Goals - Why are we doing this and what are we trying to accomplish?
At the highest level, my goal as a teacher is to help you grow into socially and culturally rich human beings who are active participants in a democratic society. I want you all to lead full and meaningful lives, and my goal is to be a resource to you to help you go toward your dreams.
At a much more practical level, my goal is to help you develop specific understandings and skills related to the course for which you enrolled - Introduction to Information and Communication Technology.
Process - How will we work together to achieve our goals?
As a learning community, the Arlington Career Center will be putting into
practice a set of learning practices that will become part of our educational
culture. These practices, which you will hear folks call our
Framework, are centered around groups of learners working together using
the following process:
- Group Establishment
Groups will generally consist of three learners. Once assigned to a group, choose a name for your group and assign group roles - project leader, time manager, and recorder may be one set of role, coordinator, journalist, and presenter is another.
Groups will sometimes be chosen by you, sometimes by me, and sometimes at random by a computer program.
- Unit / Project Planning
With groups established, learners will be presented with a set of specific
learning objectives and a
challengeinvolving application of the understandings and skills to be acquired. After looking over the learning objectives and challenge, group members should evaluate both individually and together their current level of skill and understanding of the task. They should use this to develop a need to know list of specific skills they need to aquire to complete the task.
- Research / Skills Acquisition
With objectives understood and goals established, it is time to roll up our sleeves and get busy learning! The focus of this whole learning process is to put you the learner in control of your learning, and this stage in the process works best when you know how you like to learn and what kinds of learning activities work best for you. You have several things to choose from, including:
- Watch learning videos, either those provided in our course resources or ones you find online.
- Read learning materials, either those provided in our course resources or ones you find online.
- Create a mini-project or take a mini-evaluation to get feedback and evidence of mastery.
- Request a workshop. Often it is the case that hearing someone explain something to you while you can ask questions and guide the discussion can be a great way to learn, and it is even better when done in small groups. You can think of a workshop as a mini-lecture on a learning objective that you request. It will be my job to provide the workshops you request. I can either give them myself or find someone in class looking for level 4 mastery to provide them.
- Create / Evaluate
- The challenge presented at the beginning of the process was designed to apply the skills and understandings you acquired in the previous step in a meaningful way. Challenges will be done by your group together, and indeed learning to work collaboratively is an explicit goal of this process, in addition to providing a context for the application of your learning.
- Share / Present
- Groups will work together to share presentations of specific learning objectives. Since there are so many different things to learn in this course, dividing them among groups and presenting them to the class will be an effective way to develop our presentation skills.
Assessment - How well did we do?
Each student will earn a weekly grade based on their work in class and their Problem Based Learning (PBL) Technical Journal for that week, as described in the rubric therein. Students are both permitted and encouraged to challenge any evaluations with which they do not agree, but only during the week immediately following the evaluation. Evaluation grades will not be changed after this time.