Now that the culminating event is over, the projects have been presented, the groups and individuals have been evaluated, and reflection journals have been turned in, it is now time for the teacher to reflect on the entire project experience. There are three main groups that I would involve in this process. They are the students, myself, and any colleagues who were involved with the project.
Students will be asked to share their insights on the strengths and weaknesses of the project. This reminds the students that they play an active part in their PBL journey even after the project ends. Encouraging student feedback shows that I value their opinions and stress the importance of them having a voice in the classroom. For the project I created, I included a student self reflection. In this self-reflection, the students were able to think about what they did throughout the project and comment on what went well and what might not have gone well. One could also consider using a survey, holding class discussions, or interviewing students as well. Boss (2012) offers some great questions to ask the students including:
- What did they think of the project focus, workload, or value of specific assignments?
- What will you remember about this project?
- How would you suggest improving it next time around?
- What would you tell next year’s students to get ready for this project?
Boss (2012) also advises teachers to make blogging a habit as projects unfold. Journal entries added throughout the project experience will help teachers look back as they complete their final reflection. A teacher who blogs makes his or her learning public and models what it means to be a reflective teacher who welcomes constructive comments and suggestions from others. As part of my project, I also created a teacher reflection to be completed at the end of the project. Each major portion of the project was broken down into a spreadsheet. From there, the teacher would be able to fill in what went well, what didn’t work, and changes for the next year.
Finally, reflecting with colleagues can be highly beneficial. Teacher reflective collaboration on a project allows them to examine strengths in student work, discuss opportunities for growth, and discuss any changes that might be made. This helps projects get better each time they are executed with a class. Because my project involved the help of many teachers within the school, it would only make sense that they completed a teacher reflection of their own so that we could meet and discuss the project when it was completed.
Reflecting on a project is never a one-time assessment. Students, classes, and circumstances are different from year to year, so I feel it is important to reflect on the project experience each time it takes place.
Boss, S. (2012, November 28). PBL Teachers Need Time to Reflect, Too. Retrieved April 09, 2017, from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/project-learning-teacher-reflection-suzie-boss