Problem Based Learning – Sample Project: PLAY LEADERSHIP

PROJECT TITLE: AFTER-SCHOOL PLAY PROGRAM.

1. Project aim
Plan an after-school play program appropriate for a specific situation.

2. Learning Outcomes
• Identify stakeholders in a planned program (anyone with a vested interest in the program);
• Identify main needs and concerns of key stakeholders (such as activities and resources for handicapped children; concerns for child safety);
• Establish realistic parameters for a planned play program (such as limits to budget, time and resources etc.);
• Select a site according to stated criteria;
• Design a program appropriate to a given situation and available resources;
• Establish a procedure for reviewing and evaluating the program.

 

3. Problem Definition
In many of the families of your community, both parents work. This means that many primary school children (ages 5-12) must spend after-school hours in the care of baby sitters or older siblings. Some children participate in some after-school activities run by different schools, but these are inconsistent, poorly structured, boring, and cannot accommodate enough children to meet community needs. While some parents are able to leave work earlier once or twice a week, most are not in a position to do so. Some young children also go home alone, and are unsupervised for 1-2 hours until a parent returns. This situation is causing some distress and concern in the community, to parents, siblings, and teachers who do not feel it is their responsibility to ‘baby sit’ children after school.

A group of parents with children in two different schools has met to find a solution to this problem. They have found some after-school play programs in other areas have gained government funding or been financed by charitable organisations or corporations. Therefore, they have decided to design a program and apply for funding to run it. You are one of these parents, and you in charge of planning the program.

Your task: Design an after-school play program that can be attended by primary school children in the community. Then, prepare a presentation of your program. (Do not write a funding application).

 

4. Team Structure and Mode of Interaction
Your role: You are a parent who has been chosen to lead a group of parents in the design of an after-school play program in your community. This design is to be (hypothetically) submitted to the local city council or government or a charitable organisation with a request/application for funding.

Tutor’s support: You must contact your tutor twice before commencing on your final report, by phone, fax or email. The tutor’s role is to act as a consultant, equivalent to a paid consultant in the real world. The tutor will time each contact. Therefore, you must plan for each contact to ensure that the contact is efficient and time effective. You may ask for guidance as needed, or simply report on your progress. You may request more frequent assistance if necessary, within reason. It is not your tutor’s role to solve the problem.

Student forum: You must submit relevant questions to a student room forum on at least two occasions during the project, before commencing the final report. You must check for responses, and incorporate useful responses in your report.

 

5. Discussion questions
These are issues or questions that you should address in your solution, whether or not you can find answers.
• What is the demonstrated need for an after-school play program?
• What is the target group for the program, and how will the program meet their needs?
• What existing resources can be used and what limitations might they impose on the project? (e.g. a suitable location for the program; people to run the program);
• What is funding needed for?
• What criteria will be applied to program design and implementation (e.g. Must it contribute to child development? Is cost effectiveness an issue? Do government regulations apply?)
• How will the program cater for different abilities and interests (including disabilities)?
• What safety issues must be addressed, and how?
• What are the site characteristics that are relevant to this project?
• Will the program be adversely affected by seasons or weather, and how will these be catered for?
• What are reasonable goals in this situation for different stakeholders?

6. Resources
Human resources (optional): You may draw on the skills, knowledge and assistance of others – other students, experts whom you consult, friends. All assistance must be formally acknowledged.

Other resources (compulsory): You are expected to use some resources, and can choose which to use. You may gather the information required to solve this problem from course readings, books, journals, news programs, the internet, etc. All sources must be acknowledged.

Internet Resources may include:
http://www.tafe.sa.edu.au/lsrsc/learn/springboards/community/rec.html
http://www.boowakwala.com/

7. Guidelines

Duration: This project should take between 8-10 hours (including communications with a tutor or others). When 10 hours of work has been completed, submit what you have, no matter what stage it is in. You may be penalised for exceeding this time limit.

Assessment: You will be assessed on your capacity to work through the problem to a logical conclusion. You are not being assessed on your final report. You will be assessed on your problem-solving process. This will be demonstrated to the school in the following ways:
• Your final report, and
• Your interaction with a tutor, and
• Your use of a forum in the student room.

 

8. Final Report
You may use a variety of means to present your project. You may choose to submit a written presentation, with or without illustrations. If you have the equipment at hand, and appropriate skills, you may submit your presentation using technology (eg. multimedia presentation with Power Point or Flash, video, CD, DVD).

Your presentation must include:

1. your design;

2. explanation of how it meets community needs;

3. a description of the site (If possible, describe a real site, though a hypothetical site is acceptable);

4. criteria for selecting plants or trees, their location and how they will be established/maintained, if relevant;

5. a description of the facilities and equipment required;

6. explanation of how different needs are met (eg. disabled, different age groups and abilities, etc);

7. an account of the problem-solving process you experienced

8. a list of issues that arose during the project, that you either could not deal with or that were not essential to the project;

9. a list of resources used, including human resources;

10. an evaluation of your performance, including what you did very well, and what you can improve;

11. a summary of you learned about problem solving from this project;

12. a summary of you learned about play program design from this project.

Presentation Component Minimum Required Maximum Allowed
1. Description of program design Half a page or 3 minute presentation or equivalent 1 pages or 5 minute equivalent
2. Explanation of how it meets community needs 200 words or 2 minute equivalent Half a page or 3 minute equivalent
3. Site selection criteria and description 200 words or 2 minute equivalent Half a page or 3 minute equivalent
4. Criteria for plants/trees, location, and how they will be established/maintained 200 words or 2 minute equivalent Half a page or 3 minute equivalent
5. List of facilities and equipment needed 200 words or 2 minute equivalent Half a page or 3 minute equivalent
6. Explanation of how different needs are met 200 words or 2 minute equivalent Half a page or 3 minute equivalent
7. Outline of the problem-solving process you experienced Half a page or 3 minute equivalent 1 page or a 5 minute equivalent
8. List of issues that arose during the project, but were not addressed 200 words or 2 minute equivalent Half a page or 3 minute equivalent
9. List of resources used, including human (tutor, student forum, other) 200 words or 2 minute equivalent Half a page or 3 minute equivalent
10. Evaluate your performance 200 words or 2 minute equivalent Half a page or 3 minute equivalent
11. Summary of what you learned about problem solving from this project 200 words or 2 minute equivalent Half a page or 3 minute equivalent
12. Summary of what you learned about play program design from this project 200 words or 2 minute equivalent Half a page or 3 minute equivalent