This semester I modified my unit planning assessment for CLP409 (Secondary English Curriculum Studies 2) based on the outline developed by Bianca Hewes. You can see the 40 fantastic project outlines by her fabulous #EDMT5500 students on her blog.
Bianca developed her ‘Inquire, Create, Share’ model for project-based learning (PBL) units after finding that planning PBL units needed to involve more visible teaching and explicit structure to ensure students learned required knowledge and collaboration skills.
As I see it, this approach is a variation of existing models that suggest units of work be designed around phases of ‘Orientate, Enhance, Synthesise’. These particular verbs are popular in Queensland Schools, and can be found as one of two recommended unit planning frameworks on the QSA website.
The two things that I love about the unit framework that Bianca has developed are:
- It provides a structure for PBL units that takes on the narrative flow I find so natural in teaching – there is a clear beginning, middle and end in these units.
- The shift in verbs used to drive learning activity is important; activities to ‘Orientate, Enhance and Synthesise’ could still be very teacher-centered but ‘Inquire, Create, Share’ and similar verbs deliver an imperative to engage student-centered learning and project sharing.
Following Bianca’s lead I am posting my Assignment Task Sheet here for all to see, and below you will find some of my students’ finished products, reproduced with their permission.
Please notice that I used the same Driving Question as Bianca, ‘How can I create a project for English that will help my students own their learning?’, and that I retained some of the structure of her original project as well. Some things I did a bit differently were: adding an essay writing component where students justified their choices using scholarly and professional literature; requiring students to refer to Australian Curriculum elements rather than ISTE NETS and professional standards; providing models of other assignments.
Of course, I could only provide my class with models of assignments because Bianca’s students had been willing to publicly share their work in the first place. So a big THANK YOU to those fabulous (and generous) #EDMT5500 students, and to the University of Sydney, for making their work available to the world 🙂
#1 by bevenden on November 12, 2013 - 11:19 am
These are awesome, Kelli. I think the graphical style of most of them really work. Congratulations to your students!
#2 by kmcg2375 on November 14, 2013 - 12:07 pm
I agree – at first my instinct was to say ‘oh no, these might not come out on the photocopier!’, but many teachers are now uploading their tasks sheets digitally so I think the bright and lively designs are a good approach.
So many students in the class reported feeling joyful about being allowed to ‘be creative’ in a university assignment. Made me so glad I had the chance to disrupt their black-and-white-typed-and-printed-essay assignment world.
#3 by Graeme Collins on November 15, 2013 - 10:03 pm
Asking a question, a simple, but specific question can lead to a quest for knowledge and the journey to answers that is real guided inquiry…… Leave the photocopier behind and engage with the students and tasks. Leverage your technology to make your life and the quality of your (and your students) work better and remember to share it and create. the only way to new knowledge is to base your knowledge on something proven then drive forward to create. Good work.