23 April 2013

How to give Learners a Choice

For one of my Flat Classroom challenges, I must demonstrate ways I give learners a choice in outcomes or topics in projects.

As part of my PBL teaching course, I wrote a couple of blog posts about choice, as this important element is one shared across the two courses but also, one that my school fosters as part of the learning culture. See Choice and Voice and Myths of Learner-Centred Teaching and Learning.

Here are some examples of the way I have incorporated choice this year.

SNAPSHOTS
A unit that introduced concepts of digital citizenship and the online personas, asking learners to think about how they want to present themselves to the world. Part of this, was writing a 'Me' poem expressing who they think they are in exploring autobiographical writing. Learners were given a choice of HOW to present their final products from the following, or one of their own choosing.

- PowerPoint/Key Note (450 slide presentation-animation)
-Prezi
- Animation (Making Claymation Instructions)
-Drama/Monologue
-Puppet Show
- Podcast/Interview
-Sculpture
- Painting
- Song
- Collage/Mood board (Mural.ly)
- Cartoon/Comic Strip (Toondoo, Makebeliefscomix, Pixton, Slideshare, Stripgenerator,Storyboard That)
- T-shirt

Here is the SHOWCASE of some of their final products.


A unit that was developed for my PBL teaching certification.

This highly complex unit asked learners to make decisions about every step of the process of the design of a 21st century classroom (see the entries in my PBL journal). In particular, we focused on REFLECTION as part of the learning and decision making process.

Is a current teaching unit and one I am developing collaboratively with members of my online PLN as part of the Global Design project element of the Flat Classroom course.

This unit is more 'traditional' to satisfy the doubters who can't see how technology and global, flattened teaching enhances English learning. Learner choice comes in two parts - one in their INDEPENDENT RESEARCH PROJECT and one in the FINAL PROJECT

THE INDEPENDENT RESEARCH PROJECT builds on skills developed in The Octopus's Garden Project but asks learners to choose their own topic and research question. They are given some suggestions on the task sheet but, with discussion, can feasibly choose anything that fits with the unit theme. They then complete the planning sheet that allows them to develop a personal learning plan to complete their research successfully. Not only are they given free choice about topic and research question but also on final outcome.

THE FINAL PROJECT asks learners to choose a way to share our learning about the need for understanding, tolerance and kindness to everyone, despite our differences. 

I hope that in particular, this final project is the part we can develop into a global element. 

Watch this space!

20 April 2013

Myths of learner-centred teaching and learning

Choice as critical thinking
I recently received this feedback from one of the course facilitators of my Flat Classroom project after she had read some of my Units and reflections on the teaching and learning going on in them.

Reading about the rich learning environment you've created for your students was a big wow! for me because you actually use choice as a critical thinking activity and I had never thought of it in those terms. You require students to consider what choices they need to make in order to make the best possible outcome...brilliant!

I have written before about the need for choice and voice in the classroom and I have really been experimenting with it this year. I have spoken to my PL director about it at school too and concluded that the reason many educators are reluctant to do so, is because it requires us to essentially 'give up' some control. I admit that I personally have only been ready for this recently - being strong in my teaching style and ability is vital for this kind of learning to work and I do know how hard it can be. In an attempt to address some worries people may have, I have identified some 'myths' I think are associated with this personalised, learner-centred style.

MYTH 1: You don't need to plan

Asking learners what they want to learn doesn't mean you don't need to plan. Quite the opposite. Educators must be strong and confident and know where the project is going before it starts - it is NOT about making things up as you go along.

I know that many teachers who haven't read about or tried this way of teaching and learning think that I just turn up and make things up on the spot. Teachable moments are always ones we should relish and make the most of but again, only work if you are strongly grounded in the requirements of your subject and curriculum. However, to keep a unit on track whilst allowing for learners to have a say in how to achieve it, means you have to have a very clear idea of how things could work and where you are going to allow that choice of pathway.

The difference is in the way of planning and perhaps how the planning is recorded. A 'scheme of work' on a piece of paper - how I started my career - lacks the freedom to be flexible. Websites or online schemas allow the fluidity that giving choice needs. My sites are 'built' to contain the assessment foci and curriculum links as well as the background and ethos to the unit. They generally contain some core assessment tasks but beyond this, they are often empty until the learning starts and grow organically as needs are identified.

