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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Project Based Learning as Assessment Tool

Project Based Learning as Assessment Tool

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I am developing a competency based pathways curriculum based on the core standards for grades 4-8. As part of our model we are looking at identifying key milestones along the pathways. At each milestone, a PRL module will be developed that will require the student to use learned skills to complete. How well they use the targeted skills will determine whether they are ready to move up the pathway. I have one organization that is interested in working on this project with me. I am also now a teacher for the Quest Atlantis program, sort of a virtual learning PBL site for ages 9-12. If you have ideas, would like to join the project, have questions, ideas - I would love to hear from you.

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Greg Reiva's picture
Greg Reiva
High School Science Teacher

Over the past few years I have worked to develop an inquiry-based approach to learning science. Effective portfolio assessment that involves real-work problem solving an essential component to a successful curriculum. I have developed some specific engineering-based projects that encapsule the learning of concepts in science and provide multiple opportunities to showcase their knowledge and understanding.

Tracy Hanson's picture
Tracy Hanson
K12 Next Generation, Director

Have you ever considered doing a similar thing for the middle school science curriculum. Our science curriculum, based on the Common Core Standards will be broken down into modules with these types of inquiry-based projects both supporting student learning as well as assessing student mastery. One of the other enormous advantages, I believe, to this type of approach is that learning this way, in real-time with very real and current happenings is a strong and meaningful motivation for the students - they get the "why". You don't ever here "How am I ever going to use this?" when you teach this way.

Tracy Hanson's picture
Tracy Hanson
K12 Next Generation, Director

PBL - Project-Based Learning is a way for students to learn through doing real-time projects which are developed specifically to address identified content and skills. So what I am referring to as a module is a group of lessons that are developed to teach a particular competency on the national standards and at the end of that lesson will be a Project-Based Learning activity that will require them to apply there knowledge and thereby showing that they have mastered the material. Right now we only ask the students to tell back what we have taught - and they immediately forget it. Our program will ask them to use the skills as active rather then passive learner. A great site to find out more is http://pbl-online.org/

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