Benefits and Challenges of Design-Based Learning in a Middle School Classroom

ID: 50100 Type: Full Paper - Book (submit final version now)
  1. Teri Wagner, Hollins University, United States
  2. Katherine Cennamo, Virginia Tech, United States

Monday, March 6 11:50 AM-12:10 PM Location: Barton View on map

Presider: Xiaorui Sun, Ohio University, United States

Abstract: There is growing support for the use of design-based learning as a methodology to foster students’ 21st century skills in areas such as communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking while simultaneously building content area knowledge. A multiple case study methodology was utilized to investigate the perceptions of 2 teachers and 51 students who participated in a design-based learning experience. Findings indicate design-based learning is time-consuming, ambiguous, and poses pedagogical challenges, but it has a positive impact on student motivation and learning. Further, students develop critical thinking, communication and collaboration skills, explore multiple perspectives, and gain real-world experience in a transdisciplinary environment. This paper describes our pedagogical strategies, our data collection and analysis methods, and the themes that emerged from our analysis. We conclude with lessons learned for implementing design-based learning in the classroom.


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