Outline of These Materials
1. Future of ICT in Education
2. Learning Goals in a PBL Lesson
3. What is ICT-Assisted PBL?
4. Planning a PBL Lesson
5. Authoring a Hypermedia Document
6. Timeline and Milestones
8. FAQ and Conclusions
Google Search of Local Domain
Send Email to Website Author Dave Moursund
This page contains a Syllabus for a Spring 2005 University of Oregon 1-credit (quarter-hour system). Revised 4/21/05.
Class meetings. Room 151 Education, 4:00 to 5:50 Thursdays, for the first five weeks of the term, beginning 31 March 2005.
Office Hours: Spring Term 2005 office Hours are 1:00 to 3:50 Thursdays during the first five weeks of the term, and 3:30 to 5:50 Thursdays during the last five weeks of the term. My offices is in Room 124A, College of Education. Phone (541) 346-3564. Email: email@example.com. Office hours sometimes get canceled due to meetings and/or out of town trips. Please do not contact me at home except in extreme emergencies.
Rationale, Goals, Objectives
ICT is a powerful aid to representing and solving complex problems. An ICT-Assisted PBL teaching and learning environment can provide an authentic, situated learning, constructivist, interdisciplinary, cooperative learning environment that has many advantages over the traditional "stand and deliver" classroom environment. In this environment students can learn valuable lifelong skills such as self assessment, planning a task of significant length, budgeting time and other resources, working on a team, self-assessment, peer assessment, giving and receiving feedback from one's peers, and taking increasing responsibility for one's own learning. The environment allows also allows teachers to learn alongside their students as they facilitate and participate in a student-centered teaching and learning.
The goal of the course is to substantially increase students' appiled and theory-based knowlege and skills in ICT-Assisted PBL
More detailed objectives focus on topics such as:
- Developing an authentic, student-centered, ICT-Assisted PBL unit of study.
- Teaching interdisciplinary content, meeting the needs of diverse students, and learning to be a facilitator (guide on the side) as distinguished from a stand and deliver (sage on the stage) type of teacher.
- Authentic formative and summative assessment in ICT-Assisted PBL.
- Use of ICT-Assisted PBL to translate educational theory (such as constructivism, motivation, cooperative learning, cooperative problems solving, situated learning, peer instruction, peer feedback) into practice.
- Learning to learn along side and from one's students.
Participants. There are three different groups of students who may be taking this Information and Communication Technology-Assisted Project-Based Learning (ICT-Assisted PBL) course:
- Students enrolled in TED 610 Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age.
- Preservice teachers, mainly from the Middle School/Secondary School or GET teacher education programs at the University of Oregon. Likely these students are taking the course as1/3 of a three credit requirement in their program of study.
- Inservice teachers.
Rules and Regulations. To the extent that the rules and regulations from the TED 610 Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age course are applicable, they apply to this course. See details at: http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/%7emoursund/
- Work must be turned electronically before the beginning of class to count as having been turned in on that day.
- Late work will lose 10% for each day or fraction thereof that it is late. For example, if a class is scheduled to begin at 4:00 and you turn in an assignment (electronically) at 4:01, it is counted as one day late.
- Special exceptions will be made due to illness and University-sanctioned trips (such as sports, band). Arrangements must be made in advance with the instructor.
Resources. There are no materials that you need to purchase.
Participants in the ICT PBL course/workshop will receive a free copy of the 375 page book National Educational Technology Standards for Students: Connecting Curriculum and Technology published by the International society for Technology in Education. (Note that this book can also be accessed for free online at http://cnets.iste.org/students/s_book.html.) This book is an excellent source of ideas for PBL lessons that make use of ICT.
In addition, the course will draw heavily from the Website http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~moursund/PBL/.
Reading Assignments. You are responsible for the information and general ideas in the readings listed below. You will be expected to show understanding of these materials during in-class discussions and in your term assignment.
A very good approach to these readings is to read them all early in the term. Then take a look at the Day By Day Course Content. A day or so before a class meeting, carefully reread and study the parts of the readings that are specifically relevant to the upcoming clsass meeting. You will want to pay attention to the information given in the Day By Day Course Content about what the quizzes will cover.