MYTH 2: You can't cover core curriculum

I cannot say for sure how this translates into more 'content-based' subjects such as perhaps, science or geography, but English for sure is open to much flexibility in learning whilst at the same time covering the curriculum requirements.

Perhaps, being a 'skill-based' subject, English has always been able to offer choice and more personalised pathways, particularly in the lower school and through programmes such as the IB who allow free choice to teachers. The hardest course to personalise is the CIE IGCSE, as the texts are limited and there is no free choice, which I find challenging, as I like to offer texts that are current in some way or relevant culturally.

This year, we have had the luxury of developing our faculty plans from scratch - even down to ordering our texts for every year group. Backwards by design planning has meant we have identified exit point requirements and tracked back across each year group to ensure all the skills needed at IB level are covered at some point during the preceding 5 years.

To ensure the learning is tailored to the needs of each individual, my learners use an English Progression Grid that outlines each focus on the English National Curriculum, the choice of curriculum we base our learning on. Focusing on the reading and writing foci that are identified for each unit, learners highlight the skills they are sound in. Looking at the 'gaps' allows them to identify areas that still need work and so they choose one from each AF and add it to their personal learning path as a goal. Here is an example from our current unit (see EXAMPLE below for more details on this unit).

MYTH 3: You lose control

Not so. As stated earlier, you need a VERY strong idea of what you want to achieve at the end in order to be able to manage how each learner might get there. You must know how the requirements of your subject can be translated into each learners needs - and often, identifying this allows you to develop some great lessons. A personal learning path helps as outlined above.

Letting the learners identify where they need and want to go based on the requirements of the course means that they have control of their learning too - causing less conflict in the classroom and more control as everyone is clear and learning is authentic. You have to be very clear on the learning needs and develop each week accordingly - meaning you are actually more in control.

MYTH 4: It is not 'real' teaching

Translation: it is not 'traditional' teaching.

Remember, things evolve! One of the biggest hurdles we may face is this kind of teaching may not be recognisable as the kind of experience they had at school or were trained to do, and so conclude it is not 'right'. From parents, this is easier to stomach - learning is so different now and many are not versed in educational reforms or movements and research in new pedagogies, why should they be. It is, as I have written before, our responsibility to educate them to understand that we are doing what is right and what is sound, to provide the best opportunities and outcomes for their children. Educators who perpetuate this myth, however, make it harder for those of us who are blazing the trail.

Real teaching is doing what is right for the learners who are in front of us and that means letting them have a say in how their learning goes. We need to have the endpoint in sight and have a clear idea of the skills needed to be covered but the path each takes to get their should be their own. This is learner-centred.

Example
Currently, I am teaching a unit called 'Dare to be Yourself'. I have written this specifically for my learners, with their needs in mind, based on my knowledge of where they are and where they need to go. This is learner-centred.

I have in place some written assignments that cover skills we need to address, such as writing to inform, argue and narrate. Learners are also challenged to write weekly blog posts outlining their Random Acts of Kindness challenge I have issued to them, as I noticed how they were not thinking enough about their actions (this is learner-centred). I also have an independent research project in place that builds on the research skills we worked on as a group last term but develops this further as it asks them to come up with their own topic, research question and method of delivery (building on skills developed at the start of the year). This is learner-centred. It also has a final project - as yet undecided, as learners are given a couple of weeks to settle into the project, understand the driving questions and how they may share this learning with the community, before deciding on what they want the final project to be. This is learner-centred.

I know where we are going. I know the learning that underpins the unit and why I chose and designed it for them - the big change for me is in that my lessons are not planned out in advance but rather evolve organically based on the needs arising each week. Every weekend means I write out a plan for the week to revisit or build on skills covered in the previous week based on the needs of the learners in front of me. This is not text-book teaching, this is not chalk and talk, this is not downloading and printing a scheme of work - this is learner-centred.

19 April 2013

INTO THE WOODS...

By Klevsand (Own work)
creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0
via Wikimedia Commons
The Project Based Learning Certification course offered by PBLu through bie.org is a rigorous programme comprised of two phases. The first phase is concerned with learning the essentials of PBL; it requires reading, watching lectures, collaborating with other participants and the completion of relevant documentation that outlines the learning that happens in a PBL unit, along with the creation of sample project elements. In order to complete the teaching certification, the second phase has also to be taken, which involves the actual design and implementation of a PBL Unit, along with six assessed written assignments that outline, reflect on, and document the learning that happened in the Unit.

