What is Project Based Learning?

by / Monday, 21 October 2013 / Published in Project Based Learning

PBL
Imagine you walk into a high school computer science classroom. There are no textbooks, posters of charts, vocabulary words to endlessly memorize. But the classroom is full of happy, buzzing students spread around the room BUILDING their computers. The teacher is wandering around, answering any questions that appear, and explaining to a pair of students what a set of component’s particular job is. Everyone is LEARNING.
Revolving around singular, educational project, that is applicable to the real world.

How can this form of Project-based learning be productive?
Project-based learning is a real concept that is being grasped by some schools around the nation. The concept centers around avoiding the following: heavy textbook use, memorization of the information and lecture sessions by a teacher. By avoiding these or simply by using those three particular things in a classroom as an aid to learning instead of a method, offering students an alternate, hands on learning alternative has been found to have a surprising outcome.

Students are more engaged and creative in their activities.
With a hands on, project-based approach to learning, students get a chance gain a personal connection to their projects and make it individualized. Especially since it is now recognized that people can have different styles of learning, such as visual or hands on, the project-based learning style can be productive for all types. Students also have an opportunity to thrive in certain subjects, perhaps even finding more out about their hobbies and skills, making it easier in the future to choose a personally satisfying career path.

Increasing their communication skills among their peers and their educators.
If we take the computer science classroom for example, the difference between a teacher standing at the front of the class and lecturing that the A wire connects to the B wire to make the X wire functional is nothing like giving that same class each their own computer and allowing them to find out on their own that connecting the A and C wires does NOT make X functional.
Once a failure or a success has been announced, the teacher is able to then begin a commentary with their students: What happened when A and B connected and X was finally functional? Why did A and C reject X? Did it make Q functional instead? What were the results? Could they have been different?

Students have a better, more complete grasp on concepts introduced to them.
Concepts in the spoken word or that have memorize are difficult to grasp because they are just that: concepts. Having something students can apply the concept to, that they can see happening right in front of them does not only sink it in, but will make it easier for their mind to recall in the future.

Project-based learning could be and should be the increasing popular face of education. It gets students involved, responsible and excited about their own learning and can give them experience and skills that they can apply to things, conversations and issues in the future.

Have you ever uses Project-based learning? Do you think it’s beneficial learning?

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