- Read in detail, aiming for a high level of understanding, each of the eight parts of this Website that are listed as "Outline of these materials" and #1 through #8 in the menu on the left of this Web page. These cover materials included in the class lectures, discussions, and quizzes.
- Read in detail, aiming for a high level of understanding, the following chapters from Moursund's 1999 book on PBL, available at http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~moursund/PBL1999/index.htm.
Chapter 1: Introduction and a PBL Example.
Chapter 3: Some PBL Lesson Topic Ideas
Chapter 7: Assessment of IT-assisted PBL
- Browse up through page 25 of National Educational Technology Standards for Students: Connecting Curriculum and Technology, paying particular attention to the materials at the grade levels you teach or plan to teach, and the grade levels lower than this.
- Browse the lesson plans part of National Educational Technology Standards for Students: Connecting Curriculum and Technology, paying particular attention to lesson plans that might be relevant to your teaching.
- Browse the References section of this PBL Website you are currently browsing, looking for materials that seem relevant to you. For materials that look relevant and are available on the Web, go to their Websites and explore the materials.
- Do additional explorations on the Web and/or using other resources to support your work on the assigned project for this course.
Graded Activities (100 points Total)
The table summarizes the points. Some details are given after the table. Additional details are given in the next section. A score of 78 points is required to receive a Pass on a P/N basis in the course. A score of 78 or 79 points corresponds to a B minus grade. An A- is 88 or 89 points.
||Assignment to turn in
||Detailed Topic & Needs Assessment
||Progress Report # 1
||Progress Report # 2
||Final Written Report
||Total of 100 Points
Attend Class: There are five class meetings, each worth five points.
Quizzes: The first quiz will be at the end of the first class meeting. It will be the question:
Write a short paragraph summarizing an idea or topic that was discussed in class today that you felt was particularly important from your point of view. Then write a short paragraph summarizing an idea or topic that was discussed in class today that you felt was not particularly important. A full five points will be awarded for completing this writing task.
Quizzes at the beginning of class meetings #2, #3, and #4 will be based on the reading assignments. See details in Day By Day Course Content.
Course Project: There is just one assignment for the course, but it has five graded components/activities. All written materials to be turned in should be nicely desktop published and should be turned in as email attachments to the course instructor. More details on the assignment are given in the next section of this syllabus.
- Topic. Turn in a clear description of the topic you have selected for your course project. A full five points is awarded for a good faith effort to provide a clear, moderately detailed description of the topic.
- Progress Report # 1. Turn in a short report of the work you have done on your project during the previous week. A full five points is awarded for a good faith effort to provide a clear description of your progress, (provided you have made significant progress).
- Progress Report # 2. Turn in a short report of the work you have done on your project during the previous week. A full five points is awarded for a good faith effort to provide a clear description of your progress, (provided you have made significant progress).
- Oral Report given during the last day of class meetings. Each person will have about 5-6 minutes to present a report to the class on their project. Likely there will then be time for a question or two. Details of assessment for this report are given in the next section of this syllabus.
- Final Written Report. This is due no later than one week after the last class meeting. Details of assessment for this report are given in the next section of this syllabus.
Course Objectives and Assignments. There is only one assignment. It is relatively open ended so that you can do work that you deem useful. In essence, this assignment constitutes a summary of the objectives for the course. That is, the unifying objective is for you to learn to make effective use of ICT-Assisted PBL in your teaching in a manner that improves the quality of education that your students receive. The assignment is:
Develop a relatively detailed ICT-Assisted PBL unit (of at least five lessons in length) specifically designed so that you can use it in your current teaching assignment or in your first year on the job. The unit should have carefully defined goals based on the goals template discussed in the PBL Website, along with a careful discussion of what will occur to accomplish and assess the goals.
The ultimate goal is to improve the quality of education that your students are receiving or will receive. Thus, you should give careful thought (backed up by what you learn in the ICT PBL course readings and class meetings, your previous learning, the research literature, and so on) why use of your lesson will improve the quality of education of students.
Your lesson can be developed for group-based ICT-PBL or for individual-student-based ICT-PBL. The design decision you make should be carefully justified based on the overall aim to improve the education your students are receiving.
