Edtech 542: Challenges as a teacher doing PBL

Will my role in the teaching/learning process change?

As a teacher in a PBL environment, my role goes away from the lecturer/holder of all information, and toward a facilitator of experience and knowledge.  Instead of me telling students what to know, how to use the information and when to repeat it back to me, I am encouraging students to find the information, be creative on the collection  and presentation of new knowledge.

What are the skills of effective facilitation?

Effective facilitation comes down to coaching, encouragement and communication.  Being a facilitator does not mean that you give students the project and sit back and play games on your iPad.  Being a great facilitator means that you are working with the students, building them up, encouraging them and communicating clearly when they have a question.  Facilitators challenge students to build the answer from the ground up, rather than simply handing the answer over.

Will the students develop the competencies and skills needed to be successful?

Yes.  The challenge though comes from the growing pains of PBL.  Students are brain-washed to absorb and vomit out information projected on a screen.  PBL is encouraging students to take a problem and present their organic findings.  With good facilitation and hard work, the skills will come.

What changes will you need to make in order to become an effective facilitator in your PBL unit?

For my unit, I will need to have more preparatory material to encourage student participation and skills (such as iMovie and storyboarding!


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