Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What Does Senior Capstone, the 6Cs, and Breakout EDU Have in Common? #breakoutedu

Each year, our senior class participates in a Senior Capstone project.  This project requires students to select a career pathway, research it, participate in a mentorship, write a research paper, and present their essential question and research.  It is a comprehensive process and gives students some hands-on learning and experimenting.

In the past, our Librarian/Media Specialist would share a research presentation with the students.  It had a lot lot of great information, but we felt as though it did not engage the students in the learning process.  As part of our Tech/Media Team's goals to model and share resources and activities that align with the district's goal in being Future Ready and preparing students for success, we worked together to change up the format of the presentation.  We changed it from a lecture-style to a hands-on Breakout EDU game.  After the game was completed by all classes, we sent out an email to all of the seniors with the information and links that were used in the game so they have it as a reference as they go through their research process.

As this was traditionally a sit-and-get lecture presentation, it was great to see students adapting to a different presentation style of the same material. The presentation is always available as a reference for students on Kelly McGee's website (and was actually incorporated into the game), but we felt it was important to include interpersonal skills that mirror the outcomes of Senior Capstone goals.

In our debrief after running the game (as we always do after running a game), some of the things we noticed/wondered:

  • Noticing: Some of our clues were not as strong as we thought they were.  We had to revamp a few clues to make sure we were communicating the information we wanted the students to know.
  • Noticing: One of our clues was too difficult for the time frame.  The goal of this game was not to stump the students, but have the students critically think as it relates to the research process. (Hint cards were not used for this game - students were provided with help as needed.)
  • Noticing: Students needed the whole time to solve the clues and we were left without time in the class period to do a debrief while the information was fresh.
  • Noticing: We were able to make personal contact with each student during the 60 minute class period.
  • Wondering: How can we change some of the clues so that we can fit a debrief/further explanation into the class period?
  • Noticing/Wondering: Much of the game is personalized to our district/area, but looking for ways we could adapt it to be a more generalized and Breakout EDU-published research game.
This reflection process always prompts great discussion.  As we were talking, we found it helpful to breakdown each clue as to how it relates to the 6C's of learning (as this, other than the content, is a huge component of a Breakout EDU game).  We analyzed the game structure, clues, and problem solving process so that we could better understand our areas for improvement.  It was our first time running the game, so we knew there would be ways we could grow.  The information is presented in the chart below (or if you are unable to read the chart, please click here).

So, in a nutshell, what does our Senior Capstone Research Project, the 6Cs, and Breakout EDU have in common?

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