In January of 2019, I will be facilitating a theory course on Project-based learning at the University of Winnipeg as part of the Post Baccalaureate programme. This will be followed by the PBL Applied course in Spring 2019. The description is below:
I have had several people contact me regarding how the course will unfold, so I thought I would post this note as a means to clarify some of the details.
This is an online course that is live. We will meet on Tuesdays (beginning January 8th, 2018) from 5:30 pm until 8:30 pm CST via Zoom. While each session will be recorded, members of the group are responsible for attending every Tuesday night. This is not an online course that is static. The advantage of this format is that it provides greater access for more participants while still bringing people together for rich and authentic conversations about how and why we learn. (It also means no winter travel on sketchy roads in the dark.)
Each week, we will engage in readings, guests speakers, virtual field trips, and project work. Participants will be asked to design a project that they can reflect upon throughout the course. Participants will be asked to think, read, listen, write, and speak about the theoretical underpinnings of PBL and about their own practice.
We will use Edmodo as a means for housing our online discussions and course documentation.
Rationale for course
As project-based learning schools become more and more part of the pedagogical mainstream in North America, the need for teacher education in is this area is paramount. While project-based learning can be a powerful platform for authentic learning, transformation, and growth, the danger is that project work is merely activities, teacher-led, or not rigorous. With several PBL schools in Winnipeg, and a desire at all levels, including higher education, to pursue meaningful and educative experiences for learners, a theoretical course on PBL is essential.
This course is designed to offer practitioners a foundational understanding of the evolution of PBL, while examining what we deem an educative experience. Learners will look at a variety of critical issues related to the success of PBL and how PBL manifests itself in various contexts.
At the end of this course, learners will:
- Have explored a variety of different theoretical models of project-based learning
- Will have entered into dialogical discourse as to what is meant by an experience
- Be able to articulate the foundations of project-based learning
- Have conducted an inquiry project whereby they pose a research question, offer an argument, and provide evidence for their rationale
- Articulate how they would theoretically employ project-based learning principles into their own practice
- Describe the process of introducing learners to projects and guide learners to propose and carry out these projects
- Be able to discuss a variety of assessment practices and tools used in project-based learning.
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