DRPC: discuss, research, present and comment

Slide from presentation summarising task

Above, the third task I suggested in my session at our ELT Conference last weekend, with thanks due to Rachel and Yvette for carrying out the task with their learners and providing comments on it.

I'm a big fan of what I call DRPC tasks as they seem to produce the right blend of (1) plenty of face-to-fact discussion, with (2) language being provided as and when required; and of the learners then making (3) productive use of technology for communicative purposes, without the technology taking over from the latter.

DRPC Stages

  • Discussion In the case that I described, the discussion was on whether or not the class get enough exercise — in a class of teens, theoretically B2 but some way below that
  • Research After class, they were required to confirm or refute what had been said in class, by surveying each other and other kids in other classes in the school (a secondary school in France). For the research, which they did in groups of 3 or 4, some used the amazing Google Drive forms to create questionnaires, while others used a pedometer app to record actual data. Facebook and WhatsApp chat were also used for communicating between the group and with other peers.
  • Presentation Two weeks later, the groups made oral presentations in class, each of a maximum "3 slides in 3 minutes", with a 3-5 minute Q+A slot before the next presentation. Google Drive presentations (aka Google Slides) and Prezi were used to create the presentations with most of the work on the presentations being done outside class time. Some of the class did have time to rehearse in class, giving the presentation to the teacher.
  • Comments Subsequently, mainly using Tackk, which allows your learners to create a simple web page, and works great on a mobile phone, there was quite a lot of discussion of what had been said, quite a lot too about how "cool" some of the presentations were and how they'd done certain things in them.

As noted previously, designing tasks so that maximum advantage is taken of the time available in class is important, as is having that fourth commenting stage, to get more language and more communication out of the task — and out of the technology.

Below, also from my presentation, the sort of data that can be collected with a pedometer app:

Screenshots from Pacer app

And finally, a couple more, similar activities from my own Twitter feed: