In both project- and problem-based learning (PBL), students are pulled through the curriculum by a meaningful question to explore, an engaging real-world problem to solve, or a challenge to design or create something. Before they can accomplish this, students need to inquire into the topic by asking questions and developing their own answers. To demonstrate what they learn, students create high-quality products and present their work to other people. Students often do project work collaboratively in small teams, guided by the teacher.
Length of the project can vary.
Typical phases include a beginning, middle, and end.
Projects can take many forms.
A well-designed and well-implemented project helps students see how school connects to the outside world.
Project- and problem-based learning enable teachers to work more closely with students, acting like a coach instead of the deliverer of knowledge. Teachers are the project managers and are responsible for teaching the content knowledge and skills that students need. Teachers provide structured lessons, facilitate the inquiry process, and guide students through the process of creating products. Doing PBL doesn’t mean giving students free reign to do and learn what they want.
Project- and problem-based learning are student-centered. It’s a fundamental shift from a focus on teaching to a focus on learning. The process aims to use the power of authentic problem solving to engage students and enhance their learning and motivation. Typically, these learning styles conclude with the development of a project or artifact of some kind and results in possible solutions to problems presented.