CL Newsletter, November 2022 - Challenge Creator, Part 2

Challenge Creator is out in the wild and we know you want more! This month, we’re following up our guide to building Challenge Creators with a few non-content specific examples (and why we love them), some examples of interesting Challenge Creators from our publicly available activities, and some of the activities that we’ve seen you share on social media over the last month.

Two Truths and a Lie

Two Truths and a Lie is such a dynamic activity that can be used for everything from icebreakers and introductions to mathematical descriptions (like we’ve done here). Challenge Creator is a great medium for this activity not only because it’s simple to set up and modify, but because it allows each student to respond to a challenge individually.

This, or a version of it, can be set up fairly quickly by carrying forward a bit of text:

Asking students to make a choice:

And offering them an opportunity to explain their decision:

Once that’s been set up, each student can browse through the challenges put forth by their classmates and complete them in any order they want.

But these aren’t the real reasons why we’ve chosen to show this activity.

In most Challenge Creators, the student creating the challenge usually ends by completing their own challenge (often to prove that it’s solvable). This prompt, however, makes less sense for the person telling the truths and lie than the people guessing them, so you may have noticed a subtle difference in the last creation screen and the response screen:

This is a great example of a time when the checkbox “Author skips the response step” is selected and a custom “response screen” is instead added to the series of creation screens. It’s a great tool to use when you want the creation experience to be completely different from the response.

See The Activity

It’s no secret that the sketch component is the favorite component of many CL specialists at Desmos Classroom. One big drawback, however, is the inability to have students interact directly with each other’s sketches. That can be done easily in graphs using aggregate to carry forward key parts of the equations, but with the sketch component, there’s no way to pass an entire sketch over to another student without either significantly limiting or possibly degrading the student’s creation.

But with Challenge Creator, (almost) anything is possible!

Here, students sketch a squiggle, or something:

Challenge Creator puts that sketch into the class gallery:

And each student has a chance to add on to any sketch they want:

We love this challenge because it allows students to create totally unique challenges while also providing useful restrictions (use a single stroke). And as a bonus, challenge creation is very quick, which means fewer students who have created challenges will be left waiting for their classmates to create challenges for them.

Gallery Walk

Among the most popular activities we’ve seen each year are the myriad of graph art projects you have your students complete. Oftentimes, those projects involve you, the teacher, collecting and curating various graph links. Instead, consider using Challenge Creator to showcase their work to the class.

This exact format might not work for every graphing project, but we’d love to help you tweak it or make a new one to suit your needs. Email (Jay, John, Leah, or Schuyler) with your questions and requests.

Cool Stuff From You

It’s been really exciting to see all of the fantastic ways that the community has started using Challenge Creator. Here are a few from the past month:

Derivative Slope Capture — Steve Phelps

In addition to the lovely interface, we love how much variety there can be in the questions that the students create. We also love how students can start to predict the pattern based on previous challenges and then check their predictions using the graph display. Add a little bit of challenge creation and response blocking, and this challenge would be a great addition to any derivative activity.

Flight Plan — Dan Wekselgreene

This activity does a great job of making sure each student creates and completes a solvable challenge by having students solve their own challenge before submitting. The interaction is also very cool! The only thing we wonder about is how long it will take students to create their challenge and if an option to make a trip with shorter legs might speed that up.

Lastly, it wouldn’t be a CL Newsletter if we didn’t leave you with something to play with, so we compiled some of our favorite non-subject specific Challenge Creators for you to use or tinker with. Many of these have been shared in the past, but we’re re-sharing them here in one place!