agree or strongly agree that CBL develops active awareness of how past connects to present

 agree or strongly agree that CBL improves communication, teamwork & problem-solving skills

 agree or strongly agree that more courses should include CBL

Participation in the surveys was voluntary across a class of 36 students. It was administered by the research assistants, and was conducted as a research survey approved by the Research Ethics Committee at Huron. The research apparatus around the survey was important in separating this activity from the formal student course evaluations.

We designed the survey to take a snapshot of student perceptions of CBL,  both in the early stages of the project, and in the latter stages. The last survey was done in March, before the formal launch of the project at a public event, and before students had a chance to reflect on their work by writing the final paper.  The surveys were meant to draw out student views while in the thick of things, when the actual research results were neither clear nor complete.

A summary of questions and responses indicates that students were prepared to think about the place of CBL in complex ways—its place in the US History class, its ability to provide new skills, and its relevance as a bridge between classroom and community. The responses should be interpreted in the setting of the course, which made the community-based project a course requirement, rather than an option.  Integrating the CBL with the course structure of assessment, as well as with the course subject matter, focused attention on what the project demanded, and what it offered in return.

The written comments on the survey indicate that the work of the project was both rewarding (“I’m glad it teaches us real life skills in a discipline where we don’t always get to use them.” “It was interesting to do some hands on work with this subject.” “It has allowed me to become more open-minded”) and frustrating (“Annoying to work with others who rarely attended class, but I now know more about CBL and do see the value once it gets going.” “CBL gave students too much independence.”)

Survey responses suggest the important ways in which the CBL project is in alignment with History program objectives, with the FASS academic plan, and with the OCAV Undergraduate Degree Level Expectations.

 

 

 

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