About Academic Enrichment Activities
Opportunities for Authentic Decision-Making
Allowing students to make decisions about how an activity will proceed gives them ownership of the activity. For this to occur, the decisions made by participants must be "real" decisions. Real decisions are those that affect student experience and affect the outcome of the activity. The results of these decisions should be visible to the students and linked to the learning goals of the activity. For example, if a program were running a school store, students may be given the options of whether to have a sale, when to hold it, how much to cut prices, how to advertise, etc. Through making these decisions, the students feel that they have a stake in the outcome of the activity and they can see the consequences in terms of the change in the profit margin, sales numbers, and number of customers. These types of decisions affect student experience and the outcome of the activity. The decisions made by students should be age appropriate. Younger students may be able to feel some ownership of an activity by making choices from a limited set of options. However, as students get older, the decisions they make should become broader in both scope and depth.