My colleagues have created some really interesting blog posts and I enjoyed reading them a lot. Below is some feedback I provided to two of my fellow students in this unit:
Feedback for Marsha Spiker
I really enjoyed reading your blog. I work in higher education so it was really interesting for me to learn about a unit of work in the primary setting. I’m also not familiar with Design Thinking as a learning area so I learned a lot about that from your blog. I’m actually quite jealous of my primary school aged children after reading your unit. It sounds a lot more interesting than what I did at primary school!
What I really liked about your analysis and recommendations is that you decided to redesign the unit to give students the opportunity to think broadly about a range of interrelated concepts rather than narrowing the focus from the start. Your idea to have the students develop an essential question really helps to facilitate this I think. I also really liked the way you added a summary of your recommendations on your unit redesign page. That made it a lot easier for me as the reader. And I also liked your mini slide shows throughout the blog. I’d be really interested to know how you did that!
I noticed that in the unit redesign page you stated that Challenge Based Learning was going to be your new inquiry framework. However, I’m not sure this was included as a recommendation in your analysis (although I could have missed it, sorry if that’s the case). Under the heading The Inquiry Approach and the Australian Curriculum you’ve mentioned that the previous version of the unit focused on how to design the solution, rather than generating ideas and exploring bigger questions. Has Challenge Based Learning been introduced to address this problem?
Overall I really liked your blog and I think your redesigned unit is fantastic and will really engage your students. Well done!
Screenshot created by author
Feedback for Melanie Smith
You’ve chosen a really interesting unit for your analysis and I really enjoyed reading your blog post. I had no idea that ants disperse seeds! I learned something new there. I also found it interesting that the unit has been deliberately designed to link science with literacy. What a great way to combine two learning areas. I think your idea to combine these areas with Geography is a great idea and has a lot of potential to take this unit to an even higher level of inquiry. I also liked your use of dot points and a summary table of your recommendations at the end. This made it easier for me to read.
Just a couple of suggestions: I notice that you’ve copied and pasted a few screenshots from various documents into your analysis. I think this might be a breach of copyright. It might be worth re-working these and adapting them for your analysis with acknowledgement of the source. Also, I noticed that there were a couple of instances where you’d copied large paragraphs of text. Perhaps it might be a bit easier for the reader if you summarised these points and hyperlinked to the original source? The summative assessment sounds really interesting. I’m sure that activity will engage your students. Is this assessment item the original unit assessment? Or is it part of your redesign? Maybe some clarity around that might help.
Overall though I thought this was a really interesting analysis. Great work!