When kids undergo a project based learning unit, they are expected to create a product of their learning. It is assumed that just because a product is created, learning has a occurred. This statement is both true and false. It’s true in the sense that if the students or a team met all the requirement of a project as evaluated against a rubric then they went through the process of creating the product effectively. Yet the product is the end product. We don’t know the road map of how the learners got to the product – the process. As in any project based learning unit, the process is guided and personalized. Not all student’s go through the same process and thinking to get to the solution. So how do we extract that from the students?
Can we get the students to describe their thinking along this road map that they traveled? In doing so, we emphasize the process of learning – the HOW’s as well as the the JUSTIFICATIONS of a process- the WHY’s. When we emphasize the process of learning, we force our learner to think meta-cognitively, which is a reflective and a higher level thinking process. When learners are able to thinking meta-cognitively, the learner is able to describe their learning journey. In that journey, teachers as assessor follow their successes, pitfalls, and iterations of thinking. This is where we get to follow what students are actually thinking. What does it look like to for students to describe their learning journey and how do we as teacher assess that journey?