In all, the course has taken me eight months to complete. It has been a great learning opportunity for both me and the learners who have been through the project. I feel pleased with the reflections I wrote, the changes I made, the planning I did, the learning that happened - and for the successful implementation of my first PBL Unit.  Equally, I received much praise for both my written assignments and for my course design from the PBLu course tutors, for example:
"Another outstanding reflection and demonstration of high-quality PBL!"
"the rubrics you came up with [are] very comprehensive"
"a really thoughtful and inclusive way to do this"
"I like that this is highly responsive to the needs of students and involves them directly in the decision-making and learning process"
"I was blown away by the thoroughness of your work and the work of your students. You are involving them at every turn and the work seems to show."
"This assignment has been scored in the skilled range and has received full points."
In actual fact, I received FULL MARKS for EVERY ONE of the 27 assignments I submitted for this course - resulting in, not only a successful project, but also an invitation to write, design and submit projects for the PBLu, due to demonstration of sound knowledge and understanding of what works in a 21st century classroom, and from being recognised as an educator who has "a lot to teach others about how to have a truly co-created project between teachers and students." 

Innnovation, however, always meets adversity - it is an unfortunate but all too often true fact. Teachers can face negative attitudes towards progressive approaches towards teaching and learning, and the power of positive comments can help realign our desire to keep exploring new ground. I received the following comments regarding my work from people who have observed my teaching and planning:
You are the perfect example of a disruptive innovator (meaning you are boldly embarking on this journey alone). You should know that your work is also a model for the technology integration as well.
Keep pushing the boundaries - it's not easy being the trail blazer. 
And so I do.

Educators must continue to grow and avoid becoming 'stale' - they must continue to push for well thought-out, personalised learning that is directly related to curriculum content. Go way beyond what the curriculum requires - and veer off the planned path to find teachable moments at every opportunity. I want to learn and explore new ways of learning too much to just lie down and take the easy route. A certain Robert Frost poem may be appropriate if somewhat cliched. It can be read in many ways and yet I like to think that it means we are not taking a new route, as others have blazed before us. We are taking the one 'less' travelled - we are taking the one that needs a little more effort.

The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 

To me, Frost points out that the problem is not the choice faced at the fork in the road. The problem is not even the fact that there are two roads, as there is always choice, but rather that he is "sorry [he] could not travel both/And be one traveler ".

We have the responsibility to make the right choices for the learners in front of us and we cannot 'blaze a trial' whilst sticking with the traditional. I cannot 'travel both' the old, recognised ways of teaching and learning that parents recognise whilst being someone who personalises the learning for their classes based on new pedagogies. The poem also introduces a recurring theme in my blogs - collaboration. Educators cannot do this alone; to be the lone 'disruptive innovator' or 'trail blazer' transmutes you into a 'trouble-maker' and pariah. Even if there is only one more believer, innovator and one more do-er, it makes a difference; one certainly wouldn't feel so lost in the woods, the "one traveler" who can't be everything for everyone and try new things.
© Copyright Andrew Harvey and licensed
for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Frost does state that the choice to take the road "less traveled by...made all the difference" and this is what we have to hold tightly onto. My problem, as I see it, is not the road I choose - as nothing I am trying is particularly brand new globally, it has all been trialled and documented. The different ways of teaching and learning are "worn...really about the same", suggesting all paths exist to offer the chance to be someone to tread them anew. What I am trying is not 'new new', the methods "equally lay", they are just new here; the paths have "leaves no step had trodden black" - yet. The educational ideals and pedagogies I am trying are already established and recognised as effective - hence the fact that teacher certification programmes are offered. All these new methods mean is, as educators, we are afforded the opportunity to revisit curriculum delivery afresh, specifically chosen for the learners in front of us. This is what will make "all the difference".

Isolated innovaters need to establish themselves as effective and enthusiastic and, through their passion, 'suck' others into trying new things. They need to create a great PLN to receive supportive messages - such as this one from a course facilitator on my Flat Classroom Teaching Certification* course, responding to my post 'A drop in the ocean':
"Wonderful quote: 'If I can't be who I am to those I want to support; I will support those who want me to be who I am.' 
"I can easily see how people who have been doing what they've always done would feel threatened by you, because you do so much, and I can totally relate to your sense of isolation. Sometimes people aren't ready to make changes and it is disappointing and frustrating especially when you are attacked for doing amazing things in your classroom and trying to share those practices with others. Luckily, you are building a wonderful network of global supporters (count me in that list :), you have a supportive principal, and most importantly are doing fantastically innovative things with your students. You certainly are an inspiration here in this community!"
And this is what we need to remember. The people who call into question new ways are simply those who have not yet travelled the path, who can't yet see the wood for the trees so to speak. Our role is to point out the different ways we can get through the wood together and to point out the many different and beautiful teachable moments to be experienced along the way.



