Problem Based Learning (PBL) is the central design of each assignment. But beyond the common elements of PBL, a strong effort has been made to design assignments that are truly innovative beyond the novelty of modern technology and digital storytelling. The work of Alan November's six transformational questions are considered when framing each assignment. These six questions set a high bar in curriculum design inviting students to think publicly, to invite outside critique, to create original work, to add value to others.
  1. Did the assignment build capacity for critical thinking on the web?
  2. Did the assignment develop new lines of inquiry?
  3. Are there opportunities for students to make their thinking visible?
  4. Are there opportunities to broaden the perspective of the conversation with authentic audiences from around the world?
  5. Is there an opportunity for students to create a contribution (purposeful work that adds value to others)?
  6. Does the assignment demonstrate "best in the world" examples of content and skill? 
Toward this design framework, the following webpage of each assignment details the following five important elements:
  • THE PITCH - This element provides the pedagogical rationale for the assignment as well as strategic ideas for its logical place within a scope & sequence.
  • STUDENT FRIENDLY STANDARDS - CTE (Career Technical Education), VAPA (Visual and Performing Arts), CCSS (Common Core)
         - CTE & VAPA are the prime standards for these courses. CCSS serve an essential but underlying foundation to this field of study. The spirit of the Common Core includes college level analytical writing, deep reading of non-fiction text, critical thinking of the narrative, problem solving. Each unit invites students to learn or practice some of these skills. 
  • SCENARIO - This element establishes the problem within the context of an authentic "why" for what is to be learned.
  • UNIT RESOURCES - This element includes the main Unit plan, project details, academic vocabulary, curated websites, supporting student documents, scoring rubric.
  • EXEMPLARS - This element helps clarify the target to be hit. Exemplars include a wide range of rubric criteria, both good and bad.

ASSIGNMENT LIST (2015-16 scope & sequence)

  1st semester
  2nd semester