“Knowledge is consequence of experience”, said Swiss Psychologist Jean Piaget. That’s so true! “Learning by doing” is the quickest way for us to absorb civilized achievements of humanity. In fact, people have to face many problems in the real world everyday. And solving real-world issues is development’s foundation. So, if we prepare learners for success in life, we need to prepare them for learning through project-based world. In that journey, we cannot miss Project-Based Learning, an approach that connects learners to the real world.
This blog post will offer you a closer look at Project-Based Learning and its benefits to explain why Project-Based Learning is a new range in education.
The Definition of Project-Based Learning
In general, Project-Based Learning or Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is a learner-centered teaching method. It gives learners the opportunity to expand knowledge base and develop skills through doing the project to solve the problems they may face in reality. PBL structures curriculum around discrete projects, presents learners with multi-step problem to solve or ask them complex questions they are required to answer. These projects are usually too large and complex for one learner to work alone. Therefore, PBL tends to encourage teamwork. Learners have to work in pairs or in groups, conduct research, analyze information and draw their own conclusions. As a result, they develop deep content knowledge as well as multi-skills in this modern world.
As we can see, PBL changed traditional teaching, passive learning and rote memorization. This approach motivates learners to participate actively in the learning process. It is better rather than just cramming the information to pass the final test. In addition, PBL is not a bad choice to make your eLearning more interactive and empowering your learners.
The Advantages of Project-Based Learning
In fact, PBL is more than just doing projects. The project is the vehicle for conveying the important knowledge and skills learners need to learn. In other words, a teacher plays the role as a facilitator to instruct and monitor learners in online classroom. And learners become active digital researchers or assessors of their own learning from the project making processes.
So, what benefits do PBL have to make it become a new range in education? Keep reading to find out of them.
1. Connecting Learners to the Real-life Context
In the land of education, putting knowledge into practice is one of the most important tasks of any learner. Obviously, reading documents or books is always easier than practicing. For example, it is easy as pie to read books or articles about living positively instead of actually practicing positive thinking all of the time. Now, in PBL, learners have to face real world situation simulated in the forms of the projects. To find the problem’s solution, learners need to ask the right questions. Then, finding the relevant information, conducting the survey about actual situation and analyzing the data.
For example, we have the project’s topic Protect the Environment with the driving question: How to reduce using plastic bags? It means that learners have to conduct a survey about the way their local residents use the plastic bags, their harmful effects and how to cut down on using them. That way, learners are connected to their real life, not just bookworms. As a result, learners absorb knowledge while doing and keep the positive attitudes toward education. Firstly, they will work individually to get the data. Next, learners can work together in an online environment to share information, discuss and complete the project. This environment provides additional flexibility in time and space. This two highly-valued resources often limited in face-to-face classroom.
2. Developing 21st Century Skills
Preparing learners for the world is not an easy task for any educator. There is no learner in the history of education is like today’s modern learner. As today’s fast-paced world quickly develops, it has become increasingly proof that children must develop a set of skills they may be demanded in college and work. These skills are called 21st Century Skills and they can be acquired via PBL.
When doing a project, learners have the opportunity to think outside the box. Simultaneously, working with others, achieving an agreement, learning how to effectively convey ideas among different personality types and more. In addition, to tackle the problem, learners’ll have to understand the facts, analyze the statistics and summarize collected data. To do well, learners have to use the computer competently. In other words, PBL helps learners develop skills for living in a knowledge-based, highly technological society. As a result, learners can solve every eLearning courses’ tasks in the future with ease. What’s more, learners become wiser, adapt to the world more effectively.
3. Raising Learners Voice and Choice
Raising learners voice and choice is a significant benefit of PBL. Undoubtedly, all of us have Self-actualization Needs, according to Abraham Maslow. That explains why people always desire to express their opinion to others. If learners aren’t able to use their judgment when tackling a problem and answering a driving question, the project just feels like doing an exercise. In PBL courses, learners can control over many aspects of the project, from the questions they generate, the time they manage, the resources they will use to find answers to their questions, to the tasks and roles they will take on as team members, the product they will create.
For example, if learners are interested in environmental problems, they can select the theme of the project such as protecting water resources, protecting wildlife being extinct or reducing air pollution. The online environment evidences another strong point in that it allows the possibility of producing public results, such as a video, a presentation, an article, a game or even an article. This way, learners’ work will be seen by many others than they are in the traditional classroom.
4. Evaluating Learners’ Outcome More Accurate
As said earlier, learners have to use many skills to do a project. Thus, facilitators are able to assess learners’ capabilities to observe, compile, analyze and summarize the data. To put it differently, facilitators have the greater opportunity to evaluate learners than essays or exams in the traditional classroom. The result of online classroom will become more meaningful when it is done for learner selves, not only for the teacher or the test.
“We do not learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience” (John Dewey). Throughout a PBL online course, it can reflect on what learners have learned, how they’ve learned and why they’ve learned. Plus, facilitators can give informative feedback for each learners’ project to help them do better in the future.
On the whole, the main advantages mentioned above provide a good case for the implementation of PBL. That’s why PBL is a powerful teaching method and becomes widely used in both real and virtual classes. Are you ready to participate any PBL online course? Effective PBL in the online classroom relies on teacher ability to design high-quality online content. Remember that you always have ActivePresenter companion with you. Download ActivePresenter today and design your own PBL course. Wishing you had great experiences with our eLearning authoring software. Don’t forget to visit our blog regularly to update more new e-Learning trends: Gamification, Blended Learning, Microlearning and more.