*Online global projects such as the Global Youth Debates is one way to reach beyond and connect with other edupreneurs around the world.


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Links to my Journal documenting the ups and downs of this course can be found on a separate page of my Blog in the tabs at the top, or by clicking HERE.

18 April 2013

Final Showcase

For the final showcase of ‘The Octopus’s Garden Project’, learners created a group presentation as our final showcase - which brought together each of the five team’s research, as outlined in their team presentations. In addition, learners had to complete a final report individually outlined their research and learning.

Final Showcase: Decision

Learners decided on this final method following reflections they wrote about the learning done in the phase 3, the research and team presentations phase. We spent a great deal of time organising the presentation so that everyone contributed - for more details, see my blog posts ‘Managing the Octopus’ and ‘Final Phase Begins’. What was great about bringing all their learning together in one place as a group and by talking all the decisions through and evaluating each slide’s position, was the link they made between organising and linking ideas in this activity and how this might translate into good essay writing! This is an essential English skill that is often not learned effectively through 'teaching' essay skills. Plenty of feedback is given on their weekly blogs and written assignments, but I believe that the actual hands-on nature of this organisational activity and the discussion we had about it as a whole was more effective in cementing this skill as they did it physically with sticky notes.

Final Showcase: Project Management

Each team member had a role and each was responsible for at least one slide and the script for that slide to allow them to put into practise their persuasive writing skills as well as demonstrate their research and findings - in addition, they had their role as editor etc. so that all were responsible. Most were present at rehearsals that took place during learners’ break-times and most gave feedback, whilst all made on the spot edits as class rehearsals were taking place. You can read more about this in my blog post, ‘Almost there...

Final Showcase: The Presentation

I was surprised at their choice of wanting to do the final showcase live after learning how to create and edit on YouTube, however they wanted to use the eye contact, body language and hand gesture skills we had covered to help with their persuasive language skills they had developed and so they chose to create a Google presentation and deliver it live.

I do think that they could have included more multimedia or interactive elements - such as video or interviews, summaries of reports, and footage of different elements being used etc. It was very ‘traditional’ in a sense, but then this is the first time we have done any projects like this. I think a video would have allowed for a lot more creativity and would have allowed learners too shy to do it live to have contributed more. The quality of the actual slides was great as we had plenty of time to go over the material and check and some of their roles were editors. This redrafting and editing was also a really valuable skill as I believe many learners are reluctant to revisit work once they feel it is 'finished'. The editing work we did together allowed us the talk through language and grammar choices, reinforce the persuasive skills and discuss the importance of conciseness and clarity. We also set standards of font, English use and did a lot of work on visual storytelling and the importance of images over text on slides. We also built in a sound-board opportunity to allow for revision and review a few days before the actual event. Read more on my blog post ‘Reflection & Revision Opportunities’.

The actual presentation itself went very well. Learners were able to stand up to rigorous questioning from our Principal - and this was due in the most part to the knowledge they had acquired from their research. It became obvious that some learners contributed more because they felt more engaged due to having contributed throughout. Non-contribution was kept to a minimum through weekly peer-assessment by the Project Manager (who changed weekly to allow fair contribution of roles) using the co-constructed team work rubric that we developed from the bie.org one, but there are alwys those who do less and those who do more. Learners were also asked to complete a self-reflection on their contribution and collaboration based on this feedback, as I made it clear from the start that this was to be a major focus of the project.

Presentation Example (small team collaboration)

Example: Team presentations - practise (formative) to inform the final presentation

Final Showcase: Presentation Example (whole-group collaboration)

Example: The Presentation

Example: The Script

Final Showcase: Report

Learners had to complete an individual report based on their research and understanding of the project - workshop 1, workshop 2. This was to be assessed via a rubric, which was co-constructed with the learners and the final draft is posted on their blogs so there is a real audience. When we go back to school following the break, learners will comment on each other’s blogs as part of the reflection, review and peer assessment process.

