Instructional Media


Project Based Learning
October 29, 2011, 11:30 am
Filed under: EDIM 502 Project Based Learning

This week we read articles and viewed accompanying videos which demonstrated project based learning in action (links are provided below).  These articles addressed a sampling of students ranging from first grade to high school.  Although the projects differed in subject matter and level of difficulty, there were common traits to each of their circumstances and designs.  Each of the viewed projects used skills learned from a variety of subjects.  The students might be working on a Geometry project to build a futuristic high school using math skills, but they were also using social skills (teamwork and predicting how society will need to utilize their “building”), reading, writing, speaking, and the sciences (geology, solar energy,etc.) in order to complete their projects.  Other commonalities were student access to and usage of technology, team driven work, the application of curriculum based learning into real-world situations, and a final presentation of the projects by the students.

The roles of the teachers and students are different in project based learning than in the traditional lecture based classroom setting.  Teachers plan the projects and then guide the students through their research and exploration, providing feedback and suggestions to assist the students on their journey.  The students work in teams to research and design elements of their projects which fit the criteria laid out by the teacher.  Teachers then help the students reflect on their work through guidance and group presentations.  Teacher, Eeva Reeder stated in the Edutopia article Geometry Students Angle into Architecture Through Project Learning, “We learn by doing and by thinking about what we’ve done. It’s like learning twice when you reflect.”

Based off of the three articles that we explored this week, it appears that project based learning increases student engagement and knowledge because students enjoy finding the information needed on their own rather than being told information through lectures, plus they actually use skills learned in class and apply them to real world problems instead of practicing by drills and memorization.

Links:

-“More Fun Than a Barrel of . . . Worms?!”– Diane Curtis, Edutopia 
http://www.edutopia.org/more-fun-barrel-worms

– “Geometry Students Angle into Architecture Through Project Learning” – Sara Armstrong, Edutopia
http://www.edutopia.org/geometry-real-world-students-architects

– “March of the Monarchs: Students Follow the Butterflies’ Migration” – Diane Curtis, Edutopia
http://www.edutopia.org/march-monarchs