Challenge Based Learning

A little over an hour ago, I sat through a fairly interesting workshop sponsored by Apple. The workshop focused on using technology and a challenge based learning approach to enhance the teaching and learning experience. On campus at Georgia College, we refer to this pedagogy as problem based learning, and I feel the terms are interchangeable. The premise to this approach is that to foster deeper learning its best to approach teaching through a challenge or problem that seeks to ask and answer big questions. As the name implies, these big questions are usually involve issues that affect society, communities, etc. For example a challenge project that was discussed was how can we end urban blight in LA.

One of the presenters, Katie Morrow of O’Neil Public Schools spoke about what she has learned from implementing challenge based learning assignments in her elementary school. She structured her presentation around what she saw as the five most important components of challenge based learning. In brief they are:

Connect – Connect the issue(s) involved with the challenge/problem to the group.

Collaborate – Foster and promote collaboration among the group. 

Create – Having the goal of the project be a tangible product that is actually implemented. Also involve the creation of other items like movies, podcast, etc along the way.

Critique – Empower the group that you are working with the ability to critique their work on an individual and group level. Also empower them to be able to critique and examine the work of outside groups.

Celebrate – Celebrate the success and products created by the group.

After hearing Katie explanation, it got me thinking of ways how could challenge base learning be implemented in a library or archival setting. I’m going to ponder these over the next few days. First order of business is to think of how to connect archival issues…

For more information on Apple’s programs and their sponsorship of this approach to education visit the following.

Apple in Education: Challenge Based Learning