How Does Project-Based Learning Work?
Project-based learning, like any lessons, necessitates a significant amount of preparation and planning. It all starts with a thought and an important question to ponder. When developing the project and the central topic that will serve as the starting point for the activities, it is vital to keep in mind that a wide range of content standards will be addressed. Create a plan that incorporates as many subjects as feasible into the project while keeping these guidelines in mind.
Keep in mind what tools and resources will be available to pupils in the classroom. Following that, pupils will require aid with time management, which is a necessary life skill. Finally, provide your students with a variety of ways to be evaluated upon completion of the project: Did the pupils gain a thorough understanding of the material? Were they able to put their newfound knowledge and abilities to use? These rubrics are often developed with the help of students, according to many educators.
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Eeva Reeder, a geometry teacher, designed and implemented a project for her students in the field of architecture.
Here are the actions to take to adopt PBL, which are listed below:
- Begin by posing the most important question possible.
- Create a plan for the project and a timetable for its completion.
- Keep track of the students’ progress as well as the progress of the project.
- Evaluate the Final Result
- Evaluate your own experience.
- Begin by posing the most important question possible.
- The question that will serve as the starting point for a PBL class must be one that will pique students’ interest.
- It is far more important than the task at hand. It is an open-ended question. It will present an issue or a circumstance that they can deal with, but also acknowledge that there is no single solution or resolution.
Start with the Essential Question
“Perhaps the most powerful technology we have ever invented is the ability to ask questions. We can make sense of a complicated reality by asking questions and asking more questions. They are the instruments that lead to greater awareness and comprehension.” the author Jamie McKenzie’s novel The Question Mark
Take a topic from the real world and conduct an in-depth inquiry into it. Consider basing your inquiry on a real-life scenario or issue. What exactly is going on in your classroom? Do you have a community? Choose a question that is related to an issue that students will believe they are having an impact on by responding to it. Make it relevant to their needs. This should be a question that is relevant right now in your students’ life — one that they can think about right now.
The Buck Institute for Education (BIE) provides a fantastic video on how to “Craft the Driving Question,” which is one of many other excellent resources for understanding problem-based learning. A blog entry by BIE consultant Andrew Miller for Edutopia.org, How to Write Effective Driving Questions for Project-Based Learning and How to Refine Driving Questions for Effective Project-Based Learning, was published recently.
Suzie Boss, a PBL blogger for Edutopia.org, describes several project kickoff ideas in her post, How to Get Projects Off to a Flying Start.
Design a Plan for the Project
It is critical to consider which content standards will be handled while developing the project’s architecture. Involve the kids in the planning process; when they are actively participating in decision-making, they will experience a sense of ownership over the project. Select activities that are relevant to the question and that make use of the curriculum, thereby assisting in the process. Attempt to incorporate the greatest number of subjects into the assignment as possible. Determine what materials and resources will be made available to students to assist them in their studies. Prepare to go deeper into new themes and new issues that develop as the students get more actively involved in the active pursuit of answers as they progress through the course.
Create a Schedule
Create a schedule for the project’s various components. Realize that there will be adjustments to the schedule at some point. Continue to be flexible, but ensure the kids understand that a point will come at which they will be required to conclude their thoughts, observations, and evaluations. When constructing a schedule, keep the following considerations in mind:
“We must be familiar with the curriculum. We need to be familiar with the standards from top to bottom. Even though it appears that the children are doing all of the hard work, there is a great deal of preparation that takes place to ensure that the work is available for them.” The following is an interview with Patty Vreeland, kindergarten and first-grade teacher at Newsome Park Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia.
What time frame will be set aside for the project’s completion?
Will this project be carried out throughout the school day or will it be carried out during specific blocks of time?
The project will take up how many days of your time?
Practice the following strategies to increase your chances of success:
- Students who may not be aware of the passage of time can benefit from your assistance.
- Establish benchmarks.
- Provide pupils with clear instructions on how to manage their time.
- Instruct them in the proper scheduling of their tasks.
- It is important to remind them of the chronology.
- Assist them in setting deadlines.
- Maintain simplicity and age appropriateness in the essential question.
- Organize projects that will allow all pupils to achieve success in their studies.
