Awardees: Dalia Abbas (HGSE), Jennifer Wang (HGSE), Laura Parody (HGSE), Dana Britt (HGSE)
The project, launched in the awardees T522 Innovation by Design class, is an attempt to tackle the issues that come up with students and teachers when dealing with collaborative projects in the classroom. The awardees have conducted surveys with a sample size of 38 teachers that indicate this is an enduring problem. Teachers’ responses varied from pinpointing problems dealing with “teamwork, listening, delegating,[and] specializing” to noting that often what occurs is “disagreements, students feeling left out, or students not carrying their weight in the collaboration.”
The Awardees aim to create an experience, enriched by the readings, discussions, guidance and best practices they have been exposed to in thinking about designing a product in T522, that tackle this issue. They aim to create an experiences that seeks to scaffold effective, equitable, and metacognitive collaborative learning experiences in the classroom.
They envision that this experience will take the form of a “quest,” in which students will work together to solve a problem. To address the challenges of organization, accountability, and good communication in group projects, they aim to host these quests on a platform geared at optimizing collaboration. Their hope is that the platform will be agnostic and can be used with a variety of learners.
Some of the working theories of action include:
- If students participate in a shared activity at the start of a group project, they will feel more comfortable working together to reach a goal.
- If students engage in a metacognitive activity at the start of a group project, they will be more aware of their individual strengths. If students are made more aware of their strengths, they may be more confident in sharing new ideas.
- If students have a defined role on a project, they will work more effectively in groups and further, build 21st century skills.