Project based learning
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Project Based Learning. What is it?. An extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem or challenge It is often situated learning Projects are carefully planned, managed and assessed Key skills are collaboration, communication and critical thinking

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Project Based Learning

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Project based learning

Project Based Learning


What is it

What is it?

  • An extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem or challenge

  • It is often situated learning

  • Projects are carefully planned, managed and assessed

  • Key skills are collaboration, communication and critical thinking

  • Focus on creating authentic responses and knowledge

  • The idea of “learning by doing” was first promoted by John Dewey (1897)


Answering the driving question

Answering the driving question

  • The driving question is open ended

  • Students need to used Higher Order Thinking skills

  • Students need to work as a team

  • Requires critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration and communication


Inquiry in the learning process

Inquiry in the learning process

  • Develop and ask questions

  • Search for answers

  • Arrive at conclusions

  • Use these conclusions to construct something new: an idea, interpretation or product

  • The teacher is merely a facilitator- students are responsible for their own inquiry


Pbl vs traditional didactic approaches to learning

PBL vs Traditional didactic approaches to learning

  • Traditional approaches present students with knowledge and concepts. Students must gain these to reach opportunities to apply them

  • PBL starts with a vision of the end product/ presentation/idea. Students create a context, and are engaged by developing a reason to learn and understand the information and concepts needed to complete the project


Advantages of pbl

Advantages of PBL

  • Students are giving a voice in the learning process, learning to work independently and in teams, and must take responsibility for their project and learning

  • Students give and receive feedback during the process, to improve the final project outcomes (e.g. product)

  • Students are asked to reflect upon what and how they are learning, to improve their critical thinking and self evaluation skills

  • Students gain a deeper understanding of the key concepts and knowledge in a project


Some more advantages

Some more advantages…

  • Projects can have real life applications, making the content more relatable for students

  • Students can improve their time and project management skills

  • Student social skills are enhanced


Disadvantages of pbl

Disadvantages of PBL

  • Social loafing as described by Hye-Jung and Cheoli (2012), where some team members perform insufficiently, requiring other team members to pick up the slack

  • Social loafing can also lead to project standards being lowered to maintain team cohesion and congeniality

  • Social dynamics are not always assessed, despite these having a direct impact on the completed project

  • PBL is not applicable in all subject areas, such as in skills based subjects like Math (however it is highly useful in TAS subjects)


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