March 28, 2005

Project- Based Learning

Who would have known that an egg could help teach me about project-based learning. Some of the best presentations, classes, workshops, etc. that I have attended have included projects like keeping an egg from breaking.

I have used projects as a way of teaching but never knew about the project-based learning model. Presenting a problem to an audience, seeing how they solve the problem and then seeing them learn from their peers is always exciting. Sometimes there is only one correct answer but in most cases there is always more then one way to solve the problem which shows the importance to working in groups.

This model allows the learners to play a part in designing how the learning experience will be shaped. For example, in a workshop I can split the learners into groups and give the groups the same task to complete. After several minutes of working in groups I can bring the everyone back together to discuss the task they were given and how each group decided to complete the task. At this point the learners may begin to shape how the rest of the workshop will go. If there is a lot of discussion I may have them go more in depth and see what the learners can take away from the discussion. At the same time I could have predicted how the discussion would go and based off of the topic I could have alternative activities or discussions planned. Although I did do some pre-planning the learners really shaped how the workshop would continue based off of the task they were first given.

Posted by sthielen at 9:05 PM

March 8, 2005

Methodoligies used for instruction

The audience, content, environment, ojective, etc. can play a big part in deciding what methodoligies to use for instruction. Once again it is all about your learners and what methodolgy will help the learners meet the students learning outcomes that have been set. In the classes that I have taken I don’t remember a class that used the behaviorist approach. The courses that I enjoy the most are the ones that allow me to “learn while doing.” Hands on expereinces and applying what is learned in class through real-world situations work well for courses that are teaching multiple skills while also providing a learning environment that makes the material relevent.

Posted by sthielen at 8:49 PM