Project Based Learning Continuum

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Authenticity
  • Activity is for an academic purpose only and has little relevance to the outside world for the students
  • "Just-in-case" learning
  • Activity is for an academic purpose and has some degree of relevance to the outside world for the students.
  • Project connects to a real need, problem or issue in the world relevant to students' lives.
  • With teacher suggestion, students select tools, tasks or processes to complete their project.
  • Sets up a scenario or simulation that is realistic or fictitious within the classroom
  • Meaningful & relevant to students
  • Meets a real need in the world beyond the classroom, or the products that students create are used by real people
  • Focuses on a problem, issue or topic that is relevant to students' lives or on a problem or issue that is actually being faced in the "real" world
  • Scenario/simulation is meaningful and genuine involving tools, tasks or processes used by adults in real settings and by professionals in the workplace
  • "Just-in-time" learning
Real World/Significant
  • Project/problem is significant to teacher or to national/state/district standards
  • Teacher transfers significance of learning the content/skills to students (usually because the content/skills will be needed at higher grades or possibly in a future career)
  • Project/problem is significant to students school/local community
  • Resembles process of content/process experts
  • Plays a junior version of the "Whole Game"
  • Skills from project are applicable to the "real world"
  • Project/problem is significant to how our larger world works
  • Uses the process of content/process experts
  • Plays the "Whole Game"
  • Skills are used directly in the "real world" during the project
Questions/Challenges/Problems
  • Teacher chosen
  • Closed-ended
  • Teacher chosen
  • Open-ended
  • Requires 1-2 of: interpretation, analysis, synthesis or evaluation
  • Student chosen w/ scaffolding
  • Requires 2-3 of: interpretation, analysis, synthesis or evaluation
  • Student voice
  • Student choice
  • Requires: interpretation, analysis, synthesis and evaluation
Process
  • Teacher selected process - sequential
  • Traditional skills
  • Teacher time management
  • Teacher directed
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  • Teacher selected process - iterative (recursive/repetitive process)
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  • Student modified process based off standard model
  • Time for inquiry and discovery
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  • A student process that synthesizes elements from multiple models
  • Tool flexibility with traditional and “21st century” skills
  • Time to reflect
  • Student time management of iterative process
  • Metacognition
  • Learning to learn
  • Self-directed
  • Time to F.A.I.L. (see below)
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Creativity/Innovation
  • Process, knowledge, insights, and product are as expected
  • Students use tools as teacher told them to use them or as they were originally designed (lack of tool flexibility)
  • Student's process, knowledge, insights and/or product are novel/unique to the student
  • Student's process, knowledge, insights and/or product are novel/unique to the class/school
  • Process, knowledge, insights and/or product are novel/unique to the subject/field
  • F.A.I.L.ure (see below) leads to creativity, tool flexibility & process flexibility
F.A.I.L.ure
  • Only one or a few right answers or one linear process
  • Teacher structures the work/project to avoid failures/problems/wrong answers
  • Teacher gives rote process to help students avoid problems
  • Teacher determines when students should keep going or move on
  • Teachers and students recognize problems as an opportunity to learn
  • Students with teacher guidance determines when students should keep going or move on.
  • Teachers and students embrace failure as opportunity to learn
  • Teachers and students embrace failure as an opportunity to practice perseverance
Collaboration/Grouping
  • One student per project
  • Small group - student roles are all the same or undefined
  • Teacher designed, interdependent roles - requires synthesis
Assessment
  • Teacher created summative assessment
  • Work does not resemble the kind of work done in the world outside of school, or it is not intended to have an effect on anything apart from an academic purpose.
  • Teacher created formative and summative assessments (pre-test/post-test)
  • Work that simulates what happens in the world outside of school without a real impact on the real world.
  • Student and teacher co-created formative assessment
  • Goal setting
  • Work that simulates what happens in the world outside of school and has an impact on the real world.
  • Student created - Individualized
  • Formative
  • Student led
  • Peer to peer - peer critiques
  • Outside feedback
  • Process AND product
  • Students are doing work that is real to them - it is authentic to their lives - or the work has a direct impact on or use in the real world.
Product
  • Teacher selected product - all same
  • Teacher selected product - from list of options
  • Student chosen product
  • Student chosen product(s) that fit with the content, purpose, audience
  • Design & Create (Making, Design Thinking, etc.)
Sharing/Publishing
  • Polished & completed projects are submitted to teacher
  • Polished & completed projects are shared with class
  • Reflections are made & published at pre-determined points
  • Final product is shared with and between classes and parents
  • Ongoing (process, product, reflection, revisions, etc.)
  • Shared outside of school
  • Purposeful
  • Authentic
  • Paying It Forward
Interdisciplinary
  • Single subject
  • Small overlap
  • Purposeful/forced overlap
  • Seamless
Core Content
  • Minor details are as important as significant ideas
  • Content (not skills) is focus of project
  • Significant content driven through engaging, relevant questions
  • Content, with some skills, is focus of project
  • Significant ideas demonstrated throughout student directed projects
  • Content and skills are focus of the project
  • Significant ideas demonstrated throughout student directed projects
  • Skills are the primary focus of the project
Resources
  • Teacher selected resource(s)
  • Students choose from teacher selected set of resources
  • Student selected traditional analog or electronic resource(s)
  • Student created resources (experiments, data collection, prototypes, found experts, etc.)
  • Student curated resources
Experts
  • Teacher and/or text book
  • Set of teacher selected experts
  • Students identify experts from classroom network
  • Students as experts
  • Outside experts found by students
Scope
  • All skills taught in single project
  • Mini lessons taught throughout year, culminate in 1 big project
  • Combination of mini lessons, self learning, and class peeragogy
  • Self-learning & peeragogy (PLN within class, school, and outside of school)
  • Community oriented (beyond classroom walls)
Frequency
  • Once or twice per year
  • Once per quarter
  • Monthly
  • Primary mode of learning
Scale
  • One big project
  • Several small projects
  • Variety of size projects
  • Determined by students
Teacher Roles
  • Teacher as expert
  • Teacher as answerer
  • Teacher directed lesson scaffolding
  • Gradual release of responsibility
  • Scaffolding
  • 1-2 elements from fourth column
  • 3-4 elements from fourth column
  • Equal learner
  • Questioner, not answerer
  • Coach
  • Model
  • Self-Directed Learning Expert
  • Sounding board
  • Supplier
  • Critic | Devil's Advocate
  • Cheerleader/Motivator
Student Role



