Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Create-your-own-project: Middle Ages edition

If you were to poll education experts, you'd fine that many say that the new, hot, sexy trend in education is called Project-based learning:
Project-based learning is a dynamic approach to teaching in which students explore real-world problems and challenges. With this type of active and engaged learning, students are inspired to obtain a deeper knowledge of the subjects they're studying. []
In other words, as your teacher, I let you do all the work. I throw you a project, a topic, a question, or an idea, and you find out everything and just kick butt. I'll direct you less than I usually will; all I want is for you to just become experts on your topic.

As you know, when I see super-cool things happening, I get totally jealous. Therefore, my British Literature classes going to do some Project-based learning to sum up the Middle Ages. Two of your classmates ( Sean  and  Beverly ) are going to be project managers. With me, we'll assign different topics to different student pairs, hopefully based upon your interests or what we think you'd do well with. For each of your topics, you'll research and find some way of demonstrating your knowledge. How you choose to display it will be up to your group.
  • Maybe you make a  video that gives an example of what you studied. 
  • Maybe you create a PowerPoint presentation, upload it to VoiceThread, and narrate it. 
  • Maybe you write a paper... *yawn*.
  • Maybe you create some artwork that displays what you've done.
I don't really know how amazing you'll be on this one, so I'll leave the ball in your court.

Here's what I'm picturing, though: I'd love to see a really big poster (drawn by some of our crazy talented artists) that shows a good overview of what life in the Middle Ages was like. Then, in different sections of the poster, there are QR codes that link to what's going on on the poster. So, for example, maybe in one area, someone draws a picture of some knights jousting. Below it, there's a QR that links to a video about chivalry that someone else in the class created! When someone in the hallway comes by and scans it, they'll learn more about what they just looked at. It's like a super-poster!

So, that's about it. This will be a pretty big-sized project, but if you're curious to how I'll grade you on it, click below for the entire post with the rubric.
How I'll be grading you on this:

Sources Source information collected for all graphics, facts and quotes. All documented in desired format. Source information collected for all graphics, facts and quotes. Most documented in desired format. Source information collected for graphics, facts and quotes, but not documented in desired format. Very little or no source information was collected.
Requirements All requirements are met and exceeded. All requirements are met. One requirement was not completely met. More than one requirement was not completely met.
Activeness Makes excellent use of font, color, graphics, effects, etc. to enhance the presentationMakes good use of font, color, graphics, effects, etc. to enhance to presentation. Makes use of font, color, graphics, effects, etc. but occasionally these detract from the presentation content. Use of font, color, graphics, effects etc. but these often distract from the presentation content.
Content Covers topic in-depth with details and examples. Subject knowledge is excellent. Includes essential knowledge about the topic. Subject knowledge appears to be good. Includes essential information about the topic but there are 1-2 factual errors. Content is minimal OR there are several factual errors.
Originality Product shows a large amount of original thought. Ideas are creative and inventive. Product shows some original thought. Work shows new ideas and insights. Uses other people's ideas (giving them credit), but there is little evidence of original thinking. Uses other people's ideas, but does not give them credit.

Again, I've never done one of these before, so although this is the current rubric, I do reserve the right to change how I grade depending on how much (or how little) work teams do. Work hard!

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