- Also, enable students to explore alternative paths, but lead them when they appear to be straying from the project’s goals. Request that students explain their thinking when a group appears to be headed in a different path. They might have an idea for a solution that you haven’t thought of yet. Help the children stay on track,
- but avoid mistakenly placing restrictions on them.
To learn more about project-based learning scheduling, read Andrew Miller’s guest blog post How to Build a Calendar for Project-Based Learning.
Monitor the Students and the Progress of the Project
Keep track of the students’ progress as well as the progress of the project.
These procedures should be followed to retain control without preventing pupils from accepting responsibility for their work:
- Facilitate the learning process and instill a passion for learning.
- Teach the pupils how to collaborate.
- Members of the group should be assigned variable roles.
- Students should be allowed to choose their major roles, but they should also be expected to take responsibility and participate in all group activities.
- Remind them that every step of the process belongs to them as individuals and that each student’s full participation is required.
- Provide information, resources, and guidance.
- Create team and project rubrics to help you evaluate the process.
- Organizing, tracking progress, and maintaining a focus on the problem rather than becoming overwhelmed by its aspects may become increasingly important as the number of ideas to explore or the number of procedures that must be followed grows. —Phyllis P. Blumenfeld and colleagues, “Motivating Project-Based Learning:
- Sustaining the Doing, Supporting the Learning,” in “Motivating Project-Based Learning: Sustaining the Doing,
Supporting the Learning.” publication for educational psychologists
Assess the Outcome
The following are the expectations of each team member as stated in the team rubric: Keep an eye on the dynamics of the group. What is the level of participation among the members? What level of participation do they have in the process? Take a look at the outcome.
Rubrics for projects, on the other hand, pose the following questions: What is required to bring the project to a successful conclusion? What is the final product: What is the final product: Is it a document? Is it possible to have a multimedia presentation? Is it a poster? Is it possible to use a combination of products? What does a well-written report, multimedia presentation, poster, or other product appear to be like? Make sure that the requirements are understood by the pupils so that they can all achieve success.
Discovery Education provides a fantastic resource, which includes a selection of assessment rubrics and graphic organizers that you can use to help you build your assessments.
Evaluate the Final Result
Assessment serves a variety of purposes. It
- gives input for diagnostic purposes
- aids in the establishment of standards by educators
- permits one to analyze one’s progress and compare one’s progress to that of others.
- provides students with feedback on how well they comprehended the lesson and what they should work on improving.
- enables the teacher to plan lessons to educate more effectively.” “
- Teaching is the primary focus of project-based learning, which involves students in investigations. Students pursue solutions to nontrivial problems within this framework by posing and refining questions, debating
- ideas, making predictions, designing plans and/or experiments, collecting and analyzing data, drawing conclusions, communicating their ideas and findings to others, and creating artifacts (for example, a model, a
- report, a videotape, or a computer program).” in collaboration with Phyllis P. Blumenfeld and others,
- “Motivating Project-Based Learning: Sustaining the Doing, Supporting the Learning,” is the title of a paper published by the American Educational Research Association. publication for educational psychologists
- Whenever possible, provide students with the option to undertake self-assessment exercises. A student-teacher conference should be scheduled when a student’s assessment and the teacher’s assessment do not agree. This
- meeting should allow the student to explain in greater depth his or her comprehension of the topic and to defend the outcome.
Edutopia.org Suzie Boss, a PBL blogger, also created a fantastic post on culminating events, which can be found at How to End Projects on a High Note.
Evaluate the Experience
Evaluate your own experience.
In the hectic routine of the school day, there is little time for reflection, although reflection is a critical component of learning. How can we expect our children to synthesize new knowledge if they are not allowed to pause and think about what they have learned? We teachers, on the other hand, do not give ourselves enough time to do so. Schedule a period for deliberation on the previous day’s events. Individual contemplation, such as journaling, as well as group reflection and conversation, should be encouraged. Give suggestions for improvements and validate what students have learned. (For example, validate what students have learned and make suggestions for changes.)
Follow these measures to ensure that your self-evaluation is effective:
Take some time to reflect on your actions, both individually and as a group.
Feelings and experiences should be shared.
What worked well should be discussed.
Talk about what needs to be changed.
Share your thoughts, which will inevitably lead to new questions and new projects.