  • Students do what teacher tells them as best they can
  • Gradual release of responsibility
  • 1-2 elements from fourth column
  • 3-4 elements from fourth column
  • Students help each other (students as teachers)
  • Students evaluate themselves and others
  • Students devise/revise the process Students determine products
  • Students select relevant projects, process & product
  • Students find outside expertise as needed
  • Students share their expertise outside of their classroom/school
  • Students develop PLNs
Technology Integration - SAMR
Substitution - Tech acts as a direct tool substitute, with no functional change
Augmentation - Tech acts as a direct tool substitute, with functional improvement
Modification - Tech allows for significant task redesign
Redefinition - Tech allows for the creation of new tasks, previously inconceivable

Process
  • Brainstorm continuum
  • Give teachers time to provide online feedback on continuum prior to and at staff mtg or PLC time
  • Leadership Team subgroup revises continuum per input aligned with research-based practices
  • Have teachers evaluate a "project" given to them by the leadership committee
  • Teachers provide additional feedback on continuum
  • Have teachers bring a "project" to evaluate using the continuum
  • Teachers provide additional feedback on continuum
  • Leadership subcommittee finalizes draft of continuum to be used to guide project based learning at BCS

Questions
  • Does this make sense for project based learning? Problem based learning? Challenge based learning?
  • What ought we add or check that it is included throughout?
    • Learning to learn
    • Hands-on
  • PBL as "Making Memories"?
  • Should the authenticity items be moved to related sections or kept separate?

Discussion
Subject Author Replies Views Last Message
Curation Link BalancEdTech BalancEdTech 0 25 Jul 7, 2014 by BalancEdTech BalancEdTech
Comment added: BalancEdTech BalancEdTech 0 16 Mar 7, 2014 by BalancEdTech BalancEdTech


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