Reflections on the experience of working in this project based learning group

Gail Casey
Student ID
Working on this project was challenging but rewarding. All members contributed to the project in ways that I, as an individual, could not have done and I certainly did not have the individual expertise of our combined group. Our group was very lucky in that all members had clear ideas on the different areas in which they wished to contribute.

Using a wiki for this project gave me the confidence to use wikis in my classroom for group assignments. The ability for all members to edit and contribute equally gives it a large advantage over other online presentation methods. One part of our project used google web pages and at the start of the project this seemed to be a good idea because it enabled us to experience another form of online presentation for our group. However, after experiencing both wiki and google web pages, for me, the ability for the whole group to access and contribute was important for collaboration – the google page did not allow this to be done in the same easy manner.

Meetings scheduled once per week enabled the group to stay on track and ensure all areas of need for the project were covered. Because each of us had busy schedules outside this project I found that the calendar, on our wiki, was a useful resource as it allowed us to know what others were doing and when they were doing it.

The challenges of working online in a group, including from different time zones, meant that patience, understanding and respect of others members were vital to successfully gain an end result that was not only high quality but also useful as a resource.
Student ID

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Jaroslaw (Jerry)
Student ID

I have enjoyed working in this group and on this project as it has been a new experience for me. Although I am not involved in teaching children, I have appreciated the knowledge and information of the members as we have worked together. Working online has been challenging at times due to other responsibilities of group members, but I have felt that this was handled very well. The group had a supportive environment and good dynamic in interactions.

I felt the members were encouraging, flexible and empowering which enabled each member to contribute fully. The weekly online conferences did not work for me due to a technology issue at my end but I received minutes of the meetings and communicated regarding these by email, so did not miss out. I have learnt new things and been exposed to many resources which will be very useful in the future. I have been impressed by the commitment, zeal and professionalism of the members as we have worked together.

It has been a great experience and I thank Gail, Keri-Lee, and Vin.
Vin Healy
Student ID

This was a particularly challenging project for me mainly because I had to utilise technology that I had never used before; in essence, taking me right out of my comfort zone. I had never used a wiki before and found the teacher tube tutorial (downloaded by team members) invaluable in navigating around and downloading onto the site. I found the online conferences each week invaluable in terms of making a genuine connection with the group members. It allowed me the opportunity to clarify thoughts and deepen my understanding of the content areas. Each of the members brought incredible technical expertise to the project; expertise and support that I felt was invaluable.

It was a great opportunity for me to trial the software program Kidspiration with my year five and six students as a reflective tool in mathematics. It is often used as a brainstorming or classifying graphic organiser. It allowed the students the opportunity to articulate what they were learning and in doing so became a genuine tool for metacognition. Doing this in mathematics was also a different discipline to explore as again, Kidspiration is often associated with literacy or units of inquiry.

This was great opportunity to collate and record my thoughts in a totally different mode. It is going to be quite strange going back to the traditional 3000 word essay after this experience. There is no doubt that I couldn't have completed this without the academic and technical expertise of the group.

Group statement that all members have contributed to this project

Those listed below all agree that Gail Casey, Keri-Lee Beasley, Jaroslaw (Jerry) Reszke and Vin Healy all contributed to this project.

Signed by group members:

1. Gail Casey
2. Keri-Lee Beasley
3. Jaroslaw (Jerry) Reszke
4. Vin Healy