The school at which this Study will be conducted is a private high school within an urban city. This College Preparatory high school is a “one to one” environment in which each student is provided an IPad to assist in their learning. Approximately 60% of the student body receives financial aid to help with tuition, and a large number of students do not live within the city that the high school is located. With regard to the demographics of this institution, this school accepts students of all genders, but has a majority female population. Less than 1% of the school population are English language learners. This study was conducted with two periods of students in a 10th grade World History class. These students were assigned to these classes by the administration and parental consent for participation was obtained. Two students opted out of this study and their data was not be included. Because Project Based Learning is a commonly accepted teaching methodology, these students still fully participated in the activities.
Students were put into groups of 4-5 for a PBL Unit centered around content from the California State Standards for World History.
1.Activist Group: Groups researched website of modern-day Activist group
Established causes, goals, and other key components of the Activist group’s website
2. Revolution: Groups researched an assigned Revolution from the 18th Century
4. Website: Groups created a Revolution Website based on the group's decision (either advocating for the need of the Revolution or standing against it)
6. Vote: Students individually voted on which group had the most persuasive website and argument.
In this study, students were assessed in the areas of agency and depth of knowledge prior to the implementation of a PBL Unit. Similar assessments were given to students once the PBL unit concluded. All of the collected data was then analyzed in order to measure the possible effects of Project Based Learning on student agency and depth of knowledge. were assessed in two different ways:
Agency Self Assessment :
Quantitative Data: Scaled responses based on the NTN Agency Rubric
Qualitative Data: Open ended responses regarding self-agency
Skill Based Essay Questions:
Quantitative Data: overall scores based on in Hess Cognitive Rigor Matrix
Qualitative Data: student responses