Independent Directed Studies 11

Independent Directed Studies 11
  1. Social Media and professional web presence.
  2. Blog Tools
  3. Instructional Design
  4. Building Knowledge Assets
  5. Learning Legacy Project/Challenge Based Learning
  6. IDS Minor Project
  7. IDS Minor Project
  8. Internship/Work Experience
  9. IDS Major Project
Or double Major Project in lieu of 2 minor projects.
Or year long project aligned with a provincial examinable course. Challenge exam.

Project Process

Step 1 – Declaration of Topic

Students will declare their topic(s) of choice. I often ask students to come up with a couple of ideas just in case one is not feasible or suitable in terms of criteria or timeframe for completion.

To streamline this process, I usually create a Google Spreadsheet and share with my students. Students are then able to edit the spreadsheet and declare their topics. I also like this process because students are able to see what their peers are interesting in but also if they are undecided they may find some inspiration.

Step 2 – Check Point for Approval

This is a 1:1 meeting between the teacher and student. In this step, we discuss purpose, process, ideas, potential products, varied resources, presentation ideas and timelines. This is a very informal conversation but an important step to ensure that the student is on the right track and that they have given their project some thought. The more confident they are in terms of their topic and rationale the less likely they will change their mind or squander time engaged in unfocussed researching, learning and building.

Step 3 – Create a proposal

Once the students receive approval, they will draft a professional looking proposal. The proposal will include learning outcomes for the curriculum, rationale for choosing the topic, ideas for their product or artifact of learning, ideas for presentation and timeline for completing tasks.

I require students to create professional looking proposals that are aesthetically pleasing as well as free of grammatical errors I usually provide a couple of samples or exemplars for students to follow. In addition, I provide links to the government curriculum to help students with matching learning outcomes.

Step 4 – Create a rubric

Students will create a rubric for assessment. For this rubric, I usually ask students to create a three tier rubric with headings approaching, meeting and exceeding expectations. In this stage, the students are introduced to backwards design and students will need to visualize specific criteria in terms of where they are going and what will their final project will look like.

Students are assessed based on their rubric during their presentation. The students are assessed by two adults and the students assess themselves based on their rubric. This process is meant to be quick and straightforward where the evaluator simply circles the criteria based on approaching, meeting or exceeding expectations.

Students will receive a copy of their assessment for their critical reflection piece.

Step 5 – Check Point for Approval

This is a 1:1 meeting between the teacher and the student. The teacher will review the proposal and rubric with the student and suggest ways to improve upon the documents. This is also a good time to offer feedback, answer questions, clarify the key points and discuss next steps.

Step 6 – Project Tuning Presentation

In this stage, students will create a short 5 minute presentation for their peers. The students must use the entire 5 minutes. A timer will keep track of the time. This important step is intended to help students with public speaking and the articulation of their ideas. No different than an job interview. The students must learn to organized their ideas and presented them in an engaging manner.

Step 7 – Reflection and Revision

The students will reflect upon their project tuning experience and revise their proposal or plan of attack. After articulating their thoughts and reflecting upon the valuable feedback from their peers, the students should now have a firm or solid idea in terms of moving to the next phase of their project which is researching, learning and building of their project and final presentation.

Step 8 – Check Point

This meeting is a 1:1 meeting between the teacher and student and is intended to answer or clarify any questions, comments or concerns the student may have. Also, this step is to ensure that progress has been made and the student is on task. As students are encouraged to be as independent and self-directed as possible, it is still a necessary step to ensure that students are not idle or stuck while suffering in silence. Peers are encouraged to help others during this phase as well. Although this is an independent project, students are encouraged to seek expertise among their peers as well as the social network outside of the classroom.

Step 9 – Research and Inquiry

Students are encouraged to find multiple sources of information, from books to websites to YouTubes. Students are encouraged to seek assistance from the librarian(s) or local experts on how to find quality resources or learning materials or tutorials. Students are required to site their sources.

Step 10 – Project Building

Students are provided with self-directed and independent project building time. The teacher is available to assist in person or virtually. It is a good idea to circulate and ask questions, some students may not feel comfortable asking for help or may need a little nudge in the right direction. At this point, students are required to do a weekly log or blog of their progress and make specific references to milestones and/or challenges.

Step 11 – Blog Progress Thorough Journey

Students are required to blog their progress. My students use typically use our locally hosted Apple Wiki Server or multi-user WordPress or Google Blogger. It is very important to have student log or blog their progress. It keeps the students accountable as well as help make thinking visible by journalling their journey through conception to creation to curation to sharing and finally reflection. The blog also acts as an artifact of learning that may be used for assessment.

Step 12 – Presentation

Every student is require to perform an oral presentation for their peers. The students can choose any medium to present their project. Creativity is highly encouraged. The presentation is recorded and shared online for students and parents to view. The recorded presentation is a great tool for helping students improve their presentation skills. Also, the digital presentation may be shared on a variety of hosting platforms such as Youtube and Vimeo. This allows students to present their artifacts of learning to a much wider audience. The students enjoy being able to view themselves and self-assess their performance. All students presentations are stored on our locally hosted Apple Wiki Server and curated as part of their eportfolio.

Step 13 – Complete Assessment Rubric

Three different people will complete the assessment rubric that was created by the student. There will be one completed by the student as a self-assessment, one completed by the teacher and one completed by another adult or observer. The third person may be another teacher or parent or relative. This is where the recorded presentation comes in handy just in case the third evaluator may not be present during the live presentation. I like having parents and relatives as evaluators because it engages the family into the learning process and adds value to the student’s work. I find that the students are more engaged and invested when they know that the work will be shared beyond the eyes of the teacher and classroom.

Step 14 – Critical Reflection

This is a very important step and perhaps the most important. The student looks back at the project in its entirety and reflects upon the successes, challenges and failures. This reflection is in a written format but if the student chooses to create an audio or video podcast, that is more than acceptable. The reflection is stored on their eportfolio.

Step 15 – Share Product

Students will now package their entire project and share it on their eportfolio. It is up to the students to organize and package all their content for digital sharing.

Step 16 – Upload Content to ePortfolio

Students must upload all their digital assets and artifacts of learning to their eportfolio. This process also assist students in backing up their content for access later on as well as for sharing with the wider learning community.

 Project Tuning Process

Description of Process Time Allocation
Introduction: Facilitator (a peer) briefly introduces protocol goals, guidelines, and schedule 1 Minute
Presentation by Student: This is the presenter’s opportunity to share the context for their project. They will share why they chose the topic, how does it relate to their goals, what they intend to build for their final product and any other details or ideas they would like to share including questions they may have or need help with. 5 Minutes
Clarifying Questions: Participants have the opportunity to ask “clarifying” questions in order to get information that may have been omitted in the presentation that they feel would help them to understand the context for the student work. Clarifying questions are matter of “fact” and typically “yes/no” questions. 2 Minutes
Quiet Reflection: Presenter and participants take pause to reflect upon the presentation and clarifying questions. Everyone is silent and jotting down notes is encouraged. 2 Minutes
Warm and Cool Feedback: Participants share feedback with each other while the presenter is silent. The feedback generally begins with a couple minutes of warm feedback, moves on to a couple minutes of cool feedback. Often participants offer ideas or suggestions for strengthening the work presented. The presenter is silent and is encouraged to take notes. 5 Minutes
Reflection: The presenter speaks to those comments/questions he or she chooses while participants are silent.

This is not a time to defend oneself, but is instead a time for the presenter to reflect aloud on those ideas or questions that seemed particularly interesting. The facilitator may offer some guidance and support.

2 Minutes
Debrief: The facilitator offers a condensed version of the presentation and offers some insight into the project which usually include feedback from the participant. 1 Minute