Student Agency in Education
First I would like to extend a huge thank you to Robin and Cathie for their time and planning!
Participating in CPLC has been a positive experience for me. I was excited and amazed to see how many PSU faculty, staff and teaching lecturers were participating. Excited because I feel that PSU is putting in motion what used to be a dream. That dream is to build and provide a group of members to work together on issues related to teaching and learning Project-based learning is in sync with cluster pedagogy in many ways. What first caught my eye was the word “interdisciplinary”.
Working individually as well as in groups provided us with an opportunity to be in the student seat. From participating I realized that my anxiety, worry, lack of knowledge, newness, etc. are exactly what many of my TWP students will feel. Connections in a safe environment are paramount to success. The CPLC workshops provided that. There were many ways to share- voice, on the CPLC Moodle page, with colleagues at the table or in the room, etc. Providing feedback anonymously was also offered and this too, will be important to provide in my TWP classroom.
The activities were engaging. I enjoyed the mapping exercise and plan on using that in my class. It will provide students with the opportunity to see what they know about the wicked problem. Starting with what you know is positive and open ended. I also enjoyed Cathie’s yo-yo activity which allowed me to practice on my own, then with another, and then finally to create a trick. This was project-based learning. It built self-confidence and creativity.
The OER will be my guide throughout the course. It is my hope that my students will attain a balanced understanding of the 4 Habits of Mind before the end of the course. It is my hope that my students will see that their perception may be very different than their fellow students. It is my hope that these differences will offer students the opportunity to appreciate other perceptions and to engage successfully and respectfully through these differences. It is my hope that my students will learn how to overcome personal and group barriers.
The reading materials offered on the CPLC Moodle page were interesting. I especially found value in John Larmer’s “Elephant in the Room” submission. I followed some of his advice when assigning grades for each major assessment or project as well as placing greater weight on individual participation than group. He also recommended allowing students to co-create rubrics for individual and group work. This I will offer. Most importantly, he places much emphasis on paying attention to the process, not the final project.
Cathy Davidson’s interview (on the CPLC Moodle page) was also informative. Providing students with tools for learning instead of just passing exams was an important take-away. Another take-away is placing emphasis on providing lots of feedback with quick check-ins. I will begin my course with this statement to my students: “I trust you to be in control of your own learning”. How powerful!
Knowing and utilizing the CoLab provides me with a great opportunity to continue my path of learning as well as engaging with fellow CPLC colleagues.
Thank you so much!