Based Learning is an instructional approach built upon authentic
learning activities that engage student interest
and motivation. These activities are designed to answer a question
or solve a problem and generally reflect the types of learning
and work people do in the everyday world outside the classroom.
Project Based Learning is synonymous with learning in depth. A
well-designed project provokes students to encounter (and struggle
with) the central concepts and principles of a discipline.
Project Based Learning teaches students 21 st century skills as
well as content. These skills include communication and presentation
skills, organization and time management skills, research and inquiry
skills, self-assessment and reflection skills, and group participation
and leadership skills.
Project Based Learning is generally done by groups of students
working together toward a common goal. Performance is assessed
on an individual basis, and takes into account the quality of the
product produced, the depth of content understanding demonstrated,
and the contributions made to the ongoing process of project realization.
Finally, Project Based Learning allows students to reflect upon
their own ideas and opinions, exercise voice and choice, and make
decisions that affect project outcomes and the learning process
Combining these considerations, we define Project Based Learning
|a systematic teaching method that engages students in
learning essential knowledge and life-enhancing skills through
an extended, student-influenced inquiry process structured
around complex, authentic questions and carefully designed
products and tasks.
The PBL-Online Approach to Successful Project Design
Although many teachers “do projects,” not all projects
lead to learning. To help teachers use Project Based Learning effectively
with their students (rather than simply “do projects”), PBL-Online
incorporates the project design methodology developed by the Buck
Institute for Education (link to www.bie.org). This
methodology yields projects that meet today’s standards for
accountability and teach students the academic content and the
21 st century skills they need for life success.
The BIE methodology is based on research in constructivist learning,
content mastery and critical thinking, and incorporates the project
management skills valued by today’s global industries. The
focus is on helping students move through an inquiry process that
stimulates their thinking, engages them in authentic tasks, and
demands demonstration of mastery.
The BIE model aligns closely with recent youth development research
and theory, and reflects current thinking about rigor, relevance,
and relationship as the keys to educational reform at the secondary
level. Both of these fields emphasize the importance of relationship-driven
classrooms where adult mentors help students engage more deeply
in the learning process and develop rigorous, positive attitudes
towards academic achievement.
To learn more about PBL, please visit the Buck Institute for Education(links
to www.bie.org) website. You will find: