So far, I only have one review and I want to thank Loredana Conte for her comments and the effort she made to reach my Learning Designer.
"Hi Valentina, I read your Learning design on your site because the link didn't work : I found it very interesting , even your driving question make students think about the difference between present time and past time. I think your work is very clear and I can understand what students are doing in this work."
I can't change the link to my Learning designer in the form, but I do hope that the next reviewer would look up the right link too.
Learning designer is a tool that everyone can use. It's simple and easy to use, very user friendly. I believe it was Games in Schools course that I had a task to create lesson plan with Learning Designer. They had a great tutorial about it. Seeing that some peers struggle with understanding it and working with it, I wanted to help. Here's a YouTube video about creating a Learning design.
The way I see it
Learning designer the way I see it is just a tool that keeps me on track. My lessons are planned in 40 minutes TLAs because that's how long teaching unit in Macedonia i. (for more info on my definition of 'teaching units' check out my lesson design post). With Macedonian education, I have to plan different activities in those 40 minutes.
What's great about it is that:
It does say that it's an early release on its site and they're working on it, doesn't it?
Anyway, I've created few lessons using Learning Designer and basically I like it more than I dislike it.
About assessing Learning designs
And again, this is just MY OWN VIEW.
There was another great video about assessing Learning Design. I found it useful. Of course, it refers to assessing/reviewing a final design. For separate assessments/reviews I'll stick to the questions that are stated in the P2P review guide for the module. But assessing/reviewing it as a complete design, it's worth taking a look at this video. (created for EUN Academy)
I hope you find this post useful.
Before even starting my Learning Designer plan, I must explain Macedonian educational terminology:
Having said that, here's my Learning designer plan. It's just a first draft, I still plan to work on it some more.
Cooperation and collaboration with local community is important part of the learning process. Contact with real life is essential for my students future, not the immediate future, but still...
I live and work in Skopje, the capitol of Macedonia and it's not very hard to find willing businesses or institutions that want to work with us. My students are 12-15 years old, so it's more of a cooperation with the businesses and institutions and less of a collaboration. Still, I use my personal connections as connections to collaborate with Cinematography society, ICT learning centers, local libraries, State University etc. where students work on tasks, presentations and research, but considering the age, it's mostly the basic level. We also collaborate with high schools.
What I've noticed is that whenever I take my students to the University, we go as a class, and yet, many of my students understand better the essentials of the tasks compared to university students. I'm fascinated with the way their minds work and the quality of their critical thinking, even though I see it in class every day.
It is absolutely necessary for PBL to have collaboration in teams. At the beginning students cooperate (if that) and think they collaborate.
Now, over the years I've done a lot of teacher trainings as a trainee and as a trainer and it was always useful to play an ice-breaking games at the beginning. One of the games that brought teams in collaborative mood was the Balloon Tunel game.
BALLOON TUNNEL BALL
This is exactly the same as the usual tunnel ball game except you use a balloon instead of a ball. Everyone is divided into teams of 6-8 and must pass the balloon between their legs as they stand/bend in a straight line. The person at the back of the line receives the balloon and runs to the front to start the process over again. The first team to go through all its members without bursting the balloon is the winner.
picture taken from diypartytips.net
I have some experience with creating and assessing with rubrics. I use RubiStar to create them. It has some good samples on all kinds of topics related rubrics. In fact, my students are so used to be assessed with rubrics that they (and their parents) don't even ask "Why's my grade ..X..?" They refer to the rubric and know before I even have the chance to elaborate. I have my rubrics displayed in the classroom and on my web-site for students and parents.
Here's a sample rubric about collaborative activity, taken directly from RubiStar site. .
I'm starting the new module today and already gone through few of the videos and additional texts. It's rather interesting to read things I thought I knew, see them from different perspective and reflect.
Overall, I like the new module. It's promising work (I'm not afraid of), ideas (I crave for) and knowledge (I need) for successful PBL in my classroom.