Twenty-First Century Skills in the Classroom:
A Problem-Based Course for Teachers by Teachers


COURSE DESCRIPTION: Twenty-first Century Skills include communication, critical thinking, collaboration (teamwork), agility and adaptability, initiative, accessing and analyzing information, and curiosity and imagination. This course will require all of these skills of the participants and, in addition to this experience in 21st Century learning, the course will move each teacher forward in a desired area of inquiry in pedagogy and content of English Language Arts. This problem-based learning course is based upon two major ideas: 1) the intrinsic motivation from creating an authentic problem based in a teacher’s need and interests and 2) the increased learning from working collaboratively as a team toward a shared goal.

This course makes both teams and individuals accountable for the final products. The general problem is What do you want to know and be able to do better as a 21st century teacher. To answer individual questions, teachers will then coalesce as theme-based teams and collaboratively and individually research, organize, and present their findings to the entire class. This course will be a “blended course,” with both face-to-face classes and workshops and with on-line meetings.


Assessment Rubric for Final Grade
Advanced:
The participant has insightfully, accurately, and fully researched and applied the principles of 21st Century pedagogy, the UbD backwards design process, and technology integration into their individual and collaborative project. These concepts were communicated clearly in an engaging manner in the final collaborative presentation and in the final individual project.

Pedagogical Best Practice Research: The participant formulated a compelling question and developed a plan for inquiry that fully detailed in an annotated bibliography the expert, print and on-line resources used to formulate research-based best practices to bring to a new or modified course or unit.
Understanding by Design: The participant carefully, thoroughly, and insightfully used the three stages of backwards design process to develop a high quality, standards based unit for students and used the stage four strategies to assess fully the quality of the unit and insightfully reflected on the process. The assessment task was highly relevant and provided the student choices, in which students applied many skills and content and used HOTS to accomplish the task.
Twenty-First Century Skills: The participant actively participated in a problem-based course and developed and implemented an original plan to bring these skills into their classroom.



Proficient:
Major concepts: The participant has adequately researched and applied the principles of 21st Century pedagogy, the UbD backwards design process, and technology integration into their individual and collaborative project. These concepts were communicated adequately in the final collaborative presentation and in the final individual project.

Pedagogical Best Practice Research: The participant formulated a good question and developed a plan for inquiry that provided and documented to a degree the expert, print and on-line resources used to formulate research-based best practices to bring to a new or modified course or unit.
Understanding by Design: The participant adequately used the three stages of backwards design process to develop a good standards based unit for students and generally adequately used the stage four strategies to assess the quality of the unit and insightfully reflected on the process. The assessment task was relevant and provided the student some limited choices, in which students applied some skills and content and to a degree needed to use HOTS to accomplish the task.
Twenty-First Century Skills: The participant participated adequately in a problem-based course and developed and implemented a plan to bring these skills into their classroom.



Not Yet: (Your work will be returned to you and you may improve it if you choose.)
Some inaccuracies are present in the application of the principles of
the course in the presentation, the final project, the UbD unit, the research, and/or in the 21st century skills. The work shows that the participant does do not clearly or totally understand all of the principles of the course. NOTE: The areas of concern will be described to the participant and only those areas will need to be changed to receive a Proficient or Advanced as a final grade when they meet the standards.


Major Milestones
Milestone I: The Full Proposal due
o Milestone 1 Template filled out with questions and concerns
o Research Resources (print/on-line and print/data base)(1 book, 2 articles)
(These resources will be briefly summarized in an annotated bibliography.)

o Technology Resources (3 sites)
(These resources will be briefly summarized for an annotated bibliography.)

o Technology Integration in project (2 minimum)
o UbD Stage I template answer questions 1-5
o Collaborative presentation goals
Milestone II: Preliminary research; preliminary problem/theme developed
o Milestone 2 checklist filled out with questions/concerns
o Problem/theme more clearly defined in UbD document
o UbD Stage I Results: questions 1-9 drafted
o Annotated bibliography of initial research for expert and print
o Annotated bibliography of initial on-line resources
o Plan for technology integration
o Collaborative presentation outline
Milestone III: Finished research and goals for course; Assessment drafted
o Annotated bibliography of all resources: print, on line, and expert “interview”
o Technology integration plan is complete
o Results: UbD Stage I questions 1-9 completed, refined
o Assessment: UbD Stage II questions 1-5 plus rubric drafted
Milestone IV:
o UbD Stage III Sequence of Activities drafted
Milestone V: Team Presentation (HS only)
o Collaborative Project checklist
o What did you understand/solve/resolve as a group? As individuals?
o Reflect on why collaborative learning is both a challenge and a positive incentive.
Milestone V: Team Presentation (K-8 only)
o Collaborative project checklist
o What did you understand/solve/resolve as a group? As individuals?
o Reflect on why collaborative learning is both a challenge and a positive
Final Projects: Curriculum unit and reflection.
o Final Project Checklist
o UbD Stages I-IV completed
o Reflection on process as individual and as group