SPACE COLONY PROJECT
Explanation of the operation of the project as well as its pedagogical bases
The Space Colony Project is built around Problem-Based Learning (PBL) but located in a fictional context: the twenty-fifth century and humanity's need to leave Earth and colonize a new planet.
So, the students learning will be based on missions (problems or challenges) arising from the necessities of intergalactic space travel and determining the planets to be inhabited and colonized. For this, the project is structured in five phases explained here.
The evaluation system is based on three sections: classroom observation (procedural), tokens and controls (conceptual) and the self-assessment and co-evaluation rubrics carried out by students at the end of each work cycle. You can find a more detailed explanation here.
Presentation of the mission, the objectives of the mission and the means to achieve them.
Phase where the students work on the theory and the concepts that they are going to need to find a solution to the problem.
Phase in which the students, in groups, face the problem with the theory that they have learned with the intention of offering a solution.
Phase in which the class brings together the solutions proposed for the problem, then debate it and one of the plans proposed by a group is selected.
Phase in which the students can revisit their reports based on the lessons learned during the consensus phase and hand in the report.
The evaluation procedure is based on eight observable criteria during the working sessions:
The evaluation system of these items is based on fluctuation. All students start the course with a five in each criterion and, based on their work in class, these criteria go up or down, grades carry from one class to another. In this way the teacher does not shuffle dozens of grades at the end of the quarter, but contemplates eight grades resulting from the work from the whole quarter.
The percentage weight of the evaluation procedure of the final grade is 40%.
The conceptual assessment (summative) includes the individual validation forms that each student must give at the end of a mission, exercises carried out on different platforms (Science Bits, Google Classroom, etc.) and classroom controls.
The percentage weight of the conceptual evaluation of the final grade is 50%.
At the end of a work cycle students must perform a series of rubrics to self-evaluate and to evaluate peers based on the same criteria as the procedure evaluation.
This has a triple function:
1.- That the teachers verify that the students understand what is being asked and at what level.
2.- Diagnose possible social conflicts within the working groups.
3.- Detect those students who work less than the others by hiding in the group work of their peers.
In order for a student to be evaluated for each of the missions (which are done in a group) he / she must submit their personal and individual validation form. If this is acceptable and the teacher gives the approval the student can be evaluated normally; in the event that the validation form is not handed in or does not reach the acceptable minimums marked by the teacher, the student in question fails all evaluation points of the current assignment pending completion of their work.