Collaborative digital projects: PBL in pre-service teacher education

David Saltmarsh

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


    This symposium paper discusses an assessment task, the Current Issue Collaboration (CIC), used with pre-service teacher education students. The task employed a Project-Based Learning (PBL) approach where students, in groups of three or four, collaborated in the creation and presentation of a digital artefact. The term ‘digital artefact’ was intended to be vague to promote discussion about what it might be that would be created. The design of the task was influenced by the notion of twenty-first century skills, and scholarship on PBL and Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL). Partnerships for 21st Century Skills (P21) promoted the idea that Critical thinking and problem solving, Collaboration, Creativity and Communication should be considered the key learning outcomes that teachers should aim to develop in the students that they teach. This framework was later adopted by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) and is now used across America (AACTE & P21, 2010). Subsequently, the Australian federal Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations has also recognised that in education “the priority is moving towards higher-order skills that assist individuals to be more flexible, adaptable, creative, innovative and productive” (Ithica Group, 2012, p. 10). The assessment task was devised and used in a compulsory, sociology of education unit at Macquarie University. For some time the unit has emphasised scholarly approaches to using academic literature via a Critical Review task (see Saltmarsh & Saltmarsh, 2008) and aspects of written communication in other tasks. It was hoped that the inclusion of the CIC task would allow creativity, collaboration and verbal communication to also be incorporated into the learning environment of the unit. The ability to create, and to inspire creativity in others, to collaborate, and to communicate confidently in various forms are vital skills for teachers, especially in primary schools. However, research has shown that these capacities are ones in which teachers feel themselves to be ill-equipped (Ardzejewska, McMaugh, & Coutts, 2010).
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    EventThe Joint Australian Association for Research in Education and New Zealand Association for Research in Education Conference - Brisbane
    Duration: 30 Nov 20144 Dec 2014


    ConferenceThe Joint Australian Association for Research in Education and New Zealand Association for Research in Education Conference


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