Interclass Collaboration: An Experiment

Today’s Contributor: Kim Wine

Kim Wine teaches Child Development and Practicum in Human Services at Clifton Career Development School, where she has taught for 13 years. She has two sons in middle school, so you can just imagine…

In past years, I have had my Child Care students create a fake daycare center as an individual capstone project. This year, I made it an interclass project, meaning students had to work with students in other sections of my course. By doing this, we could cover the employability TEKS for communication, collaboration, time management, professionalism, problem-solving, and critical thinking, while covering more subject-specific TEKS as well.

I created a button in BLEND on the homepage of the course that is linked to a page with the project description and links to each section of the project.

I created discussion posts for each section, and also one for students to share their strengths with the group. Some students needed help posting at first, but most got the hang of it. Students shared work in Google Drive. Another part that worked well was using Trello to plan which student would work on each section. Trello is great for breaking a project down, and it has cute stickers to mark a part completed.

I had originally wanted each section to be completed with more collaboration. I let them struggle a little to encourage some problem solving, but it was logistically unrealistic. In the future, I will have each student complete their own project, but have them do the discussions with all class sections again. Each student can use Trello for their individual work to help with time management. We can go back to using Google Slides for the presentation. I prefer it because I can comment on each slide, and I can create a template for those who need some accommodations. Next year, I am going to try to have a child care professional give them feedback as well.

I am proud to say we had zero issues with being respectful in the discussions, and students were also appropriate when doing a gallery walk of the finished work. We used a simplified rubric with 3 columns: Needs Work, Meets Expectations, and Exceeds Expectations. Feedback was given whenever the work missed the mark or went beyond. While their craftsmanship on the bulletin board was not what I had hoped for, they showed growth not only in the TEKS related to the content of the project, but from reflecting and self-assessing their employability skills.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s