Project Based Learning Webinar


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Project Based Learning Webinar

  1. 1. Project Based Learning Webinar Karen (Schaeffer Hincapie) Brooks
  2. 2. Over View <ul><li>This is a completely online three hour interactive webinar that will be broadcasted to you via All you need at your location is a computer, Internet and a microphone. This class will look at the many online projects that can be used in the classroom k-12, such as Flat Stanley and the Teddy Bear Project. These course combine technology, project based learning to enhance critical thinking and deduction skills and ELA skills.   </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>For over 100 years, educators such as John Dewey have reported on the benefits of experiential, hands-on, student-directed learning. Most teachers, knowing the value of engaging, challenging projects for students, have planned field trips, laboratory investigations, and interdisciplinary activities that enrich and extend the curriculum. &quot;Doing projects&quot; is a long-standing tradition in American education. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Project Based Learning is sometimes equated with inquiry-based or experiential learning. Though PBL shares some overlapping characteristics with these two terms, standards-focused PBL is designed to acknowledge the importance of standards and evaluation of student learning. In an era of accountability, with testing and performance uppermost in the minds of parents and educators, it is imperative that all instructional methods incorporate high standards, rigorous challenges, and valid assessment methods. </li></ul>
  5. 5. PBL <ul><li>In project-based learning, students work in teams to explore real-world problems and create presentations to share what they have learned. Compared with learning solely from textbooks, this approach has many benefits for students, including: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>• Deeper knowledge of subject matter; • Increased self-direction and motivation; • Improved research and problem-solving skills. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. PBL IN YOUR CLASSROOM <ul><li>Planning for a project must take into account what is possible in your classroom. The scope of a project will be affected by the bell schedule, the time of year, standardized testing, and the other myriad factors that impact your work. Perhaps the first question that usually arises is: do I have time to do this project? </li></ul><ul><li>To answer that question, it is helpful not to think of PBL as taking time away from the regular curriculum. Instead, consider a standards-focused project as a central method of teaching and learning that replaces conventional instruction for a portion of your course. </li></ul><ul><li>Standards-focused projects teach students the same essential information you might teach them through lecture and discussion. PBL teachers also find that they do considerably less &quot;busy work&quot; activities in the classroom. And, though projects take time to plan, teachers have more time to work with students once a project is under way. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Your Role <ul><li>Your role becomes one of coach and facilitator, helping students shape the project so that it meets content standards and allows for a variety of assessments. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Once teachers feel comfortable with PBL, they usually find teaching with projects to be more fulfilling and enjoyable. PBL is a way of working with students as they discover more about themselves and the world, and that brings job satisfaction. However, in addition to strong instructional and organizational skills, PBL requires that teachers facilitate and manage the process of learning. Rather than rely on the model of the child as an empty vessel to be filled, PBL teachers must create tasks and conditions under which student thinking can be revealed a co-creative process that involves inquiry, dialogue, and skill building as the project proceeds. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Your Style <ul><li>Though most teachers recognize that active learning is vital, not all of us react in the same way to an open-ended process. Projects are sometimes described as chaotic or messy (though in a well-structured project, it only appears to be disorderly–it's really just the ambiguous problem-solving process that is under way). Prior to a project is a good time to reflect on your teaching style and skills. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How will you operate in a PBL environment? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are you comfortable with children moving around a classroom or with the ambiguity that characterizes a more open-ended learning process? </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Are you a Leader or a Manager? <ul><li>Leaders facilitate problem solving in a group and help the group find their own solutions. Managers control the process and look for prescribed outcomes. </li></ul><ul><li>In reality, good teachers go back and forth between the two roles. But if you are hesitant to release control over your students, you may want to avoid projects or start small until you feel comfortable and skilled in project leadership. