Jenny Luca, popular edtech blogger, teacher and librarian, describes her first foray into project based learning in her English classroom. A great reflective post in which Jenny shares the principles and practice of PBL. A lovely student assignment is also shared.
You can transform your classroom. While there are many approaches to project-based learning, we have had the most success with the model our team developed -- a model called "The Seven Phases of a Project Cycle." Each and every one of our instructional units is designed using these seven phases.
To begin, ask yourself these questions:
* What instructional unit do I want to transform?
* What engaging, relevant, real-world problem could students attempt to solve that is related to the concepts and skills in the unit?
* What authentic roles can students take on to try solving this problem?
* How might students be asked to work collaboratively to try solving this problem?
"In recent years, most students in my project-based AP Government classes have indicated, in both class discussions and anonymously on surveys, that they prefer project-based learning to a more traditional classroom experience. They find PBL more fun and believe that it leads to deeper learning. However, two types of students often resist this model..."
This post explores resistance to the PBL learning design and suggests how to overcome it. Furthermore, team dynamics and assessment are cited by students as the elements of PBL that most frustrate them. This post suggests ways of addressing these two concerns though a differentiated assessment method that includes: individual skills area, role-based assessment and 'weighted" scoring.
Project Based Learning can mean different things to different people, and can be practiced in a variety of ways. For educators who want to dive in, the good news is that a rich trove of resources are available.
In order to create your own definition and practice, here are some parameters to consider. This diagram, enhanced by the critical eye of Brenda Sherry, can help you figure out what’s important to you and your students.
Anne Whaits's insight:
Well designed PBL supports deep, authentic learning that is student-driven and enables students to fully engage with the content.
."..students can construct deep knowledge about a topic as they engage in building a multimedia project. If used efficiently, a well designed student-driven learning experience can take the place of traditional methods of teaching content..... Effective instructional technology integration calls for using technology as a tool for learning, not as an add on. To truly make a difference, there needs to be an adjustment in instructional practices. My suggestion is for teachers to abandon the role of "Content Deliverer" and take an approach in which they become a "Facilitator of Learning".
Susan Oxnevad (@soxnevad) provides a great list of tips for designing an effective technology powered multimedia project and shares an exemplar of this with one of her student-driven multimedia projects in which the student demonstrated their construct of knowledge using ThingLink. The PBL nature of the learning design is beautifully illustrated through an essential driving question.
"In Project Based Learning (PBL), students go through an extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem, or challenge. While allowing for some degree of student "voice and choice," rigorous projects are carefully planned, managed, and assessed to help students learn key academic content, practice 21st Century Skills (such as collaboration, communication & critical thinking), and create high-quality, authentic products & presentations."
According to the Buck Institute for Education www.bie.org/ , rigorous, meaningful and effective Project Based Learning:
* is intended to teach significant content.
* requires critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and various forms of communication.
* requires inquiry as part of the process of learning and creating something new.
* is organized around an open-ended Driving Question.
* creates a need to know essential content and skills.
* allows some degree of student voice and choice.
* includes processes for revision and reflection. involves a public audience.
If we are serious about reaching 21st Century educational goals, PBL must be at the center of 21st Century instruction. The project contains and frames the curriculum, which differs from the short "project" or activity added onto traditional instruction. PBL is, "The Main Course, not Dessert."
The BIE site offers a wealth of information and tools to use in your learning design.
"The University of Nottingham and the Open University are partners in a £1.2m project to help school students learn the skills of modern science. The three year project, funded by the UK ESRC and EPSRC research councils, is developing a new approach of 'scripted inquiry learning', where children aged 11-14 investigate a science topic with classmates by carrying out explorations between their classroom, homes and discovery centres, guided by a personal computer.
The aim is for children to understand themselves and the world in which they live, through a scientific process of gathering and assessing evidence, conducting experiments and engaging in informed debate. The handheld computers, monitored and supported by their teacher, will guide the students through the activities, which can change depending on the profile and input of each individual taking part. Their activities will be based around topic themes — Myself, My Environment, My Community — that engage young learners in investigating their health, diet and fitness, their immediate environment and their wider surroundings. These topics are key elements of the new 21st century science curriculum that requires children to reason about the natural sciences as a complex system and to explore how people relate to the physical world.
The project has an international Advisory Panel to provide advice and support."
PDF poster and leaflet available to download here:
Prof Grainne Conole has developed several pedagogical templates to help teachers in higher education to create courses around different pedagogical models. This one focuses on the problem-based learning approach.
"This structure is useful for inquiry-based modules, where students find or explore materials/activities to investigate/solve the problems or cases. It is particularly useful for Science courses, where the students focus on a problem that needs investigating. It is a good example of a constructivist approach to learning. The structure is based around starting with the problem to be solved, which is usually in the form of a question. Students are provided with advice on how to tackle the problem and given suggestions of resources to investigate. The problem can be tackled individually or in groups. The jigsaw pedagogical pattern is a good way of structuring a group-based activity. In this a group of 4 students are given different aspects of the problem to investigate. All the students looking at one aspect of the problem then get together with other students in other groups to share their findings. Then they return to their home team and share their collective understanding."
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.