My first attempt at Project Based Learning – Exponential Investment Project

I’ve been reading a lot about Project Based Learning – I’ll call it PjBL to differentiate from Problem Based Learning, which I refer to as PBL.  I’ve been wanting to incorporate PjBL into my math classes, but have really struggled.  One of my Ed. S. classes this semester will require me to create a project with  LoTi of level 4 or above.  So, in the shower this morning, all that thinking & reading started to come together. (Side bar – am I the only one who does their best thinking in the shower?) I’m sure others have created similar, better projects.  That’s ok.  I’m just excited that I’m actually STARTING to create!

I mentioned LoTi in the first paragraph.  LoTi stands for Levels of Technology Implementation.  There are 6 levels.  Level 4 and above is when the assignment/activity/project is more student directed and constructivist in nature.  Some links for LoTi: Loti Framework, LoTi Level Decision Chart, LoTi Sniff Test.

I’ve also been studying indicators of engagement in the same class.  Using this doc from my Prof as a guide, I think this Investment project would include the following indicators of engagement: standards-based, challenging, authentic/meaningful, student-directed, multi-disciplinary, culturally responsive (possibly), explorer, teacher, producer, facilitator, guide, co-learner/co-investigator, collaborative (if I have them do it in dyads), performance-based, seamless/ongoing.

So, my idea is that students research mutual fund investing, create their own investment portfolio using 3 mutual funds (1 high risk, 1 medium risk, and 1 low risk), and determine what they would have at retirement age of 65.  They would also work at analyzing if this were a true situation, would they keep all 3 until retirement age (most people would sell off the high-risk as they get older).  Additional questions I’ve been brainstorming center around the MV Mindset of Ethical Decision Making and having students analyze their spending, saving, and giving decisions based on this and their own faith tradition.  I know, not earth shattering or ground breakingly new, but new for me! Here is a link to the Google Doc where I’m starting to brainstorm and would happily welcome suggestions and/or links to similar projects,  The doc is set so that people can comment directly.  Thanks in advance for any feedback!


3 thoughts on “My first attempt at Project Based Learning – Exponential Investment Project

  1. Pingback: Alg2 – Investment Project for Exponential Growth part 1 – the docs | romathio

  2. awkytle

    I love that you are experimenting! Sounds like an engaging project. Some thoughts that come to mind:
    1. Is this an individual project, or will students team up to make choices?
    2. Are they investing for themselves or are they taking on the role of an investment advisor to someone, having to explain and describe the choices they recommend?
    3. Are their choices ethically driven or dependent upon “social choice;” that is, do their choices communicate what is important to them, or is the goal only to make the highest return?

    I like the layer of complexity that may arise if their risk aversion changes as they age, thus adjusting the portfolio.

    Look forward to hearing more about it as you experiment!


    1. romathio Post author

      Hi Angel! Thanks for your feedback and questions. Here are my answers.
      1. I’d like them to be in dyads for the project.
      2. Original plan was for them to invest for themselves and defend/explain their investment choices. Though in thinking through your question, I also like the role of investment advisor.
      3. I leave that up to them. On the google doc where I’ve been brainstorming, I have as part of the project that they will have to address the mindset of Ethical Decision Maker in explaining their investment choices.

      I’m continuing to modify and adjust, thanks to your feedback and that from Gary & TJ on the google doc. I’ve turned in my initial planning for my grad school assignment and have the final project due in a month. The bummer is I’ve already done this unit in class this year, so I won’t get to implement until next year!



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