Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fall 2010 UTeach PBI Class 24- Thursday November 18: Assessment/Wikipedia/Book Prospectus

Today our TA Sara conducted class while Dr. Petrosino was out of town. She picked up where class left off on Tuesday, talking about assessment in the context of the Legacy Cycle. She began with a larger discussion of assessment and pushed the students to think beyond quizzes and tests as ways to evaluate what students know. Sara reviewed with the students formative and summative assessment, and emphasized the importance of using the data collected by assessments in different ways (rather than simply inputting a grade). She also talked about the importance of a variety of pre-assessments in determining what students have learned (versus measuring what they know).

In order to get students to think creatively about types of assessment, she presented them with some of the challenges they may face as teachers. The class thought about how to assess students with limited English proficiency, various learning difficulties, and differing learning styles. Students had some difficulty at first thinking beyond the framework of a test, but they were able to ultimately able to consider a variety of assessment tasks. Sara used the book, “Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers” to augment the discussion with examples such as minute papers, analytic memos, imagined dialogues and muddiest point.

Sara then switched to talking about the final exam, which is not going to be a traditional exam. Instead, the afternoon section will divide the task of creating a Wikipedia page for project-based instruction that reflects what they have learned this semester and integrates readings and resources that have been integral to their understanding of the topic. Sara asked the class to offer suggestions as to what major sections should be, and the class generated the following list:

PBI Theory

A literature review of the different schools of thought of PBI, e.g. Barron, Krajcik and others (perhaps mention Buck, but stick to more primary literature). This part should mention the key characteristics of projects, driving questions, etc.

PBI History/Pedagogical Foundations

Covers the pedagogical background of inquiry and project-based instruction- Knowing and Learning type concepts of Piaget, Vygotsky, etc and how they are reflected in PBI.

Big P vs. Little p.

Defines the characteristics of Big P and little p projects, and how an observer could determine what type of project they are seeing. Should reference the theory of PBI as to what the characteristics of big P should be.

PBI vs. other methods.

This section differentiates between many of the different terms and types of teaching that are often associated with PBI, including (but not limited to) Problem-based, case-based, challenge-based, inquiry-based, legacy cycles, etc.

Examples of PBI in the literature

Covers PBI studies in schools and classrooms (not limited to the examples we have covered in class), what they have found, what PBI looks like.

Implementations of PBI

Describes how PBI is taught and implemented at UTeach and in different schools (not just New Tech!!!!).

Criticisms and Controversy

Examines the critiques and responses to PBI. Should not be limited solely to the Kirshner critique that we covered in class, but find more critiques and responses that accurately cover this issue.


This section will a) compile the bibliography section from the other sections, b) survey the available books/materials about PBI and give a short annotation of each, c) make a “see also” list of resources.


This group will be responsible for the linking to other articles, pictures/multimedia, creating the initial summary, and synthesizing and editing the work of other groups.

More information about this “Wikifinal” will be forthcoming to students.

The morning section will do a book prospectus for PBI based on an actual book prospectus Dr. Petrosino was recently offered (see below).

For Tuesday, students should begin a rapid prototype of their Legacy Cycle. At this point, they have more than enough guidance to move forward and begin to upload materials onto the website in order to get started with the project.

Pearson Teacher PD Prospectus Guidelines

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