Here is the place where I will develop my project for Edtech 542:
Topic 8 Reflective Journal
The culminating event is over, the project presentations have been presented, groups and peers have been evaluated, reflection journals are in. Is the PBL experience really over? Absolutely not. One of the most powerful forms of assessment and project evaluation is the post project reflection. Use the resources from this week to assist you as you think about how you intend to debrief your PBL experience. Some questions to consider:
- Who will you involve in the process?It is very important to involve all people who have been involved in the inquiry process and the project. These will be teachers, students, audience to whom the PBL project has been demonstrated and who took part in the culminating activity
- What will your process look like?Depending on those involved in the process it can take different shapes. For example, the audience could be asked to fill in a brief survey related to the final project presented. With the students involved in the PBL this can be a discussion of what went well, what could have been done better, recommendations they might have to make future projects more successful or streamlined. I also will complete my own learning and reflection log/journal in which I can note down what went well and what parts can be better organized.
- Is it just a one-time assessment? It is not just a one-time assessment as the knowledge that students have acquired while working on the project will benefit them in their future learning.
This week I continued to explore aspects of the PBL approach to learning and one of its aspects that is consistently emphasized is the final product that is presented to an audience beyond the classroom. Presenting the final product to a public audience is one of the eight characteristics of the PBL approach to learning. As John Larmer writes this makes students more careful about the quality of the final product and it also makes schoolwork more meaningful.
Not only an audience but an authentic audience is an important aspect to consider when using a PBL approach. But what is authentic audience? Authentic audience will help answer the question that students might ask themselves: “Why do I need to know this?”Authentic audience will help put the final product in context and will help students engage in meaningful conversations about changes that need to be made. It helps link the product with a real-world situation. If students are looking at a local issue, students from other classes, parents and other members of the community might be considered an authentic audience. But if students are engaged in a global project such audience will not be considered authentic. There are many people around the world that have a story to tell and are eager to hear from young people that are interested in contributing to the cause they are involved in. These people are not necessarily experts, even the most unknown individual can become an expert for students to hear from.
So, to come back to the question- it is still PBL without an authentic audience? Well, seems that it is not as an important element is taken away, namely, making the project meaningful for the students and allowing for it to make a change and attract attention. Thus, authentic audience has a special and significant part to play in the PBL approach.
Authentic Audiences. (2014, September 14). Retrieved February 14, 2016, from http://ictbyteachers.weebly.com/authentic-audiences.html
Focus on Audience for Better PBL Results (2014, February 21). Retrieved February 13, 2016, from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/focus-on-audience-for-better-pbl-results-suzie-boss
I read through a lot of readings related to PBL and also explored a variety of projects to find an idea to create my own project.
After exploring a variety of projects from elementary to college level I came to several conclusions about PBL. This approach to learning is inquiry-based, develops critical thinking in learners, teaches practical and collaboration skills, and the final result is presented to a wider audience. PBL requires extensive preparation on the side of the teacher, establishes good relationships between teacher and students, and engages learners in their own learning.
While researching details of PBL I came across an article by Intel@Teach Program, which gives the basics of PBL and very clearly points out its main elements. PBL is clearly based on inquiry and as inquiry is one of the ATLs (Approaches to Teaching and Learning) of the IB Diploma Program it aligns naturally with the subject area I teach- Economics. The challenging questions in the center of PBL are a natural part of learning and teaching in the IB Diploma.
The article also outlines the benefits of PBL and these are many, such as improved engagement and attitudes to learning, opportunities to develop higher-order skills, better academic gains and students taking responsibility of their own learning, access to a broader range of learning opportunities and many others.
The challenges for the teacher embracing PBL are also many and range from finding good ideas and situations for Project-based learning to developing authentic assessment. And authentic assessment is something I plan to learn more about and use more often .
Source: Designing Effective Projects: Characteristics of Projects, Benefits of Project-Based Learning, Retrieved from: http://download.intel.com/education/Common/ro/Resources/DEP/projectdesign/DEP_pbl_research.pdf
I come from Bulgaria but for the last 15 years I have been living in different places in China. I teach IB Economics and Business in international IB schools. My husband is a photographer and an IB Visual teacher. At present we live in Nanjing, China. My son got married to a lovely Chinese girl a few months ago and they live and work in Shanghai.
I hold an MA in English Philology and an MBA in Economics but have been a teacher for many years now and find teaching very rewarding. This course together with the Edtech 513 are the last two courses before the Portfolio and graduation. It has been quite a journey but I learned a lot and have got many ideas to work on in the future. My computer skills are reasonably good and I have enjoyed improving them throughout all the courses that I have completed so far.
In my spare time I like walking, reading, cooking. History is my passion so visiting historical places around China and neighboring countries has been a favorite way to spend our holidays. Another activity I really enjoy is drawing and this can keep me busy for hours.
Find below the link to my advertisement and to the site where I keep logs from my courses: