Large Scale PBL Activity Develops Core Competencies in Students
Matty, Andrew C.
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This research specifically aims to see whether a large scale PBL activity naturally develops the core competencies of the new B.C. curriculum in secondary students. An online survey was created to gather the responses of students’ own identification of their core competency levels before and after a large scale PBL task. The project, a school wide Rube Goldberg machine, took an entire year for completion and comprised of all staff and students in a B.C. middle/secondary school. Through the creation of the Rube Goldberg machine, students’ core competency development of creativity, critical thinking, communication, social responsibility and personal responsibility were tested among participants. The set profiles of the aforementioned core competencies were derived straight from the B.C. Ministry of Education documents and participants were given multiple choice options on where they believed their developmental levels were in each core competency before and after the project was completed. The Cronbach’s Alpha formula was used to test the reliability of the data. Results suggest that a large scale PBL activity does support the development of core competencies in students as described in the new B.C. curriculum. 83.3% of student participants had a positive change, or strong positive change, in all of the following core competencies: communication, creative thinking, critical thinking and personal responsibility. 75% of participants also noted a positive change to their social responsibility competency. The data further reveals that all competencies of all participants either remained constant or improved in profile competency levels. The results of this study support that PBL enhances the core competencies in students, including large-scale school wide projects.