Magazine article Technology & Learning

Project Based Learning

Magazine article Technology & Learning

Project Based Learning

Article excerpt

Definition

In project-based learning, students work in groups to solve challenging problems. They decide on an approach and what activities to pursue. Their teachers guide and advise them rather than direct the work. The process that students use is to gather information from many sources, analyze the value of what they find, and derive knowledge from it. They learn by doing something real using such skills as collaboration and communication. At the end, students demonstrate what they know and are judged by how much they have learned and how well they can explain it.

Rationale

Solving problems, especially real ones, is motivating for students. Because they perform activities that are valuable in the real world, manage their own work and time, work with a team, and communicate with adults and experts, they learn more and remember more. These activities can address individual differences, variations in learning styles, intelligences, and student abilities and disabilities. Activities are constructive and allow students to build on what they know.

Conditions

The classroom has to be set up to support project based learning, both intellectually and emotionally. For example, students benefit from a risk-free environment in which they can use a variety of learning styles, learn from mistakes, and give and get honest, non-threatening feedback as they make decisions. There should be time to make sure they understand by using both performance-based and self-assessments. …

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