Dig Deeper with Problem-based Learning A presentation deck for training educators on the Project MASH problem-based learning process Full day version Contribute your ideas to this quick group brainstorm! List your favorite places in the local community. What do you like about them? What don’t you like? What potential problems are they facing? Today’s explorations Gain an understanding of problem-based learning. Experience problem-based learning first-hand by examining opportunities to take action in the community. Present findings to the group, then discuss how to implement problem-based learning with students and share practices with other educators. What is problem-based learning? Problem-based learning gives students the opportunity to identify and examine a real problem, then work together to address the problem by mobilizing resources and advocating for a cause. Problem-based learning provides a clear process (as well as the tools and resources necessary) for introducing meaningful project-based learning. The problem-based learning process Problem-based learning is interdisciplinary. Students find natural connections between subject areas, similar to real world work experiences. Problem-based learning builds student agency, independence, and persistence through a student-driven process of real world problem solving. Problem-based learning is civically charged. By taking on local issues, students have opportunities to raise their voices, get involved, and positively impact the larger community. Problem-based learning is one of several teaching strategies that inform the educational content and experiences available on Project MASH, a social network for learning. Project MASH is a social network for educators, students, and the organizations that serve them. On Project MASH you’ll find student activities and projects that rely on design thinking—or citizen science and other unique teaching strategies. Project MASH also includes professional development resources and support. A problem well put is half solved. -John Dewey The problem-based learning mindset Today’s goal By the day’s end you will have research, evidence, and an action-plan for a real community problem, as well as concrete ideas for classroom application. Project MASH activities For today’s session on problem-based learning, we’ll borrow from activities available for your students on Project MASH, including among others: What’s the Problem? Analyze-Running the Numbers Convince Me! STEP Brainstorm TIME 15 minutes GOAL Begin thinking about global issues that are of interest to you. There’s a global problem that you care about. What is it? Review this list of global issues. Which ones do you care most about? Why? • • • • Health • Hunger Conflict • Sustainability Climate change • Poverty Water • Human rights • Population • Women’s rights STEP Brainstorm (cont.) TIME 20 minutes GOAL Now think about local issues that are of interest to you. There’s a local problem that you care about. What is it? Review the opening brainstorm listing global issues you care about. Identify connections between places in your community and the global issues you care about. Choose one to focus on. STEP TIME GOA L Define 30 minutes Determine needs and get specific about the problem by conducting a quick survey. Identify a target audience. Develop three-four simple questions based on your topic and perceived problem. Distribute the survey widely. STEP Define (cont.) TIME 10 minutes GOA L Determine what your data is telling you. Do a quick sort to analyze your findings. Look for common themes. What does the data tell you about the problem? What needs or issues are most pressing? STEP Define (cont.) TIME 10 minutes GOA L Develop a hypothesis. A hypothesis should give a reason why your specific problem is happening in one short sentence. For example: People would exercise more if our community had more walking trails. STEP Field studies TIME 60 minutes GOAL Test your hypothesis through data collection. Try the following: Visiting the site and talking to people who live or work there. Documenting evidence of the problem (through observation, photos, videos, etc.). Interviewing experts working on the problem & citizens impacted by the problem. Conducting a larger, more focused survey. Online research. Field studies tips Identify data collection methods: a notebook, spreadsheet, digital tool, photographs, a trash bag. Divide and conquer. Determine roles (interviewer, data collector, photographer, etc.). Collect more than one type of data (for example physical evidence and student surveys). STEP Plan TIME 10 minutes GOA L Sort and analyze your findings. Do they confirm or change your hypothesis? What will you do with the data you’ve collected? Is your end goal raising awareness, getting others involved or creating systemic change? STEP Plan (cont.) TIME 5 minutes GOA L Make a plan based on your findings. What will each team member do? Who can help you? (experts, organizations, others) What will be the best way to reach your end goal? STEP Create TIME 60 minutes GOAL Create a visual, short presentation, artwork, video or other creative way to share your findings as a call to action. Portray your message & purpose clearly. Consider how this will impact or persuade your audience. STEP Advocate TIME 20 minutes GOAL Present your work! What is your message? How might it be amplified, i.e. published? How might it be used to spur others to action? The product is not the end result of problembased learning. How you SHARE the product and what others DO with it is! Project Share TIME 30 minutes Working with your team, create a visualization for how problem-based learning: Fosters student engagement Addresses specific content areas Builds skills, i.e. 21st century skills Common Core Connections TIME 15 minutes Working with your team, discuss how today’s activity aligns to these Common Core standards. How might implementing this activity with students further meet the standard? CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.5 Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations. Reflection & Discussion: Technology TIME 10 minutes What role did technology play in today’s project? Think Beyond Today: What additional possibilities might exist in an extended version of this? How is this role distinct from the simple notion of “technology integration”? Reflection & Discussion: Assessment TIME 10 minutes How can assessment: Document the process, and not just the product Promote self-reflection & peer-feedback Address skills, habits and mindsets in addition to content? Want more? Visit Project MASH for tool kits and resources that align to problem-based learning and these other teaching strategies, including design thinking, citizen science, making & tinkering, and more. On Project MASH you’ll discover activities and projects that incorporate problem-based learning and other unique approaches to teaching and learning. What’s the Problem? Ask: The Art of Conversation Convince Me!