Some of the other things to think about when doing this assignment:
- The starting point is to determine a teaching & learning problem that you feel might better be addressed by ICT-based PBL than by other approaches. The careful thinking, (data gathering if needed), and analysis done during this starting point is called a Needs Assessment. It results in a clear statement of the curriculum topic area your project will be about and what grade level of students it will address. This problem statement includes initial efforts to state learning outcomes and why they might well be better or more appropriate than learning outcomes produced by other approaches to this teaching/learning situation. The five point Detailed Topic & Needs Assessment is a summary of the results of the work described above.
- You can think of the course assignment as a Project that is five weeks in length, with each person doing their own project. Develop a plan for what work you will do during weeks 2-5 of the course, and during the week after the course ends. This plan should be a major part of what you turn in as Progress Report #1. Your Report # 1 should also include a first draft of a filled out PBL Lesson Planning Table.
- It is perfectly all right to make significant changes in your plan and your PBL Lesson Planning Table as you make progress on doing your project. Progress Report # 2 will contain considerable detail about how you are doing in implementing your plan and your PBL Lesson Planning Table. But, it might include a new or thoroughly revised plan and table, and progress you are making in implementing your new or revised plan and table.
- By the fifth class meeting, the expectation is that you will have made sufficient progress on your course project so that you can share it with your fellow students. Your presentation should include:
- A handout that is 1 to 2 pages in length that includes a clear summary of your ICT-PBL unit. It should also include the most important components of the annotated bibliography for your project.
- Use of media or multimedia if you feel it is appropriate and will enhance your presentation. (You are not required to use an overhead projector or multimedia in this short presentation. However, you are encouraged to do so.)
- Your presentation should contain enough information so that class members can use it as a good starting point to develop and implement a somewhat similar project that would work with the students and topics they teach or plan to teach.
Note: In recent years there has been some good criticism of slide show-types of presentations. (Nowadays, they are often called PowerPoint presentations.) Here is a brief quote from a January 2004 interview of Donald Norman. Norman is highly respected as an expert in design for effective communication. In the quoted material, he is discussing criticisms put forth by Edward Tufte of a particular set of PowerPoint materials. Accessed 3/9/05: http://www.sociablemedia.com/articles_norman.htm
Tufte is correct when he complains about misleading data and bad summarization that oversimplifies and may even omit important footnotes and qualifications about the data. Tufte is wrong when he confuses great depth of detail with a good talk.
Tufte would overwhelm the talk audience with more data than can be assimilated in a talk. He doesn't seem to realize that there are really three different items involved here:
1. The notes the speaker will use (which should be seen only by the speaker).
2. The slides the audience will see.
3. Handouts that will be taken away for later study.
A talk can NEVER present as much information as a written paper. Talks should be pointers to the important material. But neither the spoken talk nor the accompanying notes - PowerPoint or not - should be confused with or used for the real information.
- The written report must begin with a well polished version of your Detailed Topic & Needs Assessment. (This will likely be different from the one you turned in earlier during the class, as it will reflect insights you gained during the work on the project.
- The written report must contain a detailed PBL Lesson Planning Table.
- The written report must contain a careful discussion of how you will do both formative and summative assessment of student learning.
- The written report must contain lesson plans with enough detail so that they would provide a really good starting point if someone else were going to make use of your ICT-PBL.
- The ICT-PBL lesson must contain a discussion of how to modify the unit to accommodate Learning Disabled and TAG students.
- The written report must contain an annotated bibliography. Its scope should be appropriate to the depth, breadth, and scope of your overall ICT-PBL unit. The References section of this PBL Website serve as an example of an Annotated Bibliography.
- The following are some notes I made to myself after grading projects at the end of the course the last time I taught this course.
- Your students need to be able to understand the assessment process. They need details that help them understand how well they are meeting the criteria. Some of the details are easy, such as a student meeting specific Milestone timeline requirements. Others, especially those focusing on higher-order knowledge and skills, are more of a challenge. However, keep in mind that an underlying goal in any PBL is students learning to take increased responsibility for their work and learning. To take such responsibility, students need to understand what constitutes good work and good learning.
