PBL/Authentic Course Example: Peter Leong’s ‘The Akamai Consulting PBL Scenario’

Updated 10/10/13

Lani Peter Webinar

Week 5 Panel Discussion Webinar: Using Problem-Based, Real-World Activities in Online Classes 10/9/13, featuring Lani Uyeno and Peter Leong, moderated by Leanne Riseley.

The following 4:20 video of Peter’s hybrid graduate course, quantitative research in ed tech, was added to YouTube by ikaikamiles on 2/16/13.

Website for Akamai Consulting Group - Market Research Scenario. Click image to visit site.

Website for Akamai Consulting Group – Market Research Scenario. Click image to visit site.

Comment

I watched the TOMOOC video of this webinar this afternoon. Both presentations provided excellent examples of authentic course designs for blended classrooms. The panel format was dynamic, with Leanne asking questions and panelists responding with quick replies. The Q&A segment following the panel was, as usual, very good, with some very tough questions re online features of their courses.

In this quick review, I’ve chosen to highlight Peter’s course instead of Lani’s only because I began my web search with him and quickly found a brief 4:20 YouTube video and a website clearly describing his course. (See above.) I haven’t had a chance to research Lani’s course, and I apologize for this especially since Lani is an old friend and former department colleague. She was at Kapiolani CC many years before transferring to Leeward.

The overriding impression that I got from both panelists is that successful authentic courses require planning, planning, planning, tweaking, tweaking, tweaking. But it seems to be a labor of love, and the quality of these courses testify to that. Their excitement about what they’re doing is infectious.

For the students, the learning experience seems very realistic and engaging — but the key is that this realism and interaction takes a lot of planning. Still, watching the webinar, I got the impression that this is all doable. Peter and Lani take the mystery and fear out of the process and expose the process for what it is: an imaginative and exciting student-centered alternative to traditional teacher-centered approaches that’s fun for both teachers and students.

The learning outcomes, I’m sure, must be outstanding, with students getting a holistic, hands-on, personally relevant view of the skills and concepts they’re not only studying but constructing.

The issue of adapting these approaches to completely online courses was beyond the scope of this panel so I won’t go into it — except to say that I believe it can be done very effectively. However, that’s another story. As blended approaches, these two are outstanding. Once again, thanks, Lani and Peter, and the TOMOOC team.

__________
Update from Leanne (10/10/13): Lani developed [two scenarios] for English Composition: Ka Hui Ho’okolokolo (https://sites.google.com/a/hawaii.edu/ka-hui-ho-okolokolo/home) and Halia (https://sites.google.com/site/haliamemory/)…. If you are interested in other PBL scenarios, a library of them are available at: http://learnpbl.com/scenario-based-tasks/

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5 Responses to PBL/Authentic Course Example: Peter Leong’s ‘The Akamai Consulting PBL Scenario’

  1. Jim, you may be interested in the two scenarios Lani developed for English Composition since you are in the same discipline. (I was surprised to find out you were friends and colleagues!) She developed Ka Hui Ho’okolokolo (https://sites.google.com/a/hawaii.edu/ka-hui-ho-okolokolo/home) and Halia (https://sites.google.com/site/haliamemory/) As you probably know, she does wonderful work and both scenarios are great. If you are interested in other PBL scenarios, a library of them are available at: http://learnpbl.com/scenario-based-tasks/

  2. Peter Leong says:

    Jim, the link you have above is to the teacher guide. Here’s the link to the actual PBL scenario:

    https://sites.google.com/site/akamaiconsultingscenario/

  3. jennifershamsy says:

    You are right on Jim when you say “The overriding impression that I got from both panelists is that successful authentic courses require planning, planning, planning, tweaking, tweaking, tweaking. But it seems to be a labor of love, and the quality of these courses testify to that. Their excitement about what they’re doing is infectious.” I think that is so true with much of online learning. Anyone can put together an online course in today’s world of ready made LMSs. However, what you do with that canvas of the LMS is up to the artist. Part of being an artist is refining your skills (why many of us are in this MOOC). But it does take a lot of effort, time, and willingness to fail. BTW, have enjoyed your very thoughtful and comprehensive blog posts throughout the MOOC. =)

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