One of the greatest challenges for an instructor in a PBL unit is to adapt to the role of facilitator. Reflect on the following:
Will my role in the teaching/learning process change?
- Role will change, but not disappear
- Doesn’t mean that the teacher quits teaching
- Role becomes more supportive in nature during PBL
- Students will still need guidance and assistance, but the learning takes place in a construction of knowledge, not direct instruction
What are the skills of effective facilitation?
- A facilitator is a guide to help people move through a process together, not the seat of wisdom and knowledge.
- That means a facilitator isn’t there to give opinions, but to draw out opinions and ideas of the group members.
- Facilitation focuses on HOW people participate in the process of learning or planning, not just on WHAT gets achieved.
- A facilitator is neutral and never takes sides.
- Effective facilitation also requires a specific goal or vision for the outcome.
- An instructor may need to guide certain students more than others.
Will the students develop the competencies and skills needed to be successful?
- They will develop skills and competences to be successful in learning
- PBL occurs when students construct knowledge and self-directed learning
- It’s easy for students to memorize facts and regurgitate information for a test.
- Our PBL provides students the ability to make real-world connections and see these concepts displayed in a virtual, visual, and purposeful manner.’
- The ultimate goal is the understanding.
- This project lets students explore these concepts as to know and to understand.
What changes will you need to make in order to become an effective facilitator in your PBL unit?
- In order to be a more effective facilitator, I will meet with all the groups, not just struggling ones, to ensure they are understanding the concepts.
- Just because a student does well on formative assessment(s) does not mean they can make the connections they need to with the software program they should use for their final presentation.
- If students can explain not just what they know, but how they know it, this will be a good indicator if they know the material or not.