PBL, how does it work?

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Project (Problem) Based Learning: How does it work?
Start with the Essential Question
Design a Plan for the Project
Create a Schedule
Monitor the Students and the Progress of the Project
Assess the Outcome
Evaluate the Experience

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PBL, how does it work?

  1. 1. EC, 2014/5 Project (Problem) Based Learning: How does it work? Gijselaers (1996) outlines the following key principles in understanding and using PBL:  Problems serve as a stimulus for learning  PBL is based on three important principles of learning: 1. Learning is a constructive and not a receptive process - learning occurs as new learning is associated with existing knowledge networks 2. Knowing about knowing (metacognition) affects learning - What am I going to do? How am I going to do it? Did it work? 3. Social and contextual factors influence learning - understanding how and when to use knowledge is as important as the knowledge itself  Problems reflect real world situations or professional practice  Small group work encourages student collaboration and independence  Students learn to share their ideas and share responsibility  Students learn to question their own assumptions about their reality  Conflicting views as part of discussion facilitate understanding  PBL may not be suitable for all types of learning and topic areas  Educators must have confidence in the students that they will use their time wisely and can be trusted to carry out the required tasks on time  Problems are encountered before all relevant knowledge has been acquired, not after it How does it work? Start with the Essential Question The question that will launch a PBL lesson must be one that will engage your students. It is greater than the task at hand. It is open ended. It will pose a problem or a situation they can tackle, knowing that there is no one answer or solution. Take a real-world topic and begin an in-depth investigation. Base your question on an authentic situation or topic. What is happening in your classroom? In your community? Select a question about an issue students will believe that, by answering, they are having an impact on. Make it relevant for them. The question should be a "now" question -- a question that has meaning in your students' lives. Design a Plan for the Project When designing the project, it is essential that you have in mind which content standards will be addressed. Involve the students in planning; they will feel ownership of the project when they are actively involved in decision making. Select activities that support the question and utilize the curriculum, thus fuelling the process. Integrate as many subjects as possible into the project. Know what materials and resources will be accessible to the students to assist them. Be prepared to delve deeper into new topics and new issues that arise as the students become increasingly involved in the active pursuit of answers.
  2. 2. EC, 2014/5 Create a Schedule Design a timeline for project components. Realize that changes to the schedule will happen. Be flexible, but help the students realize that a time will come when they need to finalize their thoughts, findings, and evaluations. Consider these issues when creating a schedule: Monitor the Students and the Progress of the Project What's the difference between team rubrics and project rubrics?  Team rubrics state the expectations of each team member: Watch the group dynamics. How well are the members participating? How engaged are they in the process? Assess the outcome.  Project rubrics, on the other hand, ask these questions: What is required for project completion? What is the final product: A document? A multimedia presentation? A poster? A combination of products? What does a good report, multimedia presentation, poster, or other product look like? Make the requirements clear to the students so they can all meet with success. Assess the Outcome Whenever possible, give the students the opportunity to conduct self-assessment. When a student's assessment and the teacher's assessment don't agree, schedule a student-teacher conference to let the student explain in more detail his or her understanding of the content and justify the outcome. Evaluate the Experience Little time for reflection is available in the busy schedule of the school day, yet reflection is a key component of learning. How do we expect our students to synthesize new knowledge if they are not given time to reflect on what they have discovered? Too often, we teachers do not allow ourselves that time, either. Designate a time for reflection of the daily activities. Allow for individual reflection, such as journaling, as well as group reflection and discussion. (For example, validate what students have learned and make suggestions for improvements.) Sources:  edutopia.org  educationvisionleadership.edublogs.org  eff.cls.utk.edu  http://cockroachesladybugs.blogspot.com.es/2011/11/reflective-practice-in- primary.html  http://www.bized.co.uk/current/pbl/educator.htm

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