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Involving authentic audiences in the learning process can imbue projects with purpose and raise the stakes for the quality of student work. While there is value with experts simply sharing knowledge, the impact is magnified when students present to and get feedback from authentic audiences. Two alternative schools from Providence, RI and Holyoke, MA will share how they have created performance tasks that include presentation to authentic audiences in both physical and virtual classrooms.

Session Learning Outcomes:

  1. Participants will learn about how projects can be designed to include authentic audience participation, through public exhibitions and expert feedback.
  2. Participants will brainstorm how they can design learning experiences and performance tasks that include authentic audiences.
  3. Participants will build a plan to invite authentic audiences into their school or classroom as a way to engage students and strengthen student work.


  • Christy Kingham, Director, Leadership & School Design, Springpoint | @ckingham
  • Geoffrey Schmidt, Engagement Director, Holyoke Public Schools | @HPSHOLYOKE
  • Jessica Waters, Executive Director, Nowell Leadership Academy | @jwaters1607