Creating fun, relevant and engaging learning experiences using an inter-disciplinary approach

Rahmat Prayuda demonstrates how you can create engaging learning experiences by combining subjects to demonstrate knowledge and understanding.  

Creating fun, relevant and engaging learning experiences using an inter-disciplinary approach

Learning is a process where every student has the chance to improve their ability from having little knowledge of a given topic to being able to confidently explain and demonstrate their understanding in different situations.  In this process every student needs to be supported and supervised by their teacher to control their workflow so they are able to achieve a set of goals.

These goals are usually expressed numerically through test scores. However, in reality, a score is just a number and it is ultimately less important than a student’s ability to solve problems and apply knowledge in different contexts. In Al Azhar Cairo Elementary School of Palembang, we often use a project approach to assess students. In these projects, students can collaborate using an inter-disciplinary approach and specialist teachers can then decide on a suitable theme, concept and main competency for their particular subject.

One such project involved Grade 5 students creating a comic to demonstrate their knowledge of respiratory systems.  The students also used this opportunity to showcase their artistic skills using Keynote.  This inter-disciplinary approach made the learning experience more fun, relevant and engaging for all students.

The creative process lasted a duration of three weeks.  During the first week, teachers explained how to create comics and animate within the app.  A set of rules were established for designing comics which formed the project success criteria.  Students also received ideas about how they could improve their work.  In the second and third week, the students proceeded to show their comics to the teachers and received regular feedback before finally publishing their work.

Through this process of creating comics, our students developed a deeper understanding of animal respiratory systems.  Additional benefits included that the learning process was more fun and memorable.   Students also improved their iPad drawing skills.

In summary, the focus of learning is not simply about sharing knowledge.  Rather, it about how to make learning more engaging, relevant and imaginative.  This leads to students having a greater sense of self-confidence.

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