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March 12, 2014

Project Based Learning (1): Quality Criteria

Many of the Udavi 7th graders were keen on activity beyond the classroom. I had introduced Electronics as one alternative and they had taken to it with enthusiasm bringing what they had motors/lemons/led display lights.
I was looking for something that would more directly be academic. The computer lab was available for two days in the week and I decided to adopt a project based approach also called education by design (EBD).

The goal was for each student group to make presentations or charts (the discussion started with paper ones, but finally settled to do one with powerpoint).

I was hoping that the children would get a chance to think of their work, quality of work and perhaps even learn to catch their own mistakes.

I gave the class areas fractions, decimals and algebra and asked them to split themselves into groups. There were finally 6 groups with 2-4 children each.

Before the work started we agreed upon a quality guideline on what they like to see in the work. The ones they came up with:
1) Neat, clean, nice
2) Should be free of spelling mistakes
3) Should be free of errors (unless they are used as example)
4) The idea of what is being presented should come across clearly
5) People presenting should be able to explain what they have done
6) Creative
7) Interesting

The topic in each of the areas was the same. To identify what kind of errors can be/are made in each area and to give examples that would help catch these errors. The topic itself was quite difficult and I wanted to see what version of it is adopted by the kids.

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