Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Week 5 . Learning through projects

And we are already in week 5 !   It  seems  that  we  have  done a lot, but it is good to realize that we still have much more to discover and learn. We began the week by reading articles about Project Based Learning ( PBL ) and alternative assessment. When I started reading the article   "LessTeaching and more Learning " by Susan Gaer I remembered why we are here, why we are taking this course. We are learning, growing, getting ready to prepare a project that we will prove with our students. We are having  an online course, focused on a project This is the way we are learning and this is the way our students should learn, too.


I  really  believe  that students have different possibilities to learn; they learn through games, music, poetry, they may reinforce difficult structures  with the use of technology, they get their knowledge in and outside the classroom; and the largely  proven and more traditional  methodologies can also  provide good results if we apply them considering the students, their needs, and making learning significant for them. However, the instance in which they really feel involed,  more motivated and willing to keep on learning is when  they work with their peers,  when the do hands-on activities,  when they are allowed to make mistakes, because they are part of their learning and when they see that all the differentl skills are needed  to support their work. Here is, then,  when PBL gains relevance and  we feel we need to include it in our classes. This leads us, then, to alternative assessment.

As children have different abilities and they learn in different ways, we need to choose the appropriate assessment for the specific task that they are doing.  As it is mentioned in the article : " Practical Ideas on Alternative Assessment for ESL students " by JO-Ellen Tannenbaum, Montgomery County Public Schools ,  " Consideration is giving to the learning styles, language proficiencies, cultural and educational backgrounds and levels of students. " through the use of alternative assessment. We just need to be aware of the different possbilities and apply them in our classes. In my next post this week, I will talk about webquests and rubrics.



  1. Hello Denise,
    This week is so challenging. We learned many constructive things which can help us and our students a lot. As regards PBL, I like this way of students' learning because the students can create a new knowledge and they can acquire a new knowledge by learning jointly. I also like alternative assessments where students can assess their own learning, their peers' learning. In this way,students can become *autonomous learners* what is one of the goals of each teacher.

    Best regards...


  2. Hello Rade :
    I think that is the clue of everything, to be "autonomous learners", to make students be in charge of their own learning.Not an easy task sometimes.However, this is the main reason we are taking this course; to produce changes in ourselves and in our environment ; to see all the possibilities students have and to help them realize about them. Well prepared PBL activities certainly bring students a wide understanding of the world around them.

  3. Hello Denise,
    I agree with your point that students learn from various things. That's true. Everything can be material, even comics, iphones. Any topic in PBL will give us something to learn. Also each of students has a different style of learning, so as you said, teachers need to set the assessment categories carefully and I think we should be flexible to recognize what they learned through project; it can be different from a teacher expected.

    1. Hi Kaori :
      Now that I have been investigating further, I have realized that the possibilities seem to be endless, as you pointed out, too. Technology is,in fact, everywhere and if we can make our students realize that this is not only a tool for making our life easier, in some aspects, but also a great tool to make their learning more significat, that would mean that we have given a big step in our learning-teaching process.

      Best regards.

  4. Hello Rade:
    You may want to check out this link on "How to become an online teacher". Let me if you like it.