The PBL Midpoint conference is a strategy that allows the teacher to meet with each collaborative group, using the project rubric, to help students collaboratively assess the quality and progress of their work. Utilizing the project rubric, the students collaboratively self-assess the work and contributions they are making to the project, and they discuss with the teacher their vision for the project and the progress they are making toward that vision. The teacher also has an opportunity to acknowledge exemplary components of the project and discuss any adjustments or revisions that may need to be made to the project.
Have students reference the Comprehensive PBL rubric, included as a resource below or available as a strategy in the BetterLesson lab, or another project rubric they were given at the beginning of the project. Explain to students that you will have a meeting with each group to look at the project they are working on in comparison to the rubric they were given. Instruct students that meetings will last 5-10 minutes with each group. All other groups should continue working on their project while the teacher is holding group conferences.
Before meeting with each group, give each group a blank Comprehensive PBL rubric or project rubric. Have the students work together to score themselves based on the work they are doing and what their plans are for the project. Inform students that their self-evaluation will be compared to the teacher evaluation for any measurable differences and for a midpoint project grade.
Rotate around the room to each group with a blank Comprehensive PBL rubric or project rubric for each group. Fill out a rubric for each group as a teacher evaluation using the following procedure:
Ask one specific student from the group to summarize what work they are doing to complete their project or to summarize what the group's project is.
Once that student has finished summarizing the work, ask the rest of the group if there is any information they would like to add. Make notes of the group's summary and responses on the rubric.
Try to point out at least three specific pieces or areas of the project that are on target or progressing well in regards to the rubric. Sentence starter ideas for this include:
I really like how you haveâ¦
This is really interesting becauseâ¦
The group demonstrates creativity here byâ¦
The group should feel really proud about...
Conversely, try to address at least three specific pieces or areas of the project that are not on target or that need improvement or revision. Make notes of suggestions on the group rubric. Sentence starter ideas for this include:
One question I have around the work on this project isâ¦
I wonder if there are adjustments you could make toâ¦
Have you consideredâ¦
Collect the group's self-assessment rubric and compare their responses and reflections to the teacher-assessed rubric. Attach both rubrics together, and then provide students with a final midpoint score and quick reflection for the group. Give the students time in class to look at both rubrics and the teacher reflection, and provide an opportunity to ask any follow-up or clarifying questions before continuing their work on the project.
Explore the Culminating Project - Stop Animation Video lesson by 9th grade Science teacher Emilie Hill included in the resources below to see how she uses a midpoint rubric and small group conferences to discuss work completion and to help students self-assess the quality of their projects.