Sunday, 4 November 2012

Enrich Teaching Style with PBL \ WebQuest \ Rubrics

I believe motivating the students to learn anything whether in a brick – and mortar class or in a web based class is always a challenge. Project-based approach always facilitates the process of motivating the students to learn language for a purpose. This methodology truly promotes a sense of belonging in a group or community among classmates. The consequence of developing sense of community and thereby instilling motivation into the students certainly boost the end-product completion.

I try my level best to initiate mini-projects into my language classes whether in India or the Middle East or more so in North America. Students choose their projects after brainstorming among the group members. For instance, in one of my classes they preferred to publish a newspaper which highlights the language learning process, benefits of being multilingual, experience of learning a language as a foreign language or a second language or a third language. When they produce that newspaper using the in-design software it was amazing. Such Project make the language learning process efficient, meaningful, productive, interactive, collaborative and student centred.

Learning and teaching languages by using a project-based approach makes learning enjoyable, absorbing and ever-lasting at school, college or even university level. As a true academician in the 21st century, I have redefined my duty whether in the virtual classroom or in a physical classroom as being the guard of learners’ academic aims and protector of their educational interests. Project Based Learning has genuinely helped me revamp my earlier teaching philosophy from being a theoretical, dogmatic and indoctrinating expert to a modern congenial, co-operative and cohesive facilitator emphasizing the power of interactive and collaborative learning in classroom.

PBL is also useful in providing as much attention as possible to each individual student to deal with the wide variety of styles and strategies that learners unknowingly bring to the class. A variety of techniques and a multiplicity of strategies can be applied through PBL approach to “reach” a maximum number of students through a mixture of group work and individual work strategies.
PBL makes it possible to realize the concept of less teaching and lot more learning in the classroom.
Since long time – almost for 10+  years, I have been hearing the reverberating echoes of the word WebQuest in the teacher fraternity.

However, I did not use it any time before. Neither, I made a detailed study of it. When I went through the following links, I came to know what the real charm of WebQuest is.

When I went through the following link, I realized that what wonders WebQuest can actually make. It gave me a picaresque opportunity of making “A Journey through Canadian Education”.

I liked A WebQuest About WebQuests by Bernie Dodge. It made my perception crystal clear.

Now, I am convinced that WebQuest is a very powerful toll of using the web proficiently in the form of adopting the WebQuest format to create inquiry-oriented lessons. I have a passion for developing the technology enhanced lesson plans, so I liked this tool to fulfill that purpose. To develop great WebQuest, we need to develop a thorough understanding of the rich repertoire of different possibilities open to us through WebQuest if we cherish the desire of creating web-based lessons. I can conclude the one way to get there is to critically analyze a number of WebQuest examples and analyze them from multiple perspectives.
The more transparent the learning objectives and expectations, the greater the likelihood that learners will achieve them. Rubrics are assessment tools that are designed to create transparency and provide guidance that improves learning. Rubrics make any assessment authentic whether summative or formative.
How amazing is this tool named Rubistar! Whenever I developed the rubrics before, it was time consuming and pains talking task. I hated it. However, when I entered the world of Rubristar, all pains disappeared. The whole task of making rubrics seemed to be handy, easy, pleasant and productive.

I just tried to make ready-made rubric for Oral presentation in any Communication course, and within some minutes I was able to make it. I saved it as a temporary rubric.

After that to quench my thirst of further knowledge, I continued my quest. I tried to create another rubric for assessing Argument Essay in a Communication course at college level. I created and modified it according to the criteria which I perceived.

Finally, I embroidered another rubric for Cause and Effect Essay meant for any Communication Course at College level. This time I assembled the significant criteria and categories from all available models at Rubistar, modified them according to my own perception of the rubric for Cause and Effect Essay, and reincarnated it after a number of editing operations, and also made it permanent. I have attached the word document file of this rubric at Wiki.
Rubrics are sleeping pills for me. If I create and attach a rubric with any assessment, I sleep profoundly. Otherwise, college level students are able to force you pass sleepless nights because they might have so many issues with their result or score. It is amazing how much better student’s work has become since I started creating and sharing the assignment rubric with them. Now, they know what is expected, they almost exceed my expectations. 

1 comment:

  1. Hello Jit- You are truly making maximum use of the tools and tasks from our class. I am very impressed to be able to just get you pointed in the right direction, then see you take off like a bird. Amazing! -Robert