Differentiation by transformation of the product means the product will represent what was learned (the content) in a format different from its original form. An authentic transformation should represent a “conversion of known information into new entities – changes in meaning, significance, use, interpretation, mood, sensory qualities, or shape.”Summarizing the thoughts of others is not sufficient, nor is simply fitting the original content into an alternate form. As scholars and inquirers, students must interpret information, develop their own ideas, and present them in appropriate ways.
“The concept of transformation contains the following elements: (a) viewing from a different perspective, (b) reinterpreting, (c) elaborating, (d) extending (or going beyond), and (e) combining simultaneously.”
The experiences involved in the quote above can be woven into the learning process so the process of transforming the content is involved in the learning process as well as the development of the product. The examples of differentiated activities provided for “Authentic Audience” and “Feedback and Assessment” both include examples of Transformations.
|Regular product: Teacher grades students’ written reports on countries around the world by giving points (out of 100) for title page, accuracy of content, punctuation, grammar and spelling.|
|Transformed product: Students present what they’ve learned about a country by using this information to recruit their classmates as immigrants. Classmates evaluate the presentation by keeping or turning in the round-trip and one-way tickets they have been given for travel to that country. If they keep the one-way ticket they are indicating the country looks good enough to go there and stay (immigrate). If they are intrigued but not convinced, they can keep the round-trip ticket so they can visit but not stay. If the country doesn’t look interesting, they can turn in both tickets indicating they’d rather stay where they are.|
Products can be classified according to their form of expression. Roberts & Inmanprovide 5 categories: kinesthetic, verbal (oral), visual, written, and technological. Products involving transformation change content learned from products in one category in a format from another category. In the example above, information derived from written (online and printed sources) was transformed into a visual model of an amusement park ride.