Scaffolding a Semester-Long Project-Based Learning Activity
Project based, Monitoring progress
Carry out a project from beginning to end and report progresses regularly
15 minutes per week for the time of the project
Road construction workers
Learning management system (LMS)
In the original scenario, teachers wanted to carry out a year-long project with the class and track all the steps and activities using a learning environment. The teachers proposed to the apprentices a road construction project to perform together. All of the steps, assignments, and results were tracked with a learning environment. Some of the non-invasive steps of the project were performed directly on school grounds (e.g., measurements) while others (e.g., placements of the machines) were more hypothetical and simulated.
The teachers pre-structured the learning environment by adding initial materials to explain the project and then by dividing the learning environment in chapters. During the first lesson, the teachers explained how to use the learning environment and the activities that the students would work on in the next semester. Then, at each step, the teachers uploaded the description of the new activities to complete, added new tasks, and asked the apprentices to upload all the materials related to the project.
Description of the teaching approach
This scenario uses a project-based learning method. The specificity of this scenario is that the project’s progress was monitored by the teachers using a digital learning environment.
This scenario consolidates the tasks that apprentices do in the workplace since the activities performed with the teacher follow a step-by-step sequence of tasks (i.e., preparation, tracing, excavation, laying of the concrete, etc. ) that professionals do in the field.
One of the main benefits of this approach is that it is possible to assist the apprentices in all the steps of the project and to help them achieve their goals with ad-hoc exercises. This allows apprentices to connect the experiences they are doing in the workplace with the ones present in the schools since they all follow the same structure.
Realto is the original tool used in the scenario. You can use the “Album” section and all necessary features. After creating the class “Workspace”, go to the album section and create a number of desired folders. The functioning of the folders is the same as the “Post” section and works as a timeline. Divide the album in chapters by clicking on “Topic”, you can add as many topics you like to segment the flow of content.
In Moodle, you can create a dedicated class for the project or simply a section in your own class. You can structure into chapters all ressources with titles and sections . Feel free to use multiple features to add interactivity. You can also use a wiki for your students to write a learning journal.
You can create a specific class for this project or use your own class. You can use the Onenote app or Wiki app to create a learning journal for your students. You can ask your students to write down every step of the project as if they were writing a professional report. Use Project and/or Roadmap app for general project management.
Tips and tricks
This scenario could be applied to professions that have a similar type of procedure in their curricula. As long as you can think of a long-term project that your students could do, you can do this scenario.
You can also find a client who has a project that your students could do during your class. For example, instead of creating garments just for the class exercise, your students might have a company which asks them for a complete collection of uniforms for their employees.