Differentiated learning or just different learning?

Following up on my previous post, I’m left wondering about the degree to which students actually learned during the artificial organ project.  For instance:

One group discovered that the ACL actually runs through the middle of the knee and was a  key addition for their prosthetic to rest at a neutral position,

Another learned how a toilet worked and modeled their artificial stomach after it (with much trial and error over the flapper device),

Another used a variety of tools for the first time.  Seriously, this was an instance of Shopclass as Soulcraft  to borrow a phrase from  Matthew Crawford

Another  was dumbfounded by the intricacy of esophagus movement despite thinking they had pick the easiest organ to replicate,

Yet, no groups learned all of those things.  Was the project a success?

I do feel comfortable that each group could relate their project to the idea of structure and function.  This was partly facilitated by the use of a functional decomposition exercise.  The foot group for example determined that three toes was all that was necessary to balance and walk effectively.  Overall, though, the groups learned by doing which was the goal.  What it is that they learns was just a little unpredictable.  Below are a few 1 min presentations of some different projects.  What do you think…..Did they learn biology?


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