This week’s reflection Journal/Learning Log
One of the greatest challenges for an instructor in a PBL unit is to adapt to the role of facilitator. Reflect on the following:
- Will my role in the teaching/learning process change?
- What are the skills of effective facilitation?
- Will the students develop the competencies and skills needed to be successful?
- What changes will you need to make in order to become an effective facilitator in your PBL unit?
I think (besides the time for thorough planning) that the greatest challenge of PBL will be changing my role in the classroom. In my classroom, my students do spend a lot of time working with their peers in our daily activities, labs, problems. But I manage the entire thing, prepare for the week the week before & make changes as needed. I decide on the questions, and what resources and activities students will use to answer question. Switching to PBL will be very different. Besides the large amount of time spent with upfront planning, I need to learn a new role in the classroom. I plan to give the Driving question, but students need to work together to figure out what questions they need to ask to learn the material. Next they need to find the resources to support their learning. Ultimately, their learning is their responsibility, and I am there to help guide them. Once the project is implemented, I need to resist the urge to take over and give answers, but rather guide students to resources so they can work together to learn to answer each others’ questions.
Effective facilitators need to LISTEN! in my new role, I will need to listen to the teams, guiding them to develop questions. Additionally, as facilitator, I will need to listen & look out for any problems that may arise within student teams due to clash of personalities, students not doing their assigned jobs, or due to student absences.
I think that PBL students will develop not only the skills required of the science content, but also additional skills as they grapple with finding questions, resources, & answers, learning how to work in teams with their peers, and learning how to meet deadline.
I know that with my first PBL, I will need to reflect & rework the project, but that happens with all lessons, it will magnified in the PBL.