A big part of the reason why I turned to PBL as my alternative to traditional teaching was my students’ inability to reflect on their learning … that whole passive attitude they have where they expect the teacher to just do the work and shovel the wisdom down their throats. If they weren’t able to digest it, it wasn’t there fault – it was the teacher’s. I don’t like that a helpless attitude in people outside of the classroom, I certainly don’t like it inside the classroom.
Built into PBL is an active engagement and participation with what is occurring in ‘the classroom’ (inverted commas indicate we do a lot of learning that isn’t inside the brick box) … and on top of that students are required to reflect on this engagement and participation. Last term three of my classes participated in a total of five projects. It is now the beginning of a new term, so it’s time to start new projects BUT before we can do that I need to get my students thinking about their experience of the previous project … and I also need the data. If my students’ reflections show me that they thought the project lacked relevance or that they were confused or disinterested, then I know something didn’t work. It’s my job (and their job) to work on ways to make the next project even better.
Tonight a googled ‘end of project reflection survey’ in an attempt to make my life easier – thinking up ten reflection questions at 10pm at night isn’t fun. I was very pleased when I found this little gem: 20 End of Year Reflection Questions. I have modified these 20 questions for two of the projects my Year 10 students participated in last term. I’ll do the same for Years 8 and 9 too. Hope these questions garner some useful insights for me and my students. Maybe you might use them for your end of project reflections too?
- What is something we did during this project that you think you will remember for the rest of your life?
- What was the most challenging part of this project for you?
- What are three things you did during this project to help your classmates?
- What is something that was hard for you at the start of the project, but is easy now?
- In what area do you feel you made your biggest improvements?
- What in our class has made the biggest impact on your learning during this project? Why?
- What is something the teacher could have done to make this project better?
- If you could turn back time and do this project again, what would you do differently?
HUNGER GAMES PROJECT:
- What is something you accomplished during this project that you are proud of?
- What was the nicest thing someone in our class did for you during this project?
- If you could change one thing that happened during this project, what would it be?
- What are the three most important things you learned during this project?
- What is something you taught your teacher or classmates during this project?
- What was the best piece of writing that you did during this project? Why do you think it is your best?
- What are six adjectives that best describe this project?
- When you consider the rest of your life, what percentage of what you learned during this project do you think will be useful to you?
- What advice would you give students who will participate in this project next year?