Frequently Asked Questions about PeBL

Under the PeBL philosophy will students be primarily learning online?

Online sources will be an important source of information and students will learn how to use technology effectively but students will spend a large amount of their time learning from their teachers, other students and outside experts.

What measures does Sun West take to make sure students use technology appropriately?

Sun West has restrictions on all its devices that prevent students from accessing inappropriate websites. Teachers also monitor student access closely and only provide students with access to technology when they have demonstrated the skills and maturity to navigate responsibly.

So far, what have been the results of using PeBL in Sun West?

Over the last three years, Sun West has monitored student engagement levels in several Sun West schools where PeBL was instituted and in these schools enthusiasm for school among middle years students went up 20% from 60 to 80%. This is particularly encouraging as students of that age often lose interest in school.

How does evaluation work with PeBL?

Student work is evaluated based the results of exams, assignments, projects and presentations.

How is it decided that more responsibility will be transferred to a student?

Teachers will decide to increase the amount of responsibility a student has for their learning based on their age, maturity and degree of independence. Click here for more information.

To what degree do students choose what they learn?

Students have the opportunity to select sub-topics for their learning that fit into required major topics. For example, if they are studying Canadian history, they could choose to do a project about a particular historical figure or event. They would also get choice on how to learn about this sub-topic ranging from writing an essay to making a video.

Has PeBL changed the role of teachers in classrooms?

The role of teachers in classrooms has been evolving as long as schools have existed. Teachers have always worked to help students achieve their best results and PeBL is one of the most effective tools that has ever been developed in that regard. Many teachers have always provided students with opportunities to take responsibility for the own learning. PeBL provides a framework and supports to help teachers continue evolving.

Does the PeBL approach provide students will the “real world skills” they will need when they leave school?

The aim of PeBL is to prepare students for the real world by teaching them the skills that employers value most and that are necessary for anyone to function as a citizen in the 21st Century. Throughout their lives, students will need to use their voices to advocate for themselves and they will need to make choices. PeBL provides students with the opportunity to build and enhance these skills before they leave school.

Do Sun West students have adequate access to technology for every student to benefit from the PeBL approach?

Sun West is committed to making PeBL work for every students and accordingly the Board of Education commits substantial funding for the purchase and maintenance of technology in the Sun West annual budget. Students in every classroom have access to desktop and mobile devices and Sun West subscribes to a wide variety of educational web-based tools, programs and applications. Sun West has built the Sun West Distance Learning Centre, which is the largest online school in Saskatchewan. The DLC provides Sun West students with access to 180 K-12 courses and other resources at no cost.