Overall Structure of Co-PBLa-PA learning activity

As stated in the name, Co-PBLa-PA learning activities include Collaborative Learning, Problem Based Learning and Peer Assessment. There are 4 basic parts to meet those goals.
Firstly, instructors and/or students develop and formulate questions for the groups to a problem-based learning environment.
Second, student groups discuss and answer prepared questions, where the collaborative problem-based learning takes place at this step.
Then, students in groups work together and peer assess/evaluate another groups’ answers as peer assessment
Last but not least, instructors discuss and/or summarize with students each groups’ work and contribution to end a Co-PBLa-PA learning activity.

Introduction video

Instructional Video

4 steps to do Co-PBLa-PA learning activity

prepare

Instructors and/or students develop and formulate questions for the groups

Discuss

Student groups discuss and answer prepared questions 

Peer Assess

Groups peer assess/evaluate another group's answers

Summarize

Instructor discusses and/or summarizes with students each groups' work and contribution

Preparation (Interactive Online Whiteboard)

There are many free and freemium whiteboards available online, the important thing is that all your students will be able to access and draw on it.

For better experience, you could find one that is with extra features suitable for you, such as

– providing endless workspace,

– allowing locking certain objects,

– allowing hiding certain objects

– allowing inserting pictures and PDFs, or

– creating editor accounts for more control.

Divide your board into sections for each group, with space for the question prompt and students to write their answers. If the app allows it, lock down these sections in place. It's also a good idea to save this as a template for future activities.

Note down the sharing information (such as URL or QR code) or other reference that students will need to access the board. It is always more convenient to include board name (named according to class, lesson session, topic, etc.) and sharing information on the board.

We suggest to have some variety in the questions asked.

One option is for teachers to prepare the discussion questions for each group ahead of time. This is highly recommended for teachers conducting Co-PBLa-PA for the first time and/or have tight time constraints.

If applicable, a fun alternative could be assigned to students to formulate or tweak the questions that other groups will work on during the activity.

If the app allows it, lock the questions in place after it is ready. It's also a good idea to save a copy for further use (such as answer preparation or sharing with other teachers/classes).

Applications

In different scenarios, you may have different ways to apply Co-PBLa-PA.

According to the needs of the learning and teaching, teachers could apply Co-PBLa-PA activities

– before teaching new topics so to let students explore new concepts and check their understanding on prerequisite knowledge;

– during the teaching of new concepts as classwork so to keep tracking students understanding and help students construct new concepts; or

– after teaching new concepts so to summarize the whole chapter and even challenge students

The key is to let students discuss and solve the questions in groups, have peer assessment between groups, and summarize the work in class.

Preparation (activity)

Teachers divide the class into groups (of 3-5), then assign the questions and the corresponding region of the whiteboard for each group to finish the questions. Teachers should remind students to have their own devices ready. teachers then creates breakout rooms in online lesson tool for each group

** Any device connected to the Internet will work, even the same device used for online lesson tools (e.g. Zoom). However, a separate touchscreen tablet is more convenient.

** Do not send students to breakout rooms until teachers finish announcing the instructions.

Discussion

Each group discusses in their own breakout rooms and finishes their questions using their own devices. Teachers could go around the breakout rooms to encourage students to discuss, write and draw their answers.

** Instructing the exact time slot for discussion to students before making breakout rooms is highly recommended.

Peer Assessment

Each group discusses in the breakout room and marks the questions, which are finished by other groups, on the devices.

e.g. Group 1 mark question 2 done by Group 2, Group 2 mark question 3 done by Group 3 and so on.

To ask students to do peer assessment in online lesson, there are two possible ways to start.

– First is to assign the groups / questions for each group to do peer assessment at the beginning (activity preparation part) and announce the start of the peer assessment right after the discussion session, without closing the breakout rooms.

– Second way is to close the breakout rooms after the discussion session, assign the groups / questions to do peer assessment for each group, and then create breakout rooms again.

** Do not send students to breakout rooms until teachers finish announcing the instructions.

Summery

Regroup students as a class for a final discussion. teachers could ask students to (share screen and) explain the marking /answers to the class if possible. Teachers then (share screen and) explain the answers to the class based on students' work, and conclude the activity with a final summary of today’s learnings.

Preparation (activity)

Teachers divide the class into groups (of 3-5) in the classroom, then assign the questions and the corresponding region of the whiteboard for each group to finish the questions. Teachers may want to distribute the electronic devices or allow students to use their own devices after announcing the instructions.

** Any device connected to the Internet will work, but touchscreen tablets are most preferred. Each group should have at least one device.

Discussion

Following the instructions, students discuss in their groups and finish their questions using their devices. Teachers could walk around in the classroom to encourage students to discuss, write and draw their answers.

** Instructing the exact time slot for discussion to students before the start of the discussion is highly recommended.

Peer Assessment

After the discussion, teachers assign the groups / questions to do peer assessment for each group and the exact time slot for peer assessment. Each group then discusses in their groups and marks the questions which are finished by other groups, on the devices.

e.g. Group 1 mark question 2 done by Group 2, Group 2 mark question 3 done by Group 3 and so on.

Summery

To hold a final discussion / summary to the whole class, teachers could ask students to (project their screen and) explain the marking /answers to the class if possible. Teachers then (project their screen and) explain the answers to the class based on students' work, and conclude the activity with a final summary of today’s learnings.

Preparation (activity)

To have a hybrid lesson(Online + F2F lesson) with lesson activity, teachers may need more preparation, but actually, it is not that challenging.

The order is important as there are comparatively more things that need to be tackled.

Teachers first divide the class into groups (of 3-5). Gather online students into several specific groups and students in the classroom into the other groups to have an easy control (try not to put both online students and students in the classroom into the same group).

If needed, teachers may distribute the electronic devices to students in the classroom. Meanwhile, teachers could also remind the online students to have their device ready. Each group should have at least one device.

Any device connected to the Internet will work, but touchscreen tablets are most preferred. For online students, they could use the same device used for online lesson tools (e.g. Zoom). However, a separate device is more convenient.

Then, assign the questions and the corresponding region of the whiteboard for each group to finish the questions.

Do not send students to breakout rooms until teachers finish announcing the instructions.

Discussion

Following the instructions, students either discuss in their groups in the classroom or in their own breakout rooms online, finish their questions using their devices. Teachers could walk around in the classroom and go around the breakout rooms to encourage students to discuss, write and draw their answers. If the tool teachers selected could view all students’ work at the same time, teachers could look around students’ work and visit the less active groups.

** Instructing the exact time slot for discussion to students before the start of the discussion is highly recommended.

Peer Assessment

After the discussion, teachers assign the groups / questions to do peer assessment for each group and the exact time slot for peer assessment. Each group then discusses either in their groups in the classroom or in their own breakout rooms online, and marks the questions which are finished by other groups, on the devices.

e.g. Group 1 mark question 2 done by Group 2, Group 2 mark question 3 done by Group 3 and so on.

Unlike online lessons, for the online students in hybrid lessons, we suggest closing the breakout rooms after the discussion session first. Then teachers could (verbally to all students, online or in the classroom) assign the groups / questions to do peer assessment for each group, and then create breakout rooms again.

** Do not send students to breakout rooms until teachers finish announcing the instructions.

Summery

Close the breakout rooms for online students. To hold a final discussion / summery to the whole class, teachers could ask students to (project/share their screen and) explain the marking /answers to the class if possible.  Teachers then (project and share their screen and) explain the answers to the class based on students' work, and conclude the activity with a final summary of today’s learning.