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Your Job as a Leader <ul><li>As a leader, your job is to help each student produce a superior product by facilitating learning. As students gather data and progress in their problem solving, they will encounter obstacles and opportunities. </li></ul><ul><li>At the heart of successful PBL is your ability to support and direct students (or conversely, your ability to let them struggle with a problem or information as they search out answers and solutions). This requires interpersonal and communication skills, as well as the ability to define the agenda for the class and push a project through to a successful conclusion. </li></ul><ul><li>It also includes being sensitive to the fact that students finish work at different rates, with different abilities, aptitudes, and learning styles. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Here are some guidelines and criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of problem- and project-based learning in your classroom. <ul><li>Allows for a variety of learning styles </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Real&quot; world oriented - learning has value beyond the demonstrated competence of the learner </li></ul><ul><li>Risk-free environment - provides positive feedback and allow choice </li></ul><ul><li>Encourages the use of higher order thinking skills and learning concepts as well as basic facts </li></ul><ul><li>Utilizes hands-on approaches </li></ul><ul><li>Provides for in-depth understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Accessible for all learners </li></ul><ul><li>Utilizes various modes of communication </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment is congruent with instruction, i.e. performance-based </li></ul><ul><li>Students are responsible for their own learning </li></ul><ul><li>Students have ownership of their learning within the curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Projects promote meaningful learning, connecting new learning to students' past performances </li></ul><ul><li>Learning utilizes real time data - investigating data and drawing conclusions </li></ul><ul><li>The learning process is valued as well as the learning project </li></ul><ul><li>Learning cuts across curricular areas - multidisciplinary in nature </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher is a facilitator of learning </li></ul><ul><li>Student self-assessment of learning is encouraged </li></ul>
  13. 13. School Structure and PBL <ul><li>PBL works extremely well in schools that have extended blocks of time instead of 50-minute periods. </li></ul><ul><li>Similarly, when schools are formed around small learning communities such as academies or houses, PBL is a natural tool for teaching and learning. </li></ul><ul><li>But if your school does not have these reforms in place, it is still possible to create excellent projects for students. </li></ul>
  14. 14. What About the Special Needs Student? <ul><li>A question often asked by teachers in low-performing schools is: can Project Based Learning work in my school? It can. </li></ul><ul><li>For students with basic skills issues, it may be necessary to include more direct instruction during a project, design shorter projects, or tie projects closely to fewer and more specific standards. But PBL offers all students the opportunity to investigate authentic topics of interest to them, thus engaging them in the learning process in ways that traditional instruction does not. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Project Based Learning and Problem Based Learning? </li></ul>The terms project-based learning and problem-based learning are each used to describe a range of instructional strategies. The breadth of their respective definitions, their conceptual similarity, and the use of the shorthand term PBL result in some confusion in the literature.
  16. 16. Similarities <ul><li>Project-based learning and problem-based learning share several characteristics. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Both are instructional strategies that are intended to engage students in authentic, &quot;real world&quot; tasks to enhance learning. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students are given open-ended projects or problems with more than one approach or answer, intended to simulate professional situations. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Both learning approaches are defined as student-centered, and include the teacher in the role of facilitator or coach. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students engaged in project- or problem-based learning generally work in cooperative groups for extended periods of time, and are encouraged to seek out multiple sources of information. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often these approaches include an emphasis on authentic, performance-based assessment. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Differences <ul><li>Despite these many similarities, project- and problem-based learning are not identical approaches. Project-based learning tends to be associated with K-12 instruction. Problem-based learning is also used in K-12 classrooms, but has its origins in medical training and other professional preparation practices. </li></ul><ul><li>Project-based learning typically begins with an end product or &quot;artifact&quot; in mind, the production of which requires specific content knowledge or skills and typically raises one or more problems which students must solve. Projects vary widely in scope and time frame, and end products vary widely in level of technology used and sophistication. </li></ul><ul><li>The project-based learning approach uses a production model: First, students define the purpose for creating the end product and identify their audience. They research