Tuesday, November 19, 2019

2019 #VREDU: #DTA: Project-based learning with work-groups: Not just the content: project skills, team skills, self-confidence


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?

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.
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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.

Related

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