Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Personalizing Students' Co-Op Experience

Co-op provides an ideal opportunity for personalized learning. Students explore their passions in a job setting, while learning even more about their strengths and their needs. Janelle Watson, Cooperative Education and Physical Education teacher, explains how Greenwood's program relates student placements to their specific learning goals.

Greenwood’s Cooperative Education program allows students to experience the world of work during six hours of placement experience per week, and integrates the learning they do at their placements into one classroom session every two weeks.

Students share their experiences face-to-face in the classroom, and also through blogging and our class Twitter profile: @WatsonCoop.

Teaching co-op to Grade 11 students lends itself well to personalized learning, as each student is placed within the field that most interests them in a position that best suits their ability.

Placement-Specific Projects

About halfway through the year, students begin their Placement-Specific Projects. The general template allows the teacher, students and placement supervisors to collaborate to create projects that give students more responsibility. These projects also encourage students to extend the learning they achieved in the initial phase of their placement experience.

Each project, along with the expectations for the process and the final product, is personalized for the placement and the student. Even if there are two students at the same placement location, they will complete different projects based on their strengths and interests.

The project caters to the specific learning goals of the experiences they had in the first months of their placement, and requires that an authentic final product or task that directly relates to these experiences is completed.

Examples of projects for this year are below, with some students interviews about their projects and what they liked best:

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