I have facilitated the PBL Elements course twice. Both times I had a 2 hour face to face with the group so they could meet each other and so I could take them through the course and the expectations. We run the course through Moodle and the links to the Intel portion of it are all there and then after they complete a module they answer the questions within Moodle. I also have them post their Action Plan twice as we go along. It is a good mix for our teachers. None of our districts would probaby give our teachers inservice credit for a self-paced tutorial that isn't facilitated. I also find that some of the teachers need support with the Essential Questions and the group will often give good suggestions. Part of the Moodle format is done is small groups where 4 people may respond to a question and then they follow the project for just those 4 people. Other questions may be for the whole group. I found that this small group feature is important for giving feedback to each other. If you have 18 people it is hard for people to keep track of what each person's project is to give good feedback. Most of the participants really enjoyed this smaller chunk.
They have also shared some of the projects they have done as a result of the course and you can tell they really got it.
So far I have facilitated six Intel Teach Elements courses as blended learning opportunities to western Wisconsin educators. I have also built the coursework into all of the EETT and ARRA grants I have wrote to meet the high quality, researched based and rigorous professional development that is required in our grants. Teachers like the self-pace of the course, the easy follow through of navigation and the multitude of support resources. All teachers earning one graduate also complete the electronic Action Plan. Currently we run the Intel teach PBA course through a Google Wiki, but I just recently set up a PBA course through the Intel Engage groups area, and am anxious to facilitate our next round through this portal.
Most of my groups taking the course run between 15-20 in a group. But next week's group I have 30 educators in our southern WI group, and I am co-facilitating with my grant evaluator with the incorporation of the "Critical Friends" model. This model will assist educators with looking at their pre, mid and post lesson plans with a critical eye and constructive feedback for their peers. Yes, sometimes this may be a risk for some educators to share their lesson plans, but once the process is practiced and the anxiety has passed- quality results come out of the process with exemplar lessons in the end.
Everytime I instruct the class it gets better. Even though I still have educators struggling with trying to understand "What are 21st century skills?" "How do I insert my jumpdrive into the computer and how to I save my Action Plan on my jumpdrive" and "What is a blog and a wiki?" I graciously smile, take a deep breath and take about three leaps back to recover the basics of the questions asked, so the educators can make the immediate connections with the PBA coursework, otherwise they most likely will struggle from start to finish.
Educators that participate in the PBA come to the course with a "teacher friend" or grade level colleague to partner up and assist one other. This seems to help with overcoming any anxiety either educator may have with taking a blended course. Even though each teacher is expected to complete the PBA Action Plan and online module reflections individually, I also encourage educators to develop a team collaborative technology infused lesson when they have finished the PBA online coursework, to implement the lesson or unit of study to see the immediate changes they can put into practice. I track teacher and student data with a pre, mid and post test assessments to document change, improved technology skill sets in both groups, improved teaching practice and improved student learning and/or educational setbacks. Teachers also share at the completion of their implementation of their new collaborative lesson 2-3 final student digital products and reflections. These student products document growth and showcase their new understanding of the content that was presented through their lessons.
Yes, we do more than just the coursework of the Intel Teach Elements PBA coursework through our grant work. We try to take it to the next level to assist and guide educators with how they can improve their instructional delivery, implementation of instructional strategies, and to truly engage and motivate student learning with the delivery of a quality designed lesson. I truly believe our teachers in the USA need to be "pushed" into taking more risks and "greening up" their lesson to align with 21st century skills an infusing the technology seamlessly with the right tool to get the job done. I see too many teachers and lesson plan designs that are of such low-level design on the revised Blooms Taxonomy level, and they are not making the critical connections of how to approach a unit of study with problem/project-based learning in mind. This Intel Tech Elements PBA course work has definitely made a positive and lasting change with our educators in Wisconsin.
Thank you Intel Education for setting the bar high with designing qulaity, challenging, and comprehensive blended course work to impact all administrators, educators and students in a postive way!
Those of you that may be interested in documents that I use to enhance the PBA face-to-face time and future Elements courses as I spend my face-to-face time with educators to lay the groundwork with understanding 21st century skills, Blooms Taxonomy, and transforming educators instructional design infused with technology- I have attached my tools of choice that have worked well this year.
