What is Project-Based Learning (PBL)?
Students design and complete an authentic project over an extensive period of time – usually as short as a week or as long as a semester, that involves answering a complex question or solving a real-world problem, often in their own community. Projects conclude with development of a product or presentation allowing students to exhibit their knowledge and skills.
As a result of participation in PBL, students move beyond surface knowledge developing “deep content knowledge” as well as critical thinking skill. Students also improve communication and collaborative skills. PBL allows for student voice and choice, which increase engagement and creative energy.
Further description of PBL can be found at bie.org
Why Project-Based Learning (PBL)?
Adapted from bie.org
- Makes school more engaging
- Improves learning
- Builds success skill for college, career, and life
- Helps address standards
- Integrates technology
- Makes teaching more enjoyable
- Connects students and schools with communities
- Promotes educational equity
- Authentic (real-world)
Research shows students are more engaged and learn at a deeper level when curriculum is authentic – when they can connect with it.
Students actively engage with PBL projects. Students can solve problems that are of interest to them and important for their communities.
A great project can transform students. Seeing that they have a real-world impact gives them a sense of purpose and desire to act beyond the limits of the project.
PBL projects lead to greater retention of content knowledge. Deeper content knowledge leads to students improved ability to apply what they know to new school and life situations.
Students enjoy using a range of technology tools to move from project research through product creation or presentation.
PBL allows students, with the guidance of learning coaches, to control their learning – from creation to completion. Students and learning coaches can track progress and skill/standards mastery, which provides for accountability at all levels.
The Research Behind Project-Based Learning
PBL is based on research.
Research shows PBL helps students make better decisions, improve academic achievement, and provides stronger motivation to learn.
Researchers at the University of Idaho and across the country are studying PBL. They are studying PBL for use with online education programs, the various benefits of PBL, and PBL in mixed-ability environments among other things.
Various research articles are available online at bie.org