their topic, design their product, and create a plan for project management. Students then begin the project, resolve problems and issues that arise in production, and finish their product. Students may use or present the product they have created, and ideally are given time to reflect on and evaluate their work. </li></ul><ul><li>The entire process is meant to be authentic, mirroring real world production activities and utilizing students’ own ideas and approaches to accomplish the tasks at hand. Though the end product is the driving force in project-based learning, it is the content knowledge and skills acquired during the production process that are important to the success of the approach. </li></ul><ul><li>Problem-based learning, as the name implies, begins with a problem for students to solve or learn more about. Often these problems are framed in a scenario or case study format. Problems are designed to be &quot;ill-structured&quot; and to imitate the complexity of real life cases. As with project-based learning, problem-based learning assignments vary widely in scope and sophistication. </li></ul><ul><li>The approach uses an inquiry model: students are presented with a problem and they begin by organizing any previous knowledge on the subject, posing any additional questions, and identifying areas they need more information. Students devise a plan for gathering more information, then do the necessary research and reconvene to share and summarize their new knowledge. Students may present their conclusions, and there may or may not be an end product. Again, students ideally have adequate time for reflection and self-evaluation. </li></ul><ul><li>All problem-based learning approaches rely on a problem as their driving forces, but may focus on the solution to varying degrees. Some problem-based approaches intend for students to clearly define the problem, develop hypotheses, gather information, and arrive at clearly stated solutions. (Allen). Others design the problems as learning-embedded cases which may have no solution but are meant to engage students in learning and information gathering. (Wang). </li></ul>
  18. 18. Summary <ul><li>Project-based learning, where the end product drives the planning, production, and evaluation process. </li></ul><ul><li>Inquiry and research (rather than the end product) is the primary focus of the learning process, describes problem-based learning. </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>The Research </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>A growing body of academic research supports the use of project-based learning in schools as a way to engage students, cut absenteeism, boost cooperative learning skills, and improve test scores. Those benefits are enhanced when technology is used in a meaningful way in the projects. Following are synopses of a range of studies on project-based learning: </li></ul><ul><li>British Math Study </li></ul><ul><li>A three-year 1997 study ( To view this study, you must be a registered user on the Edweek site. Registration is free. ) of two British secondary schools -- one that used open-ended projects and one that used more traditional, direct instruction -- found striking differences in understanding and standardized achievement data in mathematics. The study by Jo Boaler, now associate professor of education at Stanford University, found that students at the project-based school did better than those at the more traditional school both on math problems requiring analytical or conceptual thought and on those considered rote, that is, those requiring memory of a rule or formula. Three times as many students at the project-based school received the top grade achievable on the national examination in math. </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>Challenge 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>In a five-year study , researchers at SRI International found that technology-using students in Challenge 2000 Multimedia Project classrooms outperformed non-technology-using students in communication skills, teamwork, and problem solving. The Center for Learning in Technology researchers, led by Bill Penuel, found increased student engagement, greater responsibility for learning, increased peer collaboration skills, and greater achievement gains by students who had been labeled low achievers. The project conducted a performance assessment designed to measure students' skills in constructing a presentation aimed at a particular audience. Students from Multimedia Project classrooms outperformed comparison classrooms in all three areas scored by researchers and teachers: student content, attention to audience, and design. The Multimedia Project involves completing one to four interdisciplinary multimedia projects a year that integrate real-world issues and practices. </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>Cognition and Technology Group </li></ul><ul><li>A 1992 study of 700 students from 11 school districts in Tennessee found that students doing projects using videotaped problems over a three-week period performed better in a number of academic areas later in the school year. The study, by the Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt University, examined student competence in basic math, word problems, planning capabilities, attitudes, and teacher feedback. Students who had experience in the project work performed better in all categories. The study appeared in Educational Psychologist, 27 (3): 291-315. </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>Co-nect </li></ul><ul><li>A 1999 study by the Center for Research in Educational Policy at the University of Memphis and University of Tennessee at Knoxville found that students using the Co- nect program, which emphasizes project-based learning and technology, improved test scores in all subject areas over a two-year period on the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System. The Co-nect schools outperformed control schools by 26 percent. </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>Does It Compute? </li></ul><ul><li>Analyzing data from the math portion of the 1996 National Assessment of Educational Progress test given to students nationwide, Educational Testing Services researcher Harold Wenglinsky found that the effectiveness of computers in the classroom depended on how they were used. In his report, &quot;Does It Compute?