Final Showcase: Report Examples (individual)

Example Blog

Example Blog

Example Blog

Final Showcase: My Reflection


I am very proud of how well the learners have developed this year. I am also very proud of how well this unit has gone, the skills we have covered and the distance we have come.

It has been a challenge to incorporate essential 21st century skills with core content and yet having a subject such as English, lends itself well to flexibility. I believe however, that Units like this afford plenty of authentic opportunities to teach skills that are often dull and lifeless.

I am grateful for having the opportunity to go on this journey with my learners. They have never been given free reign to choose their own learning in the past. The methodology of teaching and learning in the school before this year was very traditional and the learners were often unengaged. They were almost ‘unteachable’ last year according to the LS and ELS departments yet now, they are self-regulating and collaborating - all within six months of being allowed to take control and have responsibility over their own learning. I think as they get more used to this kind of learning and more adept at creating and presenting, they will start thinking more out of the box and become more creative.

Reflecting back on myself


For one of my final assignments for my PBL training course, I had to reflect on the reflection opportunities I had provided my learners. I firmly believe that without reflection, there can be no real learning - and I am talking here about educators as well as the children before us. The Flat Classroom Teaching Certification course I am also currently working on, also advocates 'personal reflection and celebration [as] a vital habit of the successful 21st century person' (217) and as part of this, I may try to bring in a daily journal that records the little things I often miss in these 'bigger picture' blogs.

In The Octopus's Garden Project, I tried to build in many opportunities for discussion and verbal reflection throughout and learners completed two main written reflections.

The first one was after the first checkpoint, which was a practise presentation that was completed in teams. This was used to determine the progress of the next phase and inform our decisions about how to complete the final presentations. Learners were able to make informed decisions about the next part of the project based strongly in their reflection of their learning up to this point and so was a valuable part of the learning process.

The final reflection, Phase 4 of the project, determined their self-assessment of contribution and collaboration - as this was a major focus of the project. It also asked them to consider their goals, accomplishments and any outstanding issues or questions they may have following the project. Following the final showcase, which was on the last day of term, learners were asked to complete two pieces of homework during the break. One was their report of their research and findings (workshop 1, workshop 2), the second was a Self-Reflection.

Learner Examples

Example 1
Example 2

My Reflection on their reflections

This project has been challenging for me on many levels - not least because it was my first PBL unit. I feel like I have learned just as much as they have in terms of PBL but also about collaboration. If I had had the rest of the school on board with this, this could have been a fabulous multi-disciplinary project; art, science, maths and humanities could easily have been involved to make it more successful. It has been used as an exemplar of PBL and is the way the school would like to go but many teachers are still not convinced and believe I sit behind my desk while my learners just get on with it. Fortunately, many have been along to the showcase, the assembly etc and are beginning to see how much work is actually involved and how many skills are covered. I have also come into much criticism as many do not recognise this as ‘English’ teaching; however again, I have an open door policy in my classroom and obviously my resources are all online - I even opened up Edmodo to any staff who wanted to see how we use it as an effective 1:1 tool. 

At times, the negative attitude has been very tough to deal with and I have had some very black moments, but my developing online PL from completing courses like this and the Flat Classroom, mean I have a great support network - and the feedback I get from my work means that I know I am doing the right thing despite the doubters around me.

One of the main outcomes for me from this project is that learners have begun to work together, something that was not happening before. In their reflections, many have asked to complete our next Unit together as G7 and G8, as they have enjoyed the challenge and opportunities afforded through working with other grade level learners.

We are going to continue the themes of collaboration and teamwork explored through the skills developed in this project, through a Unit that asks them if they dare to be themselves. Through a study of Jerry Spinelli’s, ‘Stargirl’, we will explore prejudice, tolerance, conformity and individuality, ultimately searching for the answer to the question, “Why do we need individual and social conscience?”

This Unit is still work in progress and one I think I may begin to develop into a global project design for part of my Flat Classroom certification. I have yet to think about a final product - but am thinking along the lines of a video or handbook for younger learners on the importance of having tolerance for others and their differences, as well as the courage to be ourselves, as I know there issues in the primary school. As ever, this discussion happens with the learners about how they want the unit to go and what they would like the outcome to be so they have some buy-in to - and probably more interesting ideas than I do - about what the final outcome could be. 

