What Is Project-Based Learning and Why Use It?

Project-based learning can be a powerful tool to build student engagement and deeper learning.

Project-based learning (PBL) is an innovative and engaging way for students to learn that involves connecting knowledge and skills to real-world problems and tasks. It helps students become more engaged with their learning by placing the focus on solving a problem or creating a project as opposed to memorizing facts and taking tests.

How PBL Helps Student Learning

In PBL, students are presented with real-world problems or projects, which can be based in any subject area, from humanities to science. By working in teams on these tasks, they are able to connect their learning with the greater world around them.

This helps them develop key skills such as collaboration, problem-solving, communication, organization and critical thinking. When students are presented with complex tasks that require them to research, think critically and synthesize information, they become active participants in their own education rather than passive recipients of knowledge.

In addition to developing important life skills like creative thinking and decision-making, project-based learning also enables students to make meaningful connections between concepts learned in school and content areas outside of the classroom.

Through projects that take place both within the classroom walls and out into communities around the world, students learn how different aspects of society interact with one another while gaining valuable perspectives on global issues. By researching these topics and considering their own stake in it all, they gain an understanding of how their decisions affect the larger community at large.

PBL and Differentiated Instruction

Furthermore, project-based learning allows teachers to provide differentiated instruction depending on the needs of individual students. Tasks can be modified according to students' strengths and weaknesses so that every student feels successful in completing the task at hand while challenging themselves along the way.

Projects can be tailored so that each learner is engaged no matter what level they are working at while accommodating diverse modes of expression such as visual arts or media literacy activities.

Summing Up PBL

Project-based learning encourages higher-order thinking skills as well as personal responsibility for one’s own learning outcomes. Students learn: 

  • How to set goals for themselves and self-regulate
  • Work together collaboratively
  • Use resources effectively
  • Practice creative problem solving
  • Analyze data
  • Communicate findings clearly
  • Understand different perspectives;
  • Create original products or performances
  • Make informed decisions about their learning process
  • Reflect deeply on what they have discovered during their research journey
  • Create final products from start to finish and assess how successful it was upon completion.

To learn more about how Propello can help educators incorporate more PBL into their classrooms and more, visit our Knowledge and Inspiration Center and see how we help learning soar!