Develop Critical Thinking Skills with a SmartMusic Response Assignment

At the mention of a SmartMusic assignment, most readers of this blog probably think of a repertoire-based assignment, where you send a student a piece of music to perform.

Today I’d like to talk about another type of assignment, called a Response Assignment, which can also be very useful. Response Assignments allow you to create a wide variety of assignments that share only one thing in common; they require a student response. Response Assignments will frequently be text-based questions, but they can also include or require attachments (like an audio file), so they offer great flexibility. Let’s look at one example.

Let’s say you want your students to listen to a section from a piece that you are rehearsing and to respond with written comments.

Start by recording the section during class and save it as an MP3 file. (If you haven’t already used SmartMusic to record your class, try it out! It’s a great way to provide immediate feedback.)

Next, log in to SmartMusic and click on the class that you want to create the assignment for. At the bottom right of the screen, choose Response Assignment to arrive here:

This is where you name the assignment, provide your instructions, and click on “Choose File” to attach the recording you saved.

Among your options is an ability to require the student to return an attachment. This could take the form of a word processing document, or, for a different type of assignment, a student recording, a Finale NotePad file, or just about anything you can imagine.

Other aspects are very similar to sending other assignments. You schedule dates and hit an “Assign to” button to choose the classes and students you’d like to send the assignment.

When your students open this assignment, they see your instructions, can download the MP3 file, and have a place where they can type their response. When ready, they click the “Submit Reponse” button.

Once the student hits the “Submit Response” button, their reply automatically appears in your gradebook where you can access it, review it, and give your comments.

For this hypothetical example, the student was asked to analyze a recording and express an opinion based on what has been learned in class. For those of you whose schools require that all teachers assist in developing student writing skills, I think Response Assignments can make this requirement a manageable task.

Again, this is just one example of what can be done with a Response Assignment. I hope it inspires you to think of new possibilities for its use.  If you’d like more detailed help on creating any kind of assignments, check out the updated Assignment videos found here, and specifically the “Creating Assignments” video.

We’d love to hear from you! Please let us know if you have any questions, or share with us how you’re using Response Assignments – or any other aspect of SmartMusic – by clicking on “Comments” below.

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