Learning story A: Outdoor study project

Based on these scenarios: Outdoor study project

Inspiration for these learning activity packages:

Preparation before the course starts

For your upcoming course in history, you decide that the learners will search for information about the history and heritage of your town. This, you plan to happen in teams and outside. You research and create a list of potential sites the learners could visit, and think of potential viewpoints the teams could have. You ask the parents of the learners whether some of them could accompany the teams.

You set up your class in TeamUp by filling in your learners’ names and pictures from the school database. As you already know most of the learners, you enter some mental notes about each learner into TeamUP. You decide that the course will end with the teams presenting their results, with one team giving written feedback about each presentation. The teams should also follow each other and give comments when needed.

  • Mental notes about learners – preparation and introduction
  • Collecting data outside of school – preparation
  • Teamwork – preparation
  • Peer feedback – preparation

Introduction (1-2 lessons)

You present the topic and the goals of the course, show a historical short video about your town, a YouTube video of teens skating around the central park, and some pictures of graffiti around town. Then launch TeamUP on your interactive whiteboard and start the teaming process by asking the learners for topics they would be interested in. They propose various topics, some of which you accept the way they are, some you modify to be more fruitful, and some you reject since they do not fit into the course objectives. Once you have 10 topics, you allow the learners in your class to select which topics they find interesting. They come to the interactive whiteboard one by one and select three of the topics. Once voting is complete, TeamUP creates the teams.

You instruct the teams to plan where they need to go and what data they need to collect. You help each team to create their plan. Carmen’s team decides to search for statues around town, and find out what they represent and mean.

Homework: At the end of the lesson you tell each team that they need to record a 60 second newsflashes in TeamUP, explaining their plan, what they will do next, and if they see some problems or challenges in their plan. They should also look at the newsflashes of other teams before the next lesson so they are aware of what the others have planned, and might get good ideas from them.

After the lesson you look through the newsflashes the teams made, and make notes on what advice each team should get before they go outside.

  • Teamwork – introduction + activity
  • Collecting data outside of school – introduction
  • Team newsflashes – introduction + activity
  • Peer feedback – introduction + activity

Going outside (1-2 lessons, or after-school activity)

Carmen goes outside with her team to collect real data to get their investigation started. They take geo-tagged images of statues they find, and snapshots of the plaques on the statues. They also interview a few passers-by, and ask whether they know something about nearby statues, or if they can point them to statues the team has not noticed yet.

Homework: At the end of the day the team records a one-minute newsflash of what they have done.

You look at the team newsflashes and make notes on how the teams are doing. You realise that Carmen’s group needs more training on contacting strangers in a constructive manner, guidance on finding more in-depth information, and how to set specific group goals. You update your mental notes in the TeamUP tool.

  • Collecting data outside of school – activity
  • Mental Notes – activity
  • Teamwork – activity
  • Team newsflashes – activity
  • Peer feedback – activity

Analysing data (1 or more lessons, or after-school activity)

The next day, Carmen comes back to class with her team. They share their data and findings with each other, and the other teams of the class. To analyse their data, they start online searches to find more information about the people represented by the statues. They collect the information on a shared document online and start building a visual timeline of people and important events. At the end of the lesson they record another 1 minute newsflash documenting their day’s activities. They explain what they did, their future steps and summarise encountered difficulties.

Homework: You remind the teams to look at other teams’ newsflashes and send constructive criticism and advice on how they can improve their work, what other things they should find, and so on.

You look at the newsflashes and update your mental notes.

  • Collecting data outside of school – activity
  • Mental Notes – activity
  • Teamwork – activity
  • Team newsflashes – activity
  • Peer feedback – activity

 Going outside again (1-2 lessons, or after-school activity)

The teams embark on another excursion to locate the data they still need to complete their inquiry. Carmen’s team makes another newsflash at the end of their trip by using a laptop of one of the team members.

You check the newsflashes and update your mental notes

  • Collecting data outside of school – activity
  • Mental Notes – activity
  • Teamwork – activity
  • Team newsflashes – activity
  • Peer feedback – activity

Producing sharable media file (1 or more lessons, or after-school activity)

The teams come back to the classroom to do online research, categorise their findings, and formulate their conclusions. After their research is complete, they start working on their presentation. They use the shared document as a basis for their script, include the visual timeline as well as a map of the statues’ locations. They write a storyboard and record video segments, then they edit everything together into a 10 minute film. This film is shared with the other teams of the class to view and to comment on. All teams decide to post their presentations and videos to an online blog so they can show it to their parents or carers when they get home.

They record newsflashes at the end of each working day to document their progress.

Homework: The teams continue to work on their project after class. After the final lesson, as homework, students will have to look at all the projects made by the other teams. Each team is assigned another team to review. The team members will write down their comments about the other project.

Finally, each team creates their final newsflash where they summarise their work on the project.

  • Collecting data outside of school – activity
  • Mental Notes of learners – activity
  • Teamwork – activity
  • Peer feedback – activity
  • Team newsflashes – activity

Assessment after the course ends

Look at the final newsflashes of the teams and compare with the first one the teams made. As necessary, look at the intermediary newsflashes as well. Consider each team’s process, end results, as well as the peer feedback they received and gave, and estimate the individual effort each team member gave. Finally give out the grades.

  • Collecting data outside of school – assessment
  • Mental notes of learners – assessment
  • Teamwork – assessment
  • Peer feedback – assessment
  • Team newsflashes – assessment


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