Just found out it’s been approved. Yay!
Proposal Topic: How and to what extent does the House Project initiative at Lourdes Hill College achieve its goals?
Description: The House Project, instigated last year to introduce the new curriculum-strand subject, Digital Technologies is a two lesson a week all year commitment. Run as a project based classroom experience, students are required to work in groups to create a digital artefact offering information about and solutions to problems in the digital citizenship area. Each year level use different skills to produce different outcomes (year 7 create a stock animation, Year 8 produce a video, and Year 9 develop an app), but they all collaborate and problem-solve, using inquiry learning. There is also a competitive component, leading to winning house points, and a pizza lunch. The case study plans to examine the aims and goals of the project, and to analyse them in the light of feedback from invested parties. Conclusions about the extent to which the House Project achieves its aims will be reached and recommendations presented.
- To articulate the vision and the goals of the House Project, both at a big picture and a classroom level
- To identify the specific skills and processes the students develop
- To compare the perception of learning with actual learning
- To examine the initial goals of the House Project and how (if) they have changed or sharpened over the course of the two years it’s been running.
- To survey invested parties to gather feedback on explicit and informal learning.
- To use the gathered and analysed data to put forward a number of recommendations.
Case Study Plan:
Initially (weeks one and two)
Meet with the Head of Middle School to discuss the big picture vision. What did the school leadership hope to achieve with the introduction of this project?
Access the relevant documents for analysis.
Interview the main developers of the project’s curriculum and establish the main curriculum strategies. In what ways have these evolved organically?
Research resources that support the use of project based learning, the inquiry process, and collaborative learning
Then (weeks two through five)
Design and send out a range of surveys to a number of different participants, both staff and students to measure how they perceive the project. One-to-one interviews would be used to ask higher order questioning to allow participants to offer more detail, and more scope.
Some questions to be asked (including but not limited to):
- What were the participants’ initial understanding of project, and how (if at all) that has changed?
- What is their opinion of this type of learning?
- What were the significant failures and successes?
- Why do they like it/ not like it?
- What ideas do they have to improve the experience?
- Did they learn what they thought they would?
- Did they engage? Did they enjoy?
- What were the major differences between last year and this one?
Questions specifically for the teachers might also be:
- What support was available to level up your skills to teach this course?
- What extra support would you have liked?
- How confident were you initially? How did that change over the course of the year?
- Would you be prepared to teach it again?
- What changes would need to be put in place for you to teach it again?
- What are the main benefits for students?
- What concerns do you have?
Collate the data and compare findings with initial assessment of the goals. Use support materials to back up the use of project based learning. Review the conclusions and develop a list of recommendations
Finally (weeks five through eight):
Write up case study based on research and data gathering.
Include list of pertinent recommendations.
Complete critical reflection.