As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am seeing more and more use of infographics in the education arena. They actually remind me of poster presentations I’ve seen at various conferences. What I like about them is the way they pull information together and organize it for clarity. At this link (The Best Simple Tools to Create Infographics for Your Class) you can find an article about several programs which can be used to create an infographic. I’ve included a sample infographic below which I found at Google Images. The point of this, I think, is that it would be a creative project for a Project Team assignment with some interesting discussion being generated in data collection, design, and presentation as well as the classroom presentation/explanation/defense.
The article “Insightful Tips on How to Integrate Problem Based Learning in Your Classroom” describes the difference between problem based activities and project based activities and shares the promised “insightful tips.” I found the difference, as well as the tips, interesting. The “Infographic” which is part of the article was also interesting.
I’m seeing more and more of these infographics. I wonder if the creation of such an “infographic” might even be a worthwhile team project for some classes? Of course that would require some research on the part of the team . . . .
Most of us have at least heard about Google Docs but may have been too busy to explore this application or consider what it might offer to us or our students. A colleague, Julien Marion, and I discussed this last week while we were having lunch. I had used Google Docs only in a superficial way up to this point, but after our discussion I began to explore this application more fully. I discovered an amazing tool which not only allows real-time collaboration on papers and spreadsheets, but also tracks revisions so that Instructors can see who has made contributions. I’ve included a short video below which I found on YouTube. There are hundreds more on the same topic (i.e. “Using Google Docs for Collaboration”). I really encourage you to watch this short video and perhaps even show it in your class and encourage your project teams to give it a try. You could even reserve the computer lab and set up a real-time experiment with your class. If you decide to give this a try, I would be interested to hear how your experiment turned out, as well as how to make using Google Docs even more effective. There are likely many more ways you can think of to use this application; again, I would be interested in hearing your thoughts and ideas, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Most of the undergraduate and some of the graduate courses in Belhaven University’s Adult Studies programs required Group Work/Team Projects. The benefits of developing the ability to work in teams is obvious and most students recognize the importance of developing these skills. Paradoxically, most students express extreme dislike of having to participate in Team Projects. In most cases the dislike arises out of perceived inequity of workload, perceived relevance, and the possibility of receiving a lower grade due to a lower performing team mate. Many faculty have asked about resources which they can use to provide a better experience for students as well as lessening their own frustration in providing guidance and appropriate assessment.
In researching this, I ran across a series of articles which I think you will find useful:
How Can I Monitor Groups
Group Work Strategies to Ensure Students Pull Their Weight
What are the Benefits of Group Work
What are the Challenges of Group Work and How Can I Address Them?
How Can I Assess Group Work?
Group Project Tools
You will also find multiple other links within these articles which you can follow to find even more information on this topic. The Team Project can be a powerful learning opportunity for our students. Taking the time to learn more about how to make the best use of the Team Project is definitely worth the effort.