinions of those using the site were thoughtfully valued. I'm excited and encouraged by the relationship Big Universe Learning has developed with its customers, and appreciate their willingness to listen to educators when developing new aspects of their product. The future of Big Universe is exciting considering all of the input they are seeking from educators regarding best practices!
In the past couple weeks, I have been looking at increasing rates for extended response questions which require my students to provide a written response to the passage. This skill (and I say skill, because it does take a careful eye to examine exactly what the question is asking) should be developed along with encouraging students to answer literal comprehension questions in the form of multiple choice. In most standardized testing situations however, those questions which require a written response are worth a greater value, compared to multiple choice type questions.
When searching the internet, I was continually disappointed with the type of questions that I found in terms of rigor and the ability to differentiate. I was looking for questions that used verbs from Bloom's Taxonomy beyond the "knowledge" or "remembering" level. I wanted my students to experience questions which required them to extend, apply, defend, support and compare (just to name a few verbs that can be used past the lowest level of Bloom's Taxonomy).
After discussing this idea with the "Master Minds" behind Big Universe Learning, it was clear that they were willing to support this educational feature. Please stay tuned to a new feature soon to be added to the site which allows students to answer extended response questions to increase their written comprehension skills! (Consideration is even being given to grade level expectations, and differentiation will be included). Teachers will soon have a new way to examine student written comprehension by using the books on Big Universe! Thanks Big Universe for listening and supporting teachers and students in the classroom!