Project-Based Learning (PBL)

Course description

In this course you will carry out projects, individually, in pairs or small groups, into global issues and problems that interest you, and how they impact local communities and people you know. Problems might include investigating fairtrade products in local businesses, exploring local government support for minorities, looking at people’s attitudes and concerns about artificial intelligence in daily life, finding out how local organisations are putting into action Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and so on. You will do a minimum of 3 projects in one year (at least two in the spring semester and one in the fall), with journaling a key continuous process in each project. 

Your research will include gathering information and making notes from both material (e.g., books, library, documents, audio-visual materials) and online sources (e.g., web searches, databases, other e-sources, including online videos and podcasts) in order to develop your understanding. You will also talk with “close others” (other students, family members, people in local communities, or local networks that you belong to). At the end of each project, you will create a product (e.g., an academic essay, blog posts, an opinion piece, visual report, or webpage) that can reach an audience beyond your class (e.g., with other classes, in public spaces, and/or in web-based products) so that you can share results from your project with other people. 

この科目では、個々の学生が関心を持ったグローバルな諸問題に関してプロジェクトを遂行し、それらが身近なコミュニティや周囲の人々にどのような影響を与えるかについて、ペアやグループワークを通して探究します。プロジェクトの例として、地域に根差したビジネスとフェア・トレード製品をテーマに調査したり、地方自治体とマイノリティ支援策、日々の生活におけるA I活用の課題、地方自治体が主導する持続可能な目標の実践例など、他にも様々なテーマが考えられます。1年間のコースでは、3つ以上のプロジェクトを遂行し(春学期2つ秋学期1つ、以上)、調査の過程や結果などを逐次記録することが求められます。 


Autumn Semester

Research Cycle 3 (Weeks 1~5): Editorials, Opinions, Calls for action 

PBL_Class 01: Review the spring semester and develop goals for the fall semester. Choose global issues that affect/involve Japan for Cycle 3 on 09/25/2023.

Develop starter questions, and find “overview” sources. 

PBL_Class 02: Focus on communities/regions within Japan on 10/02/2023. 

PBL_Class 03: Collect personal stories; research local actors on 10/09/2023. 

PBL_Class 04: Have conversations with friends, family members, part-time work colleagues, etc. to explore diverse perspectives, opinions, and views on the issue on 10/16/2023

PBL_Class 05: Complete editorial, opinion piece, or call-for-action on 10/23/2023.

Research Cycle 4 (Weeks 6~14): Visual Reports, Websites, Forums 

PBL_Class 06: Choose a global issue involving Japan. Starter questions and “overview” sources on 10/30/2023. 

PBL_Class 07: Form small groups around loosely connected research areas: compare sources, and notes. Each week: Share research within the group + discuss with students outside of the group on 11/13/2023

PBL_Class 08: Develop knowledge of the issue globally on 11/20/2023

PBL_Class 09: Focus on local communities/groups within Japan on 11/27/2023

PBL_Class 10: Focus on solutions and suggestions for improving the issue on 12/04/2023

PBL_Class 11: Putting all the group content together in sections on 12/11/2023. 

PBL_Class 12: Outline and the first draft of individual work; develop the group’s shared platform for members to upload work on 12/18/2023. 

PBL_Class 13: Build the website before the New Year in groups. Align format and upload individual work to the shared platform and share it with Stacey. 

PBL_Class 14: Feedback and final reflections; semester review 01/15/2024.

Spring Semester

PBL Class 01: Course Introduction and Requirements; Identifying Interests and Setting Goals. Students start exploring the course website for the first research cycle on 04/10/2023

PBL Class 02: Researching Globally: Based on the issue you chose in Class 01 on 4/17/2023

PBL Class 03: Focus on One or Two Affected Communities on 04/24/2023

PBL Class 04: Collect Local Stories From Communities on Your Issue on 05/08/2023

PBL Class 05: Actors on the Issue (NGOs, local NPOs, Activists) on 05/15/2023

PBL Class 06: Outline and First Draft of your Narrative on 05/22/2023

PBL Class 07 & Class 08: Finalize Your Research Narrative Blogs on 05/29/2023 & 06/05/2023

PBL Class 09: Your Academic Blog Going Live: An Easier Blog on 06/12/2023

PBL Class 10: Blogging and an Introduction to Cycle 2 on 06/19/2023

PBL Class 11: Cycle 2 Blog Slideshow Practice for Group 1 on 06/26/2023

PBL Class 12: Cycle 2 Blog Presentations for Group 1 & Slideshow Practice for Group 2 on 07/03/2023

PBL Class 13: Cycle 2 Blog Presentations for Group 2 on 07/10/2023

PBL Class 14: Surveys and Reflections for the Spring Semester on 07/17/2023