Unit 3: Extended Learning Opportunity
In this unit, learners may choose one of the following four options to extend their learning in the social sciences:
Regardless which option learners choose, some pre-planning will need to occur. Questions that need to be considered include the following:
Option 1: Learners may choose to address a specific area of interest or of local or regional significance through a project.
There may an area of specific interest to a learner applicable to the social sciences but that did not evolve as an area of study in the first two units. This could be something of personal interest to a learner or to a group of learners such as:
One example of a possible project is to develop a written report or audio-visual documentary of a person, place, or historical event in the community. Video or audio recordings, interviews, archival research, and/or an exploration of specifics sites could be part of the work plan. Learners could choose a topic such as an educational event, the opening of a new building, literacy within the community, or a community election. If video taping, they could choose a particular point of view and then develop a storyboard, planning such things as location, subjects, camera angles, and types of shots.
Commercials, infomercials, or public service announcements could be developed for the community. This would include research, writing, scripting, narration, storyboards, and shot lists.
A community member profile or documentation of a field trip could also be the subject of a documentary or report.
Some guidelines for appropriate projects can include whether the project is culturally focussed, community-based, learner-centred, and experiential. A project proposal including rationale, methodology or work plan, thesis or intent, and learning outcomes would need to be developed by the student, with the aid of the instructor. The instructor would need to agree that the proposal was of value with respect to the learning outcomes of the social sciences curriculum. The time allotment and assessment process would also need to be agreed upon.
Option 2: Learners may choose to engage in a more in-depth study of a particular topic or issue of concern already studied in one of the first units.
In this option, learners may have begun to learn about a topic in Units 1 or 2 that they wish to develop into a much larger, more in-depth study. The learner can request an area of study based on a written proposal including a rationale, work plan, outcomes, and assessment agreement. Again, it is at the instructor’s discretion to evaluate the merits of the learner’s proposal.
Learners may want to participate in a more in-depth study of:
For example, as part of the research into a discriminatory practice, the learner could find out why these discriminatory practices got started and how they evolved. They could research agencies and organizations in the community that help people fight discrimination. They could develop a petition or some other action involving advocacy for social justice.
These are just a few suggestions about how a learner can write a report or do a project on a topic suggested by previous study during the first two units of the social sciences course. The potential is unlimited, again, as long as the instructor and learner can agree that the project has merit in a social sciences curriculum.
Option 3: Learners may choose to explore a topic with the focus on an underrepresented core component.
In the event that one of the six core components (History, Power and Authority, Current Events, Aboriginal Content and Perspectives, Multicultural Perspectives, and Sense of Place) is underrepresented in the learner’s accumulated projects and research work, the instructor and learner may agree to address this through an exploration of a topic that focuses on the deficit core component.
For example, perhaps the learner has not developed an adequate understanding of the forces of power and authority in governance. The instructor and learner, in assessing the learners’ portfolio of accomplishments, notice this deficit and choose to address the problem through a specific project in Unit 3. Perhaps the learner is interested in the concept of political power. The project could include a comprehensive description of the legislative process in a representative democracy like Canada and how a bill becomes a law. The learner could illustrate how this process works by designing his or her own bill for Parliament. S/he could begin by finding a short newspaper or magazine article outlining a social problem, and then consider how the problem might be resolved. Identifying which interest groups or organizations will want to have input into the legislation before the bill is created is important because unless the bill has quite wide popular support, there is no power to enforce it. A questionnaire or survey could be designed to determine what the majority of citizens feel about the issue before the learner begins to actually write the bill.
Assessment strategies and evaluation formats are suggested in Part Five: Authentic Assessment under Evaluation of Extended Learning Opportunity Projects. It is important the instructor and learner agree to the criteria for this project before the work is begun. The work plan can be part of the assessment and should include a brief description of the topic, the methodology for investigation of this topic, possible sources of information about this topic, time allotment, and assessment plan.
Option 4: Learners may apply for unit credit through the Recognition of Prior Learning process.
This option allows the learner to gain recognition for learning that occurred in a non-formal or non-credit environment.
The decision for granting prior learning credit for Unit 3 (approximately 33 hours) lies with the instructor and the delivery organization. The delivery organization is required to maintain records for each prior learning credit that is granted. Refer to Appendix D for the record keeping form.
The following criteria need to be considered when granting credit for this unit: