Project based learning ( PBL) is an instructional built on learning activities and real tasks that have brought challenges for students to solve. These activities generally reflect the types of learning and work people do in the everyday world, outside the classroom. PBL is usually carried out by a group of students who work together toward a common goal.
PBL not only teaches students content, but also important skills so they will be able to function like adults in the society. These skills include, communication and presentation skills, organization and time management skills, research and inquiry skills, self -reflection and assessment skills and critical thinking.
PBL allows students to reflect on their own ideas and opinions, and make decisions that affect project outcomes and the learning process in general. The final product results in high- quality, authentic products and presentations.
Students use technology and inquiry to respond to a complex issue, problem or challenge. PBL focuses on student centred inquiry and group learning with the teacher acting as a facilitator, as opposed to the one in charge.
Activities match as nearly as possible the real-world tasks of professionals in practice rather than classroom- based tasks. Students begin to stop asking what the world can do for them, but rather ask themselves what they can contribute to the world. It not only allows for real world collaboration- it fosters it. Because they are involved in real-world project work, they have opportunities to work with experts, industry professionals, school and community leaders and, non-profit organizations.
Lastly, PBL allows a range and diversity of outcomes open to multiple solutions, rather than a single correct reply obtained by applying predefined rules and procedures.
Author: Catherine Perri – JUMP Trainer