Project-based learning with work-groups:
Not just the content:
project skills, work-group skills. self-confidence
A Digital Teaching Assistant (DTA) can support inquiry-based and project-based learning. A preliminary plan for supporting inquiry-based learning is presented. This article is explicitly licensed Public Domain (CC0).
Group project planning template
Click image to enlarge
Project skills? Team skills? Self-confidence?
- Team sports do not cover the whole domain of team skills.
- People also get paid to work in teams.
- Team skills (search)
- Project management skills (search)
- Self-confidence (Wikipedia)
- Using Group Projects Effectively
Can students really work effectively in groups?
- Not without practice. The same as with swimming.
- "Sometimes most of the work is done by a few of the students."
- That happens when the project is not effectively structured.
- "The students lack project management skills."
- Developing skills is what they go to school for.
- "Teams need somebody to manage them."
- Self-managed teams (search)
- Business teams with no experienced leader often have a Group facilitator (Wikipedia)
- That's in business. Education can't afford that.
- But it can afford the help of a Digital Teaching Assistant (DTA).
- And a DTA can be designed by a group facilitator and a project manager.
The DTA needs a template
- Inquiry-based learning often leads to a presentation.
- That kind of project is specific enough to have a template
- A DTA can present template elements to be completed by the team.
- These results are intermediate products that show the ongoing work of the team.
- The teacher can evaluate these intermediate products and give feedback to the team.
- The teacher can also evaluate the contributions of each student and give feedback to the student.
Major elements of project management for a team
- Roadmap: Sequence on planned actions leading to the completed product.
- Agenda: Every meeting must have an agenda and stick to it.
- Action items: Teams do things by creating action items.
- Acton items taken: Team members take and execute action items.
- Action items completed: These are the work product of the team.
- Milestones set and Milestones reached.
- DTA can ask for these, with guidance on what to enter.
- DTA can collect the actions items taken and show them to the teacher.
- DTA can deliver feedback from the teacher.
- DTA can collect the action items completed and show them to the teacher.
- DTA can organize what it collects in ways that support teacher evaluation.
- DTA can deliver feedback from the teacher to the group or to individuals.
- Teacher can monitor group progress and asses individual contribution.
Roadmap for inquiry-based learning project
- Starting point is a question.
- Collect ideas about what the answer might look like (brainstorming*).
- Organize the answer-ideas into categories such as most probable or most interesting.
- Select one or a few answer ideas to evaluate.
- Gather relevant reports bearing on the answer-ideas.
- Evaluate the answer-ideas in the light of relevant reports.
- Revise answer-ideas in light of the evaluation.
- Decide whether an answer-idea is indicated and supportable with current reports.
- If no: go back to the select step and repeat.
- If Yes: go to presentation preparation*
- *Brainstorming and presentation preparation are skill sets that the DTA can help with.
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