GOA's Catalyst Exhibition: Three Reasons Why Student Agency Matters

GOA has recently hosted the Semester 1 Catalyst Exhibition, a celebration of student agency that challenged students to explore, create, and display their ideas and projects. For GOA, student agency matters. It is the force behind inspiring and motivating students to take charge of their own learning, to become creative problem-solvers, and to develop the skills and confidence to make an impact in their lives and their communities. The exhibition highlights three powerful reasons why student agency matters; first, it encourages students to explore their own interests; second, it teaches them how to take charge of their own learning; and finally, it inspires them to make an impact in the world.

“In education systems that encourage student agency, learning involves not only instruction and evaluation but also co-construction. Co-agency is when teachers and students become co-creators in the teaching-and learning process. The concept of co-agency recognises that students, teachers, parents and communities work together to help students progress towards their shared goals.” -From Student Agency for 2030 OECD

Over 590 projects were designed and presented by students as a culmination of their GOA course experience this semester. With the support and feedback from teachers and peers, students each crafted a driving question and designed a project using one of three tracks as a guide:

Three graphic images with text: Track 1: RESPOND, Track 2: SHARE, and Track 3: IMPACT
  • Track 1: RESPOND - Projects propose or live out a solution that aims to make progress on a chosen UN Sustainable Development Goal.

  • Track 2: SHARE - Projects pursue and apply research that offers a for-now response to a Beautiful Question.

  • Track 3: IMPACT - Projects aim to make a change or an impact on a community of the student’s choosing.

During the Catalyst Exhibition hosted between December 8-12, students have had opportunities to explore and celebrate each other within and across courses. They were able to search by topic, track, or tags to discover what their peers have been investigating. This semester the following courses participated in the Catalyst Exhibition:

  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Architecture
  • Bioethics
  • Business Problem Solving
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Visualization
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Entrepreneurship in a Global Context
  • Game Theory
  • Global Health
  • Graphic Design
  • Introduction to Investments
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Linear Algebra
  • Macroeconomics
  • Medical Problem Solving II
  • Microeconomics
  • Neuropsychology
  • Personal Finance
  • Positive Psychology
  • Race & Society
  • Social Psychology

Completing a Catalyst project takes time, thought, and is in itself an indicator of success. GOA believes all students who participate in the Catalyst Exhibition deserve recognition for their pursuit of learning.

During the exhibition, students explored each other’s projects from within their own course and also across courses. To support student peer feedback, we invited students to nominate projects for Peer-to-Peer Recognition.

At the conclusion of the exhibition, faculty nominate noteworthy projects that fulfill the following criteria to be considered for the Catalyst Showcase.

The project demonstrates the target outcomes impressively and that resulted from an exemplary process, which included careful, thorough research and excellent crafting of a beautiful question and shaping of an original and well-considered response to it. These projects also raise awareness and promote grassroots actions and institutional change.

Today, GOA is announcing the projects that have been selected for inclusion in the Catalyst Exhibition Showcase from the Semester 1 nominations! We hope these projects not only serve as exemplars for further students embarking on a Catalyst project but will also amplify these students voices to a wider audience via GOA’s public-facing gallery.

For more, see:

This post is part of our Student Spotlight series, where we feature stories from students who take GOA courses. Are you a current or former GOA student who would like to be interviewed for a Student Spotlight article? Or, are you an educator who has a recommendation for a student for us to feature? Email us at hello@globalonlineacademy.org with the subject title “Student Spotlight.”

GOA serves students, teachers, and leaders and is comprised of member schools from around the world, including independent, international, charter, and public schools. Learn more about Becoming a Member. Our professional learning opportunities are open to any educator or school team. Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter. To stay up to date on GOA learning opportunities, sign up for our newsletter.

Be a part of what's next
Connect with us

Contact Us