- As we pointed out in class, there is a strong parallel between the steps of Process Writing and the steps in producing a product, presentation, or performance. A key aspect of PBL is providing for students to obtain feedback (formative evaluation) on the progress they are making , and then using this in the "revise, revise, revise" aspect of their work.
- Quite likely your students are not particularly skilled in PBL. What will you do to assess their knowledge and skills in effectively learning in this environment? What will you do to increase their level of expertise as a learner in this environment?
Day By Day Course Contents
For each of the detailed content listings given for a class meeting, all but the first and the last can be considered as Objectives For The Course.
- Introduction of instructor and the course/workshop. Handout the handouts. Discussion of course requirements
- Each class member shares (for about 2 minutes) one personal experience with PBL, preferably from precollege.
- Discussion: What is ICT-Assisted PBL? Individual and team projects; short and long projects.
- Learning goals in an ICT-Assisted PBL lesson. ICT-PBL Planning Table.
- Final questions and comments, day # 1.
- Short quiz at end of the class meeting. Click here for the quiz question.
- Return quiz from day # 1. Review of first class meeting contents; questions.
- Short quiz on planning, timelines, milestones, etc. based mainly of the content of 4. Planning a PBL Lesson and 6. Timeline and Milestones of this Website.
- ICT-PBL theory and practice. The published literature and other resources.
- Planning an ICT-Assisted PBL lesson. Emphasis on authentic content, including authentic product, presentation, or performance.
- Timelines and milestones in an ICT-Assisted PBL lesson.
- Final questions and comments, day # 2.
- Return quiz from day # 2. Review of first two class meetings; questions.
- Short quiz based on the readings about assessment, such as Chapter 7 of Moursund's 1999 book and 7. Assessment of this Website.
- Review idea of authenticity of content and process in a project. Tie in with authentic assessment, self assessment, and peer assessment..
- Individual and team responsibilities in a team term project. Assessing oral presentations. Formative and summative assessment.
- Debriefing a project with one's students and with oneself. Writing detailed notes to oneself for use in revising & improving the PBL unit and using it again in the future.
- Final questions and comments, day # 3
- Return quiz from day # 3. Review of first three class meetings; questions.
- Short quiz based mainly on 5. Authoring a Hypermedia Document of this Website.
- Product, performance or presentation by students in a PBL Unit. Learning how to do them; difficulties in developing good hypermedia products.
- Final questions and comments, day # 4.
- Return quiz from day # 4.
- Student presentations, 5-6 minutes each.
- Course evaluation.
Frequently Asked and/or Very Relevant Questions Raised by Class Participants
- What is Project-Based Learning?
Answer: Google has a feature that makes it easy to find definitions of a word or term. In Google, use the search phrase:
to get a definition of XXXXX. Last year when I entered project based learning for the XXXXX, Google gave me a half dozen definitions. On 4/07/05, however, it merely told me it did not have a definition and suggested I just search the web using the term project based learning. I did so, and Google got 40,600,000 hits.
A definition is provided in the readings. See http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/%7emoursund/PBL/part_3.htm. Note that project-based learning and problem-based learning are related, but are not the same thing.
Here is q useful quote from Penuel, William R. and Barbara Means (1999). Observing Classroom Processes in Project-Based Learning Using Multimedia: A Tool for Evaluators. Accessed 3/9/05: http://www.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/tech/
There are seven components of the Project Based Learning Using Multimedia model. Projects are expected to:
- Be anchored in core curriculum; multidisciplinary
- Involve students in sustained effort over time
- Involve student decision-making
- Be collaborative
- Have a clear real-world connection
- Use systematic assessment: both along the way and end product
- Take advantage of multimedia as a communication tool
- I am a "stand and deliver" type of teacher, although I try hard to generate a lot of interaction with and among my students. How does this differ from PBL?
Answer: PBL is much more student oriented than what you have described. Students work individually or in groups over a period of time to produce a product, performance, or presentation. The role of the teacher becomes much more of a "guide on the side" as contrasted with being a "sage on the stage."
- Must a teacher be just one of "guide on the side" or "sage on the stage?"
