Hands-on Learning through PBA

I have always been a hands-on learner, when I was a child my parents would take me out of school for two weeks and we would drive down to Florida from Ontario. We would stop along the way to learn about the different states we were driving through and they would always ask my teachers for an extra assignment while I was away. I would have to pick a topic (it usually had to do with ocean life) and present the project to my classmates or teacher when I came home. Once I chose a topic my parents would then take me to different places where I could then touch, feel and see firsthand whatever it was that I was researching. Ever since then, I have always preferred to create a project than write a quiz or an exam. I always remember more when I can build and explore a concept whether it is through researching a paper or a media production than regurgitating exactly what a professor or teacher has said in class on an exam.


Like many others have already said, the MET program has given me the opportunity to explore many avenues of product based assessment (PBA); through creating courses on Moodle, comics using Toondoo, CmapTools and Inspiration to create concept maps, papers using blogs and wiki’s, Google Sites to create websites, VoiceThread and Wordle to enhance a presentation as well as other programs like Adobe Premiere Elements and Adobe Photoshop to create media productions.


Out of all the PBA tools I have explored in the MET program, I really enjoy VoiceThread and think it’s a really valuable tool for education. Like the PBA presentation mentioned, VoiceThread “can be utilized in several different ways, including debate projects, expository research and reflective commentary”. It also allows students with a variety of different learning styles and strengths to interact and work together on the same platform, as students can leave comments by writing a text reply, through voice or video recordings, and in addition they can draw on the slides to enhance their explanation of something.


I am a huge advocate of concept maps for the students I work with who are mostly atypical learners. Concept maps help them flesh out their ideas and it makes the task of writing a paper become less overwhelming for them. I have never used Mindmeister but I think it would be a great PBA tool to explore further as it is a cloud-based concept mapping tool that students can work on individually or collaboratively. I think this tool would be great for students as they could get feedback on a project without having to send a file via email, each time they update their concept map for feedback.

Posted in: Week 10: Product-Based Assessments