EP and Project Based Learning (PBL)
Project based learning is a teaching method where students develop their understanding of content by actively engaging in real-world projects. Education Perfect supports the implementation of PBL in the classroom.
- A PBL entry event or provocation is designed to engage students and inspire them to dive into the project deeper. The goal is to ‘dangle a carrot’ in front of students that will hook them and push them to want to know more about the project itself.
- An entry event can take on many different forms - a guest speaker, video, letter - that students interact with. A range of these resources can be embedded into an EP lesson, or an existing EP lesson could be used as the entry event to get students thinking about the topic.
- An entry event on EP can also be used to gather the next steps within a PBL project which includes the ‘Need to knows’. An effective entry event supports students to be able to identify the driving question of their project.
Need to knows
- A 'need to know' is the essential knowledge students need to have to understand the complex real-world issue at the core of the unit. Students are often encouraged to co-construct a list of need to knows for a project, however, EP can be used to collect individual student responses before coming together as a group.
- Having students complete their need to knows in an EP lesson will allow them to reflect on these at the end of the project to ensure that they have been able to achieve their individual need to knows as well as those that were co-constructed by the group.
- By using the embed tool, teachers can embed collaborative tools into an EP lesson such as Padlet or an editable Google Doc where students are able to add their ideas to one central place.
Individual Research and Master Classes
- Throughout a PBL unit, students may be required to complete individual research. EP provides students with a wide range of curriculum-aligned resources that are scaffolded to support their understanding of the content, while also including questions that they can use to assess the development of their understanding.
- In order to make these resources easier to find for students, teachers are able to create custom folders within the My School’s Content space. These folders can house copies of resources from the wider EP Content Library, and will appear in the student’s Content Library for them to easily access.
- Teachers may run Master Classes throughout a PBL unit where they teach a small amount of the content to students to support them with their projects. This may not be taught to all students, and it may be used as a differentiation opportunity. Teachers can use EP alongside these Master Classes to reinforce content and to support students in their understanding.
- Being able to check in with the students regularly to ensure that they are developing their understanding of the content associated with the project is important.
- EP provides teachers with the ability to assign a Quiz that is made up of lessons that cover the content relevant to the project in order to get a snapshot of a student's understanding.
- These quizzes can also assist with the assigning of groups based on strengths and weaknesses, as well as assigning Tasks to students to help them to fill any gaps that have been identified from the data gathered.
- Another important step for students when completing a PBL unit is the ability to reflect on their learning. Students who are able to explain why they are completing a task or why the activity is important to their final product are one step closer to the integration of new knowledge.
- A great way that teachers can use EP to support students as they reflect on their PBL journey is by creating a ‘reflection log’ Smart Lesson that contains a number of extended response question slides that relate to the number of reflections that the teacher would like students to complete by the end of their project.
- The extended response component allows teachers to add ‘prompt text’. These can be things like sentence starters that get students thinking about how to reflect on their learning. As time goes on, prompts can be reduced so that students are reflecting without support.
- EP also provides an Audio Recorder as an extended response question type that allows students to verbalise their reflections rather than typing it out.
Product with Authentic Audience
- The EP platform allows teachers to create their own Smart Lessons that have an ‘Upload’ component included, where students can upload their finished product to EP for marking. EP supports a number of file types (documents, images, video, and audio), which are outlined in this article. The Audio Recorder is also available, where students are able to record their voices for up to 10 minutes.
- Upload and Audio Recorder style questions can also be used in conjunction with the EP Peer Review feature. Students are able to view each other's products and provide anonymous feedback in the form of a star rating or typed comment. When building these, teachers can manipulate the generic marking criteria in these questions so that the criteria the students are providing feedback on is relevant and specific to the task.
- All uploaded files are able to be downloaded by the teacher for moderation purposes if necessary.