PBL + Me = How?

In response to my original post PBL + Me = Why? my edmodo colleague Mr Rowley asked:

Not really sure where to begin. How do you get it rolling?

It’s a good question! Mr Rowley is actually playing around with the idea of a Flipped Classroom too and was thinking the two could work well together. This is something lots of teachers are starting to do – making connections between teaching approaches to enhance their effect on student learning and engagement.

Here’s my messy response. I’ll fix it up a bit later.

It takes quite a bit of planning for your first project … start with thinking about what you students can create or do to demonstrate their learning – this would be your content/skills/habits of mind/standards. Then start thinking about a driving question that would immediately engage your students and help guide them throughout the process to creating the product and presenting to a specific audience.

The flipped classroom and PBL go together well because the individual stuff (the content focus, you typical teacher-centred instruction) occurs at home and the team-work occurs in class. Of course PBL (and I’m assuming the flipped classroom) would still feature whole class interactive instruction … just less often.

I tend to think in terms of a process and a product as the ‘assignments’ (process 1: investigation/plan, Process 2: Draft of product Product: object created and/or presentation of learning/object). This means they’re being assessed formatively twice and summatively once. Each process/product sees the students engaging with the driving question. You can also award ‘points’ (like a gamification thing that lead to edmodo badges) for positive project behaviours – I use Habits of Mind for this.