Good luck in your future Intel Teach Elements deployment of courses everyone!
handoutsforpbaadditional.zip 277.5 K
Thank you for this sharing Naomi. I agree that we need to be push teachers to design lessons that incorporate 21st century skills and having a good CFQs will helped then design good lessons. I downloaded your resources and noticed that you have no addiltional resources for CFQs. I know that PBA have a good design on how to create essential, unit and content questions, the interactivities might help in doing the task. Do your trainees have difficulty in creating essential questions? If so how did you help them during the training?
Once again Naomi, thanks for sharing your knowledge and resources. I like the concept of "Educators that participate in the PBA come to the course with a "teacher friend" or grade level colleague to partner up and assist one other. " I'll recommend that to LEAs as we continue to offer Facilitate Elements Courses.
I appreciate you sharing your documents. I am planning out first PBA course - thanks to Tom's help and the NYIT Moodle course, starting in October. We will have 7 cohorts of teachers 10-20 in a cohort starting with a full 6 hours during a face-to-face day. We are staggering the start days over 3 weeks following up with them working in the Moodle online class. We are doing some "pre-training" (using Adobe Connect web conferencing) for facilitators that will be teachers that are members of each cohort. We are also using some of our Master Instructors from the TwT and Essentials courses as facilitators to give support to the cohorts and the local facilitators.
Our goal is to build a cadre of local and statewide facilitators that can support the PBA and the other Elements courses.
So - all of this said - I am curious what the agenda for your face-to-face day(s) look like. We plan to do a quick overview of the PBA course, outcomes etc and plan to start Module One as a group so they are prepared to work in the on-line Moodle area when they go home(this is rural NE Colorado).
We are excited about the opportunities of these Elements course.
Thanks, Naomi for sharing your tools of choice. It helps to have experts in the field to share their facilitation strategies. I agree with teachers needing to be "pushed" into taking more risks and "greening up" their lesson to align with 21st century skills an infusing the technology seamlessly with the right tool to get the job done." We spent a week this summer with our teachers on "upgrading" their lessons to include more project based approaches, 21st century skills and tools. All of our teachers were so appreciative of this time and to have 3 instructional coaches there to assist.
I met with my first group of Intel Elements PBA people yesterday. Let me tell you they are excited. I will be working with nine teachers from a rural district. Although this is an online course, I have decided to go hybrid with this one. I will be meeting with my teachers at the beginning of each module to get them started with the next module, answer questions, and celebrate successes. The course is being facilitated through BlackBoard, which is an area that the principal has already said needs to be addressed in their professional development. Now they get training on Project Based Approaches, and will feel more comfortable becoming a community through BlackBoard.
I will share any secrets, tips, and successes I have with all of you.
I am in the process of facilitating a blended Elements course outside of NYC. The participants are extremely excited and the combination of face-to-face along with Moodle discussion forums provides a strong learning experience for the teachers. The projects under development are very exciting and I look forward to sharing the culmination with this discussion group.
This was the first course I facilitated and now that it is over, I will post some thoughts regarding the class:
First of all, I was extremely happy that 7 of the 8 that started finished. This was the group that was selected by the principal to participate. The course went longer than expected, but sometimes you have to be flexible and realize what all teachers have going on. I always try to be understanding when I teach a course because I have been in their shoes.
Another major highlight of the course was the feedback from one of the participants. This particular school has many consultants that come in to work with them. One participant commented that she received more from the Elements course than from working with the consultants...YEA!
One reason for the success of this class is that even though it was scheduled online, I met with the participants face to face throughout the course. Many of the participants were new to technology and appreciated having someone to bounce ideas off of. I was there to discuss their ideas and offer suggestions that might incorporate more meaningful technology.
Probably the main thing that helped my participants, was the fact that at the beginning of the modules, I sent them a list of all discussion questions. This also indicated where they need to be posted (whole group) or (small group). For some reason, this was a big challenge for them throughout the course.
