ALST600 Alaska Studies was not a typical history course – no lectures, timelines or tests. Your instructor was far from an expert on the subject.
We took a different approach – you were asked to be the historian in the room. The only textbook, the one you were asked to write.
You just experienced project-based learning.
What did the teacher in you learn?
Please use the category PBL for this post
Image credit: Mendenhall Glacier by Peter Pappas
2 thoughts on “Reflection on Alaska Studies”
Project Based Learning: I suppose what I learned is that project based learning is a slower process than “traditional” lecture based learning. What I mean is that when there is no “expert” guiding the learning process, the learning group not only has to learn the subject, but they also have to research, locate and vet the learning materials as well. This takes more time, undoubtedly. It also creates uncertainty, even after source materials have been located because we aren’t 100% sure that what we’ve gathered is foundational, tangential or just plain wrong. Of course, most grad students have years of learning behind them, so individual research is certainly doable, it’s just less comfortable without an expert guide.
That said, this is also the positive aspect of Project Based Learning. We are teaching ourselves when we collaborate, research materials, synthesize information, try to form a group voice, etc. We are learning how people learn – particularly in collaboration. And that’s what we are in this program for.
I like what you say about the expert guiding the process. I agree it is faster I think also some of the positive aspects that I came out of this was, along with yours, of course, was some of the more technological aspects learning how iBook functions, making google maps, hyku deck, gap minder and of course the visit to the museum.