Answer: No. Even if a teacher is fully committed to PBL, it is highly appropriate and effective to interrupt the whole class's work on their projects and deliver a short (interactive) "sage on the stage" type of presentation on a topic that is relevant to all or most of the students. Most "sage on the stage" teachers who experiment with and come to enjoy PBL end up with an appropriate mix of the two teaching styles. Keep in mind that the goal is student learning, and you (the teacher) are a significant part of the environment facilitating that learning. On any given component or topic that you are teaching, you should select teaching methodology that will (in your opinion and experience) product the best learning.
- You have noted that the research on PBL is not overly strong. Thus, many of your arguments supporting PBL are based on research on topics that are only somewhat related to a PBL type of instruction. Why is this?
Answer: There are a huge numbers of published articles on PBL. However, most of them are testimonials rather than research articles. Actually, it is relatively difficult to do a good research study on PBL. What do you compare it to, and how do you do the measurements? Suppose, for example, some of the goals you set for a PBL lesson include students gaining skills in working in a group (including peer assessment and peer instruction), students learning to become better as independent self-sufficient library researchers and learners, students becoming better at use of ICT in higher-order critical thinking and problem solving, and etc. Most of these goals are not explicitly stated and measured goals in a traditional classroom and are not well measured in the current statewide and nationwide assessments. Another type of answer is to say, "Show me the research that says our traditional ways of teaching are effective."
- How can I teach arithmetic facts using PBL?
Answer: An educated student has an appropriate balance between lower-order and higher-order knowledge and skills. An appropriate balance is somewhat (or, to a large extent) dependent on the individual learner (since all people are different, and we are thinking from a constructivist point of view). Our schools tend to place a great deal of emphasis on lower-order knowledge and skills, and this leaves relatively little time and emphasis for higher-order knowledge and skills. Thus, we might look at traditional education and say that it has been "finely tuned" for teaching lower-order knowledge and skills such as arithmetic facts and a great deal of other memorized information. However, Computer-Assisted Learning (CAL) is more effective (on average) than this traditional classroom instruction My advice is:
"Don't try to use PBL to compete with things that CAL can do well. Use PBL for creating higher-order knowledge and skills learning environments in which students may effective use of their lower-order knowledge and skills."
- Where can I learn more about ICT in math education?
Answer: See my Website on this topic at http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~moursund/Math/. Also, see my book:
Moursund, D.G. (2005). Improving Math Education in Elementary Schools: A Short Book for Teachers. Access at http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~moursund/Books/
- It seems to me that many of the goals that you suggest for an ICT-Assisted PBL lesson can also be goals in a traditionally-taught lesson. Is that correct?
Answer: Yes. Remember, the goal is to provide students with the best possible education with the resources we have available. One of our resources is the collected knowledge of educational researchers, and another is the collected knowledge and skills of teachers. Research on transfer of learning, constructivism, situated learning, cooperative learning, intrinsic motivation, and etc. is applicable to all of education. The question is, are there better ways than "traditional education" to effectively make use of the craft and science of these theories? PBL can be used to create a teaching/learning environment that is quite effective for implementing these teaching and learning theories.
- I hesitate to ask this question, but it bothers me when you suggest that there are some aspects of teaching (or, the teaching of some topics) that computers can do better than teachers teaching a classroom full of students. Should I be worried about my job in the future?
Answer: My answer is "no"provided that you are an effective teacher who is continuing to learn and grow (to build increased capacity) on the job. You are quite aware that there are all kinds of machines that can "out do" you in the area of physical capabilities. When the Revolutionary War began in the United States, about 90% of the population lived and worked on farms. Now, it takes less than 3% of the working population to feed the country and to produce a large surplus for export. At the height of the Industrial Revolution in the US, perhaps 55% of workers had industrial manufacturing types of jobs. Now, this figure is down to about 17%. Over time, huge changes have occurred in large sectors of the job market. Teaching is a very demanding job that requires a very wide range of knowledge and skills. Teachers have not been replaced by books, movies, or television. However, ICT brings us Highly Interactive Intelligent Computer-Assisted Learning (HIICAL). [A Google search on this term produced 18,200 hits on 11/27/04 and 33,900 hits on 3/8/05.] Such systems are, in a few cases, already better than one-on-one tutoring. Over time, we can expect that HIICAL will grow in availability, curriculum topics covered, and effectiveness. It provides a way to implement a some of the craft and science of teaching and learning that has been accumulated and continues to accumulate. Thus, you can expect that teachers jobs may well change significantly during the next few decades.
