Student engagement and project-based learning

Posted on Jun 16, 2013 by Adobe Education Latest activity: Oct 17, 2013

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Have you noticed the difference between students’ engagement using inquiry- or project-based learning? Share stories and examples of the difference it has made in your classroom.

This discussion post is part of the Adobe Education Exchange Professional Development workshop, Creativity in Today’s Classrooms: Designing Creativity in the Upper Grades Curriculum.

Comments (3)

Wyn Pottinger

Posted on Oct 17, 2013 5:31 AM - Permalink

I love assignments that give license to be creative. Oftentimes, I will present the concept, but not distribute anything typed, like a rubric, until the project has been started. This seems to allow for more creative interpretation by students.

For example, when teaching a unit on typography in my graphic design class, students blind-select a typeface from a "deck" of fonts available on their computers. The task (over a couple of class periods, using Illustrator) is to design a poster, informing the viewer of the specific characteristics of their typeface in a simple, bold manner. They must choose four letter forms and four relative vocabulary words -- at which point I give them a resource/diagram of typographic terms, exposure to websites, etc. The assignment allows for creative choices (their interpretation of the most idiosyncratic/identifiable characters), the use of elements and principles for the composition of the poster (at the designer's discretion), and the labeling or highlighting of the relative vocabulary in clever, unique ways. Each student presents their work, speaking to a few details about the font's origination and any contemporary use. Each poster is memorable and individual. They become the art on the classroom walls: a gallery of portraits -- typeFACES!

Colleen Velasquez

Posted on Aug 17, 2013 10:47 PM - Permalink

The activity I thought about was where students design a brochure for their own school. We study the Enlightenment and how education was considered key by the philosophes for society to progress. But we also look at the varying opinions about what that education can be, according to the philosophes and actually back to the Greeks. Then we bring it into modern times and see that the argument still exists. The students then think about several topics: the mission and vision of the school, the quality and education of the teaching staff, what the schedule would look like. I am always pleased with the brochures they create and they truly reflect each student’s interests. Several have been really original for example we had a school of transcendental meditation. The student even planned down to meals and free time activities. Very cool.


Phyllis Kaupp Seas

Posted on Aug 10, 2013 9:37 PM - Permalink

I was teaching an adult class on creation of slideshows using vacation images from any trip they chose. In class, we demonstrated some interesting slide techniques that could be developed with the use of the software and also how cleverly place transitions between slides could also effectively add to the overall showtime results. Their assignment was to produce a three minute slidehow for classroom viewing. It was so exciting to see how some had taken a few of the ideas from the classroom and expanded on them with the placement of the image for maximum visual interest, some had gone a step by utilizing the voice overs in some areas (on their own they discovered this), and finalized their shows by "rolling credits", again a most creative and interpretative gesture on some of the participants. One of the highlights of that class was one students (whom I've had in other adult classes) that was so excited to show her small "speilberg film", because "she had done it all by herself without anyone's help", which as you may have already guessed by now, was quite the feat for this individual. Class members applauded her efforts.