I do want to make sure that there is more contribution in terms of final product and I will require everyone to produce something this time, rather than a team presentation. As stated, I am currently studying towards my certification in Flat Classroom Teaching and there are many parallels between PBL and FCT so I am going to look at how the two use final outcome to plan accordingly to allow all learners the opportunity to produce and create. During FCT meetings, we have discussed the issue of non-contribution and one of the main ways we have decided to try to overcome is to have is as part of our rubrics to help enforce the importance of it.

The Future

I have enjoyed the fluidity of this project whilst within clearly defined phases; I will however rethink the final showcase to include more of a presentation opportunity for everyone - though, as my way of teaching is, each project would be very different as each would be designed and develop with the needs of the learners in front of me.

In addition, as a faculty, we intend to include a research-based PBL project in each grade level. I am not sure The Octopus’s Garden could be reused with the same authenticity, but I intend to use the project as a template for real-life research such as an investigation into the future of fiction, what a library needs to be - and even, if and when we move to a new campus within in the next five years, what a 21st century school is...

6 April 2013

Critical Thinking in the Classroom

Collaboration & Critical Thinking

For the penultimate assignment of my PBLU Project-Based Learning Teaching Certification capstone project, The Octopus's Garden (see my Project Based Learning Journal for all posts relating to this course), I had to reflect on the collaboration and critical thinking that I had fostered and measured in the project.

COLLABORATION
In the first phase of the project, we spent a lot of time reworking the bie.org collaboration rubric so that it became our own as team work was identified in the Need to Know as something important that the learners wanted to work on. 

Learners were given blown-up copies of the rubric and sent off in groups to rework it by adding or amending as they felt appropriate, with the intention of bringing all the suggestions together to create a new personalised and co-constructed rubric.

Learners showed excellent critical thinking skills by indepently researching behaviours on the Internet for specific skills. For example, they looked up what behaviours a ‘communicator’ may display and listed them. They also used the IB learner profile to match these behaviours up with their findings and so embed the school culture into the rubric. 

Here are some photos of their rubrics, which I sifted through and combined to create our own Team-Work Rubric - where you can see how the behaviours learners were expected to display became part of the expectations of the rubric and therefore the project.

Co-constructing Rubrics
Co-constructing Rubrics
Co-constructing Rubrics

PEER & SELF-EVALUATION
To ensure that this thinking and these behaviours became embedded, weekly peer assessments were submitted based on this rubric, and final reflections were completed based on this feedback (as outlined in ‘After Student Reflections’). I think perhaps a short weekly blog may have helped them to internalise their thinking more and document the learning they did each week, in the same way I try to journal my thinking throughout the week to embed current learning into my practice.

Below are some examples of one Project Manager’s self- and peer-assessment based on the co-constructed rubric.
Self-Evaluation
Peer Evaluation
Peer Evaluation
In addition, learners reflected on their team presentations and from this, decided on the final presentation. They evaluated the way the presentations had gone based on feedback, how they worked together and how they thought the final phase of the project should go - down to team rearrangement, presentation method, amount of design, roles etc. Here are some examples of their reflections:

Example 1
Example 2
Example 3
Example 4
Daily Work Log
Having decided on creating ONE presentation, we used a Management Log along with team daily work logs (see image above) to keep track of who was doing what on the presentation and the script.

Reflection blog posts were scheduled as often as possible but sometimes, as the project was so demanding, this was more difficult. More opportunities for self-assessment and more reflection would be useful to ensure critical thinking becomes a culture of learning.

FINAL EVALUATION: RESEARCH REPORTS
As rubrics are co-constructed and blogs are used, the whole evaluation process is very open and learners have plenty of say in what happens, how they are assessed and what they are assessed on.

The final report writing built on the Recount Writing they completed as a formative assessment for this part of the project. The learners completed shows explicit critical thinking in terms of evaluating the sources they used, the surveys they designed and collected, as well as the learning and skills they developed over the course of the project (as outlined in more detail in ‘After Student Reflections’).

Example 1
Example 2
Example 3

REFLECTION
As mentioned in previous assignments, LS and ELS were included in the design and implementation of team-work in this project. They both worked with this group of learners last year, and have commented often and profusely about the huge change in the way these learners work with each other, the way they behave and the way they now work as a team. Examples of this are the display and the assembly, put together respectively, in five days and one day, collaboratively. Rather than complaining that they were given no time, they problem solved a way to work together in the time