ALST 600 – Project-Base Learning reflection

Honestly I struggled with the technological learning curve for our ALST 600 Alaska Studies. The tech heavy project-based learning approach was way out of my comfort zone. Having never used a mac, done blog posts or worked with software like iBooks author, the technology was a serious barrier to being able to adequately and confidently present the information required for the iBook in the condensed time frame of this course. I also struggled with the amount of group work the iBook required. After some reflection I am thankful for the community this group project-based learning built within our cohort, small groups and later in the peer review.  As these smaller groups created space to have real discussion and get to know our classmates in a more intimate and safer setting than the whole class discussion.

The project-based learning approach does have a lot to offer. We were given the freedom of picking a region and a topic, which created ownership and hopefully the opportunity to choose a topic of study that truly interested us. I feel that choice can be a strong motivator and way to engage student, as opposed to spoon feeding information through lectures.

Perhaps if we had more time and  there was an opportunity to establish more of a base knowledge in our topic of research, Alaska Studies, I would have felt better about this experience. Especially since this was the introduction to Alaska for a whole cohort of future Educators within Alaska.

3 thoughts on “ALST 600 – Project-Base Learning reflection”

  1. Thanks Jasmine – I, too, was overwhelmed at many points in the project. I’m really comfortable with technology, and I found the amount of work to be done challenging. It was also an interesting experience, because I was able to step up and help a handful of classmates with the software and gritty bits of getting things working – but I was also limited in helping peers with computers because I was often so busy working on my own/group’s work or recovering from being so drained!

    I was wide-eyed at first when we started the iBook, but I feel that the way the project developed motivated me to engage learning in a different way. I discussed Alaska with so many of the our peers, it gave me a really personal learning experience. I took the time to pick Alaskan’s brains about this amazing land, and I really appreciate all I’ve learned that way!

    I hope the long weekend is treating you well!

  2. Hi Jasmine,

    Regarding your last paragraph, I agree: a lot of my complaints about this experience have less to do with the project itself and more to do with the unique structure of this course. We were on a serious time crunch for such an ambitious project. A longer semester/deeper knowledge base would have lessened the stress quite a bit.

  3. Jasmine- I agree that considering our time crunch, a deeper knowledge base would have been ideal for this project. I would have felt like we actually had a place to start instead of fumbling around.

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