- You talk a lot about increasing expertise within a discipline and as a teacher. Can you summarize some of your key ideas?
Answer: If you watch a young child develop physically and mentally, you will see increasing physical and mental expertise. Crawling, walking, running
a natural progression along a physical movement expertise scale. Babbling, saying a few words, talking in phrases and whole sentences, carrying on an intelligent conversation
steps along a scale of increasing verbal communication expertise.
Within any discipline one can think of an expertise scale moving from a very beginning (a novice) toward a personally useful level of knowledge and skill, and then moving toward ever increasing levels of knowledge and skills. We use the term "world class" to talk about a person who has achieved a very high level of knowledge and skill. As you help your students learn a particular discipline, think about what you are doing to move the child toward increasing expertise. Increasing expertise tends to be a mixture of: a) gaining increased lower-order knowledge and skills; b) gaining increased higher-order knowledge and skills; and c) gaining experience in using the lower-order and the higher-order knowledge and skills to solve challenging problems and to accomplish challenging tasks. As a teacher, you want to create a learning environment that fosters this growth.
Finally, think about your own growth toward increasing expertise as a teacher. As noted elsewhere in this document, teaching is a very complex and challenging profession. There is a huge and continually growing Craft and Science of Teaching and Learning. Some of this you learn as a preservice teacher. However, much is learned on the job, especially during the first half-dozen years. Because of the complexity of the field, as well as the steadily growing Craft and Science of Teaching and Learning, the challenge to be a good teacher is never ending.
This specific short course on ICT-Assisted PBL provides a good example. Through this course you can increase your repertoire of PBL teaching skills, and you can refresh your mind on a number of related topics such as constructivism, situated learning, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, teaching for transfer of learning, and so on. These topics are important in all areas and methodologies of teaching.
- Are there some other really important ideas about ICT-Assisted PBL that we have not spent much time discussing?
Answer 1: Perhaps the most important idea that have not been adequately discussed is that of a teacher using ICT-Assisted PBL as a vehicle for his or her own learning. As a teacher, you can create within yuour classroom an environment that will facilitate your own learning. You can create an environment in which you interact substantially with your students on topics that they may well know more about than you do.
Answer 2: A good teacher "grows" on the job. The job is a learning and capacity-building environment. Every day is an opportunity for learning. Some of this learning needs to be focused on keeping up with the progress that is occurring in the Craft and Science of Teaching and Learning in the disciplines you teach and the students you teach. [A Google search on this term produced 714,000 hits on 11/27/04 and 1,280,000 hits on 3/8/05.] There is a huge amount of research occurring on ways to improve education. ICT-Assisted PBL is but one (relatively modest) component of teaching and learning in which a teacher can grow and gain increased capacity. It is a good area to experiment in (practice in) because of the possibility of relatively rapid progress and improved education for your students. It also has the characteristic that it draws upon a broad range of the accumulated knowledge and skills of effective teaching.
Answer 3: One of the most important goals in education is for students to gain a significant level of expertise in being an independent, self-sufficient, self-assessing, intrinsically motivated, lifelong learner. To a large extent, our PreK-12 educational system (and, much of our college educational system) places little emphasis on this goal. Instead, the majority of students say to the teacher: "Tell me what to do, tell me what to learn, tell me what you want
and I will do it." PBL can be used to create teaching and learning environments that contribute substantially to a student-centered, student-empowering educational system.
- How can PBL be used to help meet the needs of a very diverse set of students?
Answer: Take a look at the work of Joseph Renzulli. A summary of some of this work in given in Chapter 2 of a book that I am currently writing about TAG education. Also, take a look at the literature on Differentiated Instruction.
- What roles can PBL play in students creating portfolios of their work?
Answer: This is a "natural." Each student can be doing an individual year-length project that consists of building an electronic portfolio that represents their work for the year. Some of the entries in this portfolio can be PBL projects that the student has carried out during the wear.