&quot; Wenglinsky found that if computers were used for drill or practice, they typically had a negative effect on student achievement. If they were used with real-world applications, such as spreadsheets, or to simulate relationships or changing variables, student achievement increased. Data were drawn from the samples of 6,227 fourth graders and 7,146 eighth graders. </li></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound </li></ul><ul><li>Three elementary schools in Dubuque, Iowa, showed significant test score gains after incorporating the Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound (ELOB) program. At ELOB schools, students conduct three-to-six-month-long studies of a single topic with an emphasis on learning by doing. After two years in the program, two of the three schools advanced from &quot;well below average&quot; to &quot;well above the district average&quot; on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. One elementary school raised its average score from the 39th to the 80th percentile. After four years in the program, student scores were &quot;above the district average in almost every area.&quot; Separate analyses showed similar test score gains in ELOB programs in Denver, Boston, and Portland, Maine. </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>Laptops </li></ul><ul><li>Since 1996, ROCKMAN ET AL , an independent research firm in San Francisco, has studied the impact of widespread use of laptop technology on teaching and learning. The focus of the firm's multiyear studies has been on dozens of public and private K-12 schools participating in a pilot laptop program sponsored jointly by the Microsoft and Toshiba corporations. Through both observation and feedback from laptop-using teachers and students, researchers have documented a shift from lectures and other teacher-centered forms of delivery to lessons that are more collaborative and project-oriented. Teachers, researchers note, become facilitators in project-oriented classrooms, with students increasingly assuming the role of directors of their own learning. </li></ul><ul><li>In a 1998 report, researchers note that three-fourths of the teachers who participated in a ROCKMAN ET AL survey reported that project-based instruction had increased since the introduction of the laptops in their classrooms. Among the many reported benefits of this project-based approach to learning are greater student engagement, improved analytic abilities, and a greater likelihood to apply high-order thinking skills. </li></ul><ul><li>Laptop-using students also performed better on a ROCKMAN ET AL-administered writing examination. The research firm did not, however, identify significant differences in the standardized test scores of laptop-using students. Researchers offered two possible explanations for the lack of significant improvement in this area: 1. Standardized tests are not designed to reflect the types of learning that laptops support. 2. Because the students had been using their laptops for less than two years, it might have been too soon to see noticeable gains in areas that are covered by standardized tests. </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>Successful School Restructuring </li></ul><ul><li>A five-year study by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers found that structural school reform works only under certain conditions: 1. Students must be engaged in activities that build on prior knowledge and allow them to apply that knowledge to new situations. 2. Students must use disciplined inquiry. 3. School activities must have value beyond school. In their report, &quot;Successful School Restructuring,&quot; the researchers at Wisconsin's Center on Organization and Restructuring of Schools found that even innovative school improvements, such as portfolio assessment and shared decision making, are less effective without accompanying meaningful student assignments based on deep inquiry. Reseachers analyzed data from more than 1,500 elementary, middle, and high schools and conducted field studies in 44 schools in 16 states between 1990 and 1995. </li></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>Union City, New Jersey School District </li></ul><ul><li>The Center for Children and Technology at the Education Development Center, Inc., monitored a two-year technology trial that was first implemented in the district in September of 1993. The study found that after multimedia technology was used to support project-based learning, eighth graders in Union City, New Jersey, scored 27 percentage points higher than students from other urban and special needs school districts on statewide tests in reading, math, and writing achievement. The study also found a decrease in absenteeism and an increase in students transferring to the school. Four years earlier, the state had been considering a takeover because Union City failed in 40 of 52 indicators of school effectiveness. </li></ul>
