Defined Learning (formerly Defined STEM) is a platform for providing project based learning to your classroom. Defined Learning combines project-based content that accentuates the goals of STEM education and the tools to customize, evaluate, assess, and create portfolios. Real-world videos set the stage for each lesson by showing the practical application of educational concepts within a company/industry. Performance tasks are built around a specific job/industry and ask the students to transfer their knowledge of concepts and skills learned in the classroom to a real world scenario. Literacy tasks ask students to read, synthesize and write informative and/or position papers around the real world career based topic. There are over 300 different performance tasks to choose from containing over 1200 distinct products for students to complete.
Defined Learning’s Performance Tasks follow a Project Based Learning (PBL) approach that involves solving real world challenges or problems. Students are engaged in the problem and attain a more in depth understanding of the topics they explore. PBL helps students apply what they have learned on a deeper level and develop skills that will make them successful in college and beyond. These project-based tasks utilize the UBD (Understanding By Design) framework by Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins. The two key ideas of Understanding by Design are contained in its title: 1) focus on teaching and assessing for understanding and transfer, and 2) design curriculum “backward” from those ends. Defined STEM reinforces these tenets and supports the Understanding by Design framework for curriculum, instruction and assessment.
Sounds Great! How do I use it?
We’ve made the overall process for utilizing Defined Learning as simple as possible. Below is the outline to use the platform.
- Find your project
- Customize your project
- Assign/Share your project to students
- Guide students through the project
- Evaluate submitted products and create student portfolios
Each step above has a detailed article associated with it. Start with those steps and begin finding all of of the awesomeness Defined Learning has to offer!