"What do you think was the purpose of this activity?"


#1

I would like my students to reflect on the purpose of the activities we do, as opposed to just having them think “okay, we’re done with that.” I had them respond to the journal prompt…
"What do you think was the purpose of this activity?"
Specifically, I did this for the lesson “What is a computer?” (Or “How many computers are in this room?..”) In that lesson, we as a class don’t really settle on a concrete definition. My actual objective as a teacher is for students to open up their concept of what a computer is. Hopefully, they will accept that smartphones can be computers, and some may even accept that humans can be computers. Regardless of what exactly they believe is a computer, I want them to end up with a larger count than they initially started with, but not get hung up on not having an exact definition (“so what’s the right answer???”).
To my surprise, most student responses related to having a broadened definition of a computer. There were some other insightful responses (“share each others perspective”), but for some who I think completely missed the point, should I do anything about it? What if most students missed the point? Should I just tell them the purpose of the activity? Or is my objective better reached in other ways other than this question? I’m not a fan of asking a supposedly open-ended question, then telling the students there is “the correct answer”, but I feel like this is what I’m setting myself up for here.