We all know how fun it can be for the students to be involved in projects and external activities, but we are also aware that teachers end educators can find it difficult to get on board with a non formal way of managing the class without a clear plan and strategy.
But don’t worry: that is the reason why our course “Introducing Project Based Learning in the Classroom” exists!
The new edition of the course took place from 04/12/2022 to 10/12/2022 in a Bologna full of Christmas lights and happiness. We had 3 very enthusiastic participants: Ana from “Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board” in Ireland, Juan Manuel and Joan Miquel from “IES Politècnic” in Spain.
At the beginning of the week, our group explored the main concepts related to Project Based Learning, focusing in particular on the 5 key elements of PBL and using case study videos to trace them in the project presented. Quite spontaneously, they quickly came to the realization that PBL is not like doing any regular project, but rather a defined teaching approach with its own rules and methods.
And from there, we started to break down the preparation of a PBL project into different phases:
1. Preparation of the class for Project Based Learning. We talked about the basic attitudes and characteristics that our teachers should adopt for Project-Based Learning in order to get the students on board! A lot of discussions emerged and soon we found ourselves fighting on the best way of roasting coffe…small injside joke that only the group will get ;)
2. Defining Learning Outcomes, Learning Goals and “Backward Designing”. One of the critical aspect of PBL is that it should be rooted in the curriculum, it is the main dish rather than the dessert!
3. Creation of the Driving Question and project details. One of the elements of project-based learning that should not be forgotten is the "push question" element. These questions aim for students to try to solve an emerging problem or a process with various research and inquiries. These questions are open-ended inquiry that guides students’ thinking and learning.
4. Establishing appropriate Assessment forms. We discussed thoughtful and solution-oriented assessment methods that will help us measure students' understanding and plan instruction accordingly. We also drew attention to the difference between formative assessment and summative assessment. Thus, in group work, we saw together with our participants which option was more useful and beneficial in order to determine the individual development of the students.
5. ICT tools in support of Project Based Learning. In our ever-changing and technology-based world, it is indispensable for Project-Based Learning to be changed according to this order and to progress with technology. Our participants had the opportunity to try out various tools needed to implement Project-Based Learning smoothly and fluently in the classroom.
During the week, our participants came to a level where they could create their own projects with all the knowledge and exercises they had experienced. After discovering a new part of PBL practice every day, they had the opportunity to design their own projects based on their student group. As a result, our participants left us with their pockets full of new information and with a project ready to be implemented!
Thank you Ana, Juan Mi and Juan Ma for the beautiful week :)
Discover more about this course here!
Welcome to the ELA Blog. Here you will find articles and photos of our courses and have a look at the topics addressed during the week in Bologna, Palermo and Tenerife. You will also have the chance to take a peek at our projects and check out what we have been up to.