  29. 29. Online Project Based Learning
  30. 30. Rubrics for PBL <ul><li> - Rubric </li></ul><ul><li> - Student weekly Planning Sheet </li></ul><ul><li> - Project Planning Form </li></ul>
  31. 31. iEARN <ul><li>The International Education and Resource Network (iEARN) is a non-profit global network that enables young people to use the Internet and other new technologies to engage in collaborative educational projects that both enhance learning and make a difference in the world. Participants may join existing structured online projects, or work with others internationally to create and facilitate their own projects to fit their own particular classroom and curriculum needs. </li></ul>
  32. 32. The Global Schoolhouse <ul><li>This is a rich site that brings together a number of opportunities for conducting projects using the World Wide Web and working collaboratively with school across the world. It contains a project registry with over 900 online projects. It conducts an annual Cyberfair, a competition among schools and youth organizations around the world to conduct research and publish their findings on the Web, with recognition given to the best projects in each of eight categories: local leaders, businesses, community organizations, historical landmarks, environment, music, art, and local specialties. Online expeditions provide schools the opportunity to follow the adventures of real explorers through their diaries and photographs as they sail around the world, trek across Antarctica, or drive a Land Rover across Africa to England. There are opportunities for classroom video conferencing and several discussion lists. If you want to try an online, collaborative project, this is the place to begin. </li></ul>
  33. 33. ThinkQuest <ul><li>Sponsored by Oracle Corporation, ThinkQuest is an international competition where student teams engage in collaborative, project based learning to create educational websites. The winning entries form the ThinkQuest online library which contains links to over 5000 student-created sites. </li></ul>
  34. 34. Exemplary PBL Projects <ul><li>In addition to exemplary projects created by outstanding PBL educators, this WestEd site has an extensive list of resources and research findings on PBL. Information on assessment and standards in PBL is particularly good. Designed for use by educators and parents. </li></ul>
  35. 35. George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF) <ul><li>GLEF offers a comprehensive site for PBL, including video clips of projects, research articles, and stories of PBL successes. There is also a PBL practitioner’s discussion and information forum. In addition, the GLEF site has excellent information on topics such as emotional intelligence, assessment, and school-to-career programs. In partnership with GLEF, BIE is currently developing on online PBL course for pre-service and practicing teachers. </li></ul>
  36. 36. Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA) <ul><li>Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA) IMSA is a nationally recognized magnet high school that uses Problem Based Learning extensively and hosts an annual symposium and a summer institute. The Center@IMSA is a hub for information on Problem Based Learning. (Problem based learning is very similar to Project based learning, but emphasizes simulations and role playing rather than the completion of an authentic task. See, for example, the Problem Based Social Studies Units (available on this website.) </li></ul>
  37. 37. Problem Based Learning Clearinghouse, University of Delaware <ul><li>The PBL Clearinghouse contains resource links and problem based units for use in various post-secondary classes which could be adapted for high school use. The site also has resource links. </li></ul>
  38. 38. The Project Approach <ul><li>This site offers professional development, self-study courses, and resources for learning about project based instruction in elementary classrooms. </li></ul>
  39. 39. Project Based Learning Checklist <ul><li> </li></ul>
  40. 40. Flat Stanley NASA Quest Web Based Project Internet Projects Registry West Loogoote Center for Innovation on Engineering and Science
  41. 41. The Big Picture <ul><li>Students conduct research using a variety of sources, from the Internet to interviews with experts. They work on the project over an extended period of time -- six weeks or more -- because of the in-depth nature of the investigation. Like adults trying to solve a problem, they don't restrict themselves to one discipline but delve into math, literature, history, science -- whatever is appropriate to the study. </li></ul>
  42. 42. Benefits <ul><li>Kids who are excited about what they learn tend to dig more deeply and to expand their interest in learning to a wide array of subjects. They retain what they learn rather than forget it as soon as they disgorge it for a test. They make connections and apply their learning to other problems. They learn how to collaborate, and their social skills improve. They are more confident talking to groups of people, including adults. And, as a number of research reports suggest, project-based learning correlates positively with improved test scores, reduced absenteeism, and fewer disciplinary problems. </li></ul>
  43. 43. Karen Schaeffer Hincapie, Instructional Technology Specialist Ulster BOCES, Instructional Services, Model Schools 845-255-1402 EXT. 1252 [email_address]