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What is Project Based Learning?


David Cook

on 22 February 2010

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Transcript of What is Project Based Learning?

What is Project Based Learning? PBL PBL is an Instructional Design Model in which... Projects are completed by learners But, how is that different from any other model
I mean working on projects is a pretty common idea in education... Specific kinds of projects Set in authentic, real world scenarios Designed to be highly relevant to learners And implemented so that the project work completly eliminates the presentation of information William Kilpatrick gets credit for introducing PBL to the field of instructional design back in 1918 He didn't like using the word project since project work was already prevalent in education To be honest, it has led to some confusion... He got the idea from his favorite philosopher in education, John Dewey Dewey didn't like the word project either, but, it stuck. Many of the ideas these men wrote about are still present in the modern
manifestation of Project Based Learning They wanted students to have
input into their learning process They wanted students to view learning as a part of meaningful life They wanted students to be fully
engaged in learning how to learn So, for a little while, a lot was written about this idea Then behaviorism became really popular Decades later, in the 60's, around the time computers took off,
there was a lot of interest in Project Based Learning in Europe Soon, the model became widely used in medical training For a number of reasons Medical professionals solve problems They are constantly confronted with new information They deal with complex and often unique real world scenarios Research showed that PBL is highly effective in medical training And then... very recently... around the time the internet became really useful PBL came back into the spotlight in American education Project Based Learning requires a resource rich environment Modern technology makes this feasible through Fast access to large amounts of current information Computerized simulations Readily available digital design tools How PBL is done (well): Start with the essential question ? This question is designed to engage the learners
in the whole hearted exploration of information Authentic Real world scenarios Information is provided as a resource Teacher is a facilitator,
not a presenter Relevant Students participate in the next phase, project design They define their roles within
a flexible framework They seek out additional resources They come up with creative solution ideas Multiple adequate solutions The schedule is created, and revised throughout the project Students are encouraged to linger on challenging aspects of the project Students participate in assessment Whole team rubrics are used... as well as team member rubrics and self assessments Students participate in the formal project evaluation Peer evaluation Self evaluation Project evaluation These six steps overlap: Pros: Students take ownership of their learning Students develop valuable team work skills problem solving skills information aquisition skills communication skills confidence long term retention of information Cons: Statistically significant gains in
quality of learning There is no difference between the standardized
scores of PBL learners and their traditional
counterparts PBL is expensive It requires training Infrastructure and resource rich environments and high quality essential questions are very difficult to come up with for the entire curriculum Many students who struggle in traditional
learning scenarios thrive in PBL So you may be wondering, With all of these great benefits... and the plummeting cost of information access... What do Chris Dede, Professor in Learning Technologies at Harvards Graduate School of Education, and Michael Geisen, 2008 National Teacher of the Year think? Presented by David Cook 2010
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