Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Cultural Projects for My Final Make

Since I began teaching, my goal was always to prepare my students to be lifelong learners. The Problem-Based-Learning (PBL) approach is always implemented in my teaching. ED 677 refined the methods I use in my classroom. By taking small steps each week, the semester of Spring 2016 ended  with amazing results making me and the students very happy and proud of our work. My students' cultural projects for the end of the semester were great to have as an example of their improvement and my final make. 

I teach two different Arabic language levels at West Chester University; Arabic Intermediate and Arabic Advanced. Both levels were given project assignments  to work on for the end of the semester. The Intermediate level project was a group presentation about some aspects of the Arabic culture; and the Advanced level project was a group presentation about some Arabic art form which is also  part of the culture. This wasn't the first time my students do projects for their Arabic class, but the way they have their project done this time is different than previous.

Before and after ED 677:

When I assigned projects to my students last semester and the years prior, they were  individual pieces of work. I gave them some freedom to choose what they want to learn about, but not completely. There were some rules and constraints to follow in completing their work. Every student worked privately on their project and they had their own presentation in the classroom. The only audience for those pieces of work were my students and I. The students reflections were done orally after every presentation.

This semester, by implementing the connected learning principles and making small changes every week, I prepared my students to be more flexible with collaboration inside and outside the classroom. It became evident they were responsible and curious about the subjects at hands, more able to do their research, and more open to share their work with peers and other interested people out of the classroom. The final projects were examples of their improvement, and the  results came out phenomenal.

The learning principles were implemented in these final projects:

- Interest-powered: Because the project was interest-powered, my students put extra effort to find answers to their questions. As an example, one of them was interested to learn about Arabic music and dance, she asked the dance instructor in the university to teach her how to belly dance, and she performed in front of the classmates and tried to teach them how to belly dance. What she did was very unique and has a very positive affect on the other students' learning.

- Peer-supported: These projects were peer-supported. All the students were working together and helping each other to come up with an informative, clear pieces of work, full of pictures and videos, with the least possible mistakes, to share with others. Even though it was a group project, students exchanged their feedback which made them contribute and share their knowledge and views.

- Academically-oriented: Both projects were academically-oriented. They were related  to the curriculum the students are learning. By completing them, the students' knowledge was expanded, and they were more familiar with some aspects of the culture of the Arab world.

The design principles were also implemented:  

- Shared Purpose: in both projects, my students shared their interests and contributed to a common purpose which is exploring and understanding the Arab culture. Their main goal was to produce an informative and interesting presentation about the aspects of  the Arabic culture they learned to share with peers, school community, graduate students at Arcadia, and other networks.

- Production-Centered: My students learning came from actively creating, making, producing, experimenting, remixing, and designing. The type of the project gave them the opportunity to produce, circulate, curate, and comment.

- Openly-Networked: These projects were a good move for my students to be more openly-networked by having their research done through the internet, working with their peers, and sharing what they learned with the school community and others.

The Projects:

 The link has both presentations and samples of the students reflections.

No comments:

Post a Comment