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Lain - love your idea for

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Lain - love your idea for group sharing of the grade. I also will be requiring my students to keep individual notebooks this year to have them track their task completion and add a few short essays on what they learned/their experiences.

I have been using problem

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I have been using problem based learning in my college classes for a coupe of years. As I get more and more familiar with all the in's and out's of PBL, I am realizing their is a real art to assessing student learning when students are in group. I like your idea of using weighted scoring from self and peer assessment and my own observations during work time on their projects. I have been using reflection logs after each class and there were comments about other members not contributing to the task. I usually do the reflection logs anonymously, but may change that in order to get feedback on how the group is working. I also appreciated the resource that one of the people who posted on your blog, www.peerfeedback.org. Do you have any other ideas on how to assess students fairly when you only see them for four hours a week and only have a few challenges in per semester for them to work on?

EBD Teacher

The PBL learning model seems

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The PBL learning model seems great for students. I have a hard time using this model with my students. Most of my students tend to be in the group that likes to get by with doing as little as possible. I like the idea of using self reflections. If I were to do more of this in my classroom I would meet with my students after each evaluation to discuss with them why they responded the way that they did. Having students make portfolios to keep track of their learning is a great way to keep students thinking about what they are doing. Any advice on how to help those less motivated students create PBL projects would be helpful.

High School English Teacher

Intriguing idea

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The PBL model seems intriguing to me and seems like it could work well in the English classroom. As a teacher who tends to shy away from group work, I can see some of the benefits of the style you propose and student owning their own learning and working collaboratively as a group - an invaluable skill in the global world today. I am particularly interested in #3's weighted scoring. I hesitate over giving the same grade for every kid in a group because as you point out, often 1 or 2 of the kids pull most of the weight and the others slack. I could see perhaps a core group grade and then an individual score or weighted score to help establish equity.

-Do you have more resources where I could learn more about PBLs?
-Also, so you find the PBL model slows down the pace of learning? Or is the trade-off in the depth of material covered and its endurance? Just curious.
-Finally, how long does it take your traditional students and low-achieving students to assuage their fear and accept the model (since you point out these two groups tend to resist this model)?

High School English Teacher

Intriguing idea

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The PBL model seems intriguing to me and seems like it could work well in the English classroom. As a teacher who tends to shy away from group work, I can see some of the benefits of the style you propose and student owning their own learning and working collaboratively as a group - an invaluable skill in the global world today. I am particularly interested in #3's weighted scoring. I hesitate over giving the same grade for every kid in a group because as you point out, often 1 or 2 of the kids pull most of the weight and the others slack. I could see perhaps a core group grade and then an individual score or weighted score to help establish equity.

-Do you have more resources where I could learn more about PBLs?
-Also, so you find the PBL model slows down the pace of learning? Or is the trade-off in the depth of material covered and its endurance? Just curious.
-Finally, how long does it take your traditional students and low-achieving students to assuage their fear and accept the model (since you point out these two groups tend to resist this model)?

High school social studies teacher

I like the idea of PBL. It

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I like the idea of PBL. It is very important for students to have some accountablity to the group. As they become adults it is great for them to realize that others depend on them, and it is not all about "me." I feel like this would be great to adopt in part into my classroom. I especially like how you use peer and self-evaluations with the weighted grades to get rid of the dead weight partners that are out there, but still manage to keep that team continuity. My only concern is that I feel more and more students are coming into my classroom unable to function independently. The need teacher or peer reasurrance that they are doing it "right" all the time. I am nervous of completely going away from having individual work as a important part of a students grade. Yes, teamwork is important, but so is a student being able to be independent and make decisions on their own.

High School Math Teacher from Minneapolis, MN

How to manage PBL assessment

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I really like the idea of PBL learning, but I am still a little confused about its role in assessment, specifically summative assessment. I work at a school there has been much discussion about what makes a student's grade. The philosophy adopted by the administration is that a student's grade should reflect what the student knows and can do. This was to eliminate the "free points" given for attendance, participation, and good behavior. The intent was to level the playing field for all students within the school. I like your ideas about self- and peer-evaluation to keep the students honest about contributing to the group. How long does it take to get a class to the point where they are able to work effectively with each other? I could only imagine what the first couple of days of this would look like in my junior high mathematics class! Also, how do you effectively measure comprehension of every student in your class during PBL learning?

10th grade English teacher from Seoul, South Korea

This is great tips! Thanks! I

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This is great tips! Thanks!
I have one question. What is the best way to group students for a group project?
Do you give them freedom to make their group with the classmates they want? Or, do you group them by certain rules (e.g. alphabetical order, drawing lots..)?

Middle School Language Arts and History teacher from Hill City, SD

Great

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Thanks for the post, I struggle trying to grade the group as a whole, I like your ideas!

Your blog was a great

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Your blog was a great reminder of different methods of assessments. It's important to find alternate methods in assessing student work. I feel I always use the same few tools when assessing units and sometimes forget to do the easiest thing, ask the students their thoughts on how they want to show me what they learned. We as teachers should listen to students when they tell us how they feel they learn best and how they enjoy to learn.

Using peer and self evaluations (as well as your own) sounds like a great idea because students are pretty honest about themselves and other group members.

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