I am now starting my second Elements course with a group of teachers from a high priority school in my district. I will post any questions that may arise.
Hello everyone, I'm Hoang from Vietnam - a very far southeast asia country and very new to elements PBA.
I have just completed my first element course as a facilitator and I think this topic is the best place that I can find experts helps and advices.
1. I worked with 46 educators from Hochiminh city, Vietnam and after the course, only 29 met my demands - let's call them MI F1. Is the 29/46 an acceptable rate?
2. My director ask me to open the second course which will support for 100 (One-hundred) educators. I am going to ask the MI F1 to help me and going to divide this 100 to 8-10 groups with helps from 3 - 4 MI F1 per group. Do you think that is an acceptable strategy?
3. I built a moodle site for the first course and place a link to Element course on it. Educators will experience the course by using this link, and the moodle site is used as a class for discussion and feedbacks with required topics for each module. Though they call online course, but we have 4 times for F2F in a month, first for open-ceremony and orientation, second one for discussion about CFQ, third one for discussion about assessment strategy and the last one for close-ceremony. Is it too much F2F?
4. I (as an specialist of the Hochiminh city Department of Education and Training - DOE) print out a certificate for my MI F1 and going to do that for the second course, the certificate is signed by the DOE Director. This certificate only means that its owner has completed the course and available only in our city, but I found that they are very excited with it. Do you think this is acceptable?
Thank you for your advices.
Hi Hoang - You posed some great questions. I am going to try to answer:).
1. I worked with 46 educators from Hochiminh city, Vietnam and after the course, only 29 met my demands - let's call them MI F1. Is the 29/46 an acceptable rate? - So I am assuming that you ran this as an online course. Forty-six in one class with one facilitator is a lot of participants. I do not like to have more than 30 in an online class as any more than that you can't seem to give them the individual attention they need. So I am not surprised that only 29 either just finished or met your demands (I can't tell if just finishing is meeting your demands)
2. My director ask me to open the second course which will support for 100 (One-hundred) educators. I am going to ask the MI F1 to help me and going to divide this 100 to 8-10 groups with helps from 3 - 4 MI F1 per group. Do you think that is an acceptable strategy? I think that is a great strategy
3. I built a moodle site for the first course and place a link to Element course on it. Educators will experience the course by using this link, and the moodle site is used as a class for discussion and feedbacks with required topics for each module. Though they call online course, but we have 4 times for F2F in a month, first for open-ceremony and orientation, second one for discussion about CFQ, third one for discussion about assessment strategy and the last one for close-ceremony. Is it too much F2F? So it sounds like you will have a f2f once a week. Are your f2f just with the M1 F1 or the whole group? Are the individual groups school based? I think meeting f2f that many times is fine - but what you should think about is meeting the whole group for the first and last sessions but meeting in their smaller groups for the 2 in-between sessions if that is possible.
4. I (as an specialist of the Hochiminh city Department of Education and Training - DOE) print out a certificate for my MI F1 and going to do that for the second course, the certificate is signed by the DOE Director. This certificate only means that its owner has completed the course and available only in our city, but I found that they are very excited with it. Do you think this is acceptable? Sure - as long as the certificate is from the DOE and not Intel, that is totally fine.
I will be facilitating an Elements course on Wednesday. Initially it was scheduled as a 2 day face to face (first face to face in the morning, the other the last day to present action plans to the group). I received an email stating that the teachers would need to complete the entire training face to face. So I am making arrangedments now to revamp my agenda for a complete face to face training. I will return on Wednesday to share the "oops" and "wows" of my first day of training.
I piloted Element in Lahore in the year 2009 with 20 teachers. I met participants F2F twice, first day for orientation and last day for Action plan sharing. In betwen the course was facilitated by Sadia from Qurban & Suraya Educational trust. Afterwards i was directed that the course is to be done by teachers on self pace basis and only CD will be provided to those who want to do the course and an MoU will be signed.
Now I plan to conduct this in the month of July with 100 Subject specialists coming from 36 districts of punjab for a week (6 days training). These people are masters in either physics, chemistry, biology, math or english but new to PBL.
Please share or give me inputs as to how i can make it a success.