The earlier model of Learning that engaged students passively in academics no more fit in the present scenario. Students must broaden their horizon and think out of box to solve challenging questions in the pursued field. This makes them competent with bag of unique ideas and tips thus helping them survive in today’s world. This unique approach of learning can be obtained only through Project based learning.
PBL is a recent idea executed in education that involves students in team-work and collaborative learning by exposing them to real world challenges. There are number of benefits that students can gain from project based learning- Encouraging students, preparing them for better future, teaching them tricks to overcome college challenges, helping students perform excellently on test, examination, and much more.
BIE defines project-based learning as “a systematic teaching method that engages students in learning knowledge and skills through an extended inquiry process structured around complex, authentic questions and carefully designed products and tasks.” This process can last for varying time periods and can extend over multiple content areas.
Ronald Marx (1994) – project-based instruction often has a “‘driving question’ encompassing worthwhile content that is anchored in a real-world problem; investigations and artifacts that allow students to learn concepts, apply information, and represent knowledge in a variety of ways; collaboration among students, teachers, and others in the community so that participants can learn from one another; and use of cognitive tools that help learners represent ideas by using technology…”
Encouraging students: Students begin their elementary classes with the idea and urge for learning new and interesting thing. At this time period students learn the way information’s are presented. If they are restricted only to the curriculum, they fail to get the logic behind the information and therefore are unable to draw the link between the information with the real world. Slowly the curriculum gets monotonous and they remain engaged in listening to teacher lectures, writing assignment, homework etc. Also students complain about irrelevant content and the lack of interaction with tutor. So PBL comes with a completely new idea of learning. PBL helps students to be ingenious and unite obtained facts and information with the real world. The information so obtained becomes useful source of raw material for their future Usage. Moreover project based learning engage students in group discussions and projects, presentations, debates, lessons that require use of technology and much more that make learning interesting and fun.
According to a survey, it is proven that by implementing PBL, it became easy for teachers to manage the classroom. Students who used to find classroom environment boring and dull got enthusiastically involved in small group discussions and projects. Also those students who conducted mischievous activities in the class got engaged in more responsible task and practical activities. Therefore students learn and understand things more clearly trough project based learning. Complex, Challenging, interesting, interactive and engaging distinguish project based learning from traditional method of learning. So, PBL pushes student to discover their skills and interests and work to sharpen them thus creating an impact on the real world.
Facing college challenges: Students need to get prepared for college during their schooling level. Preparing for college starts right from selection of course to accepting challenges in college. Also the attitude and way to deal with challenges are key factors that make an individual distinguish from rest. Therefore some of the skills that a child develop in project based learning are:
- Critical thinking
- Fluency in communication
- Good writing
- Time management
- Team work
- Able to draw interference
- Open to failures and feedback and much more.
Since students require more than academic course for a successful career, the above mentioned skills can be obtained with the help of PBL. It is worth thinking that can traditional method of learning that involves student participation only in listening and writing meet this standard?
Undoubtedly most of the parents and educators are mostly concerned about the progress and growth of children. They may come up with a question, “when students need to attend lectures and take notes in college, why should they go for PBL”? With this they mean that students must be centered to academic course of taking notes and listening to teachers because college students need to do the same. Surely note taking and listening to educators play a significant role in success of student, but with PBL; student get the package of entire thing. There is a room available for lecture where students are delivered the authentic need for knowing the topic. Besides this in college and after graduating; students need to face the real world where personal growth and knowledge is given equal importance. Also students will be asked to work in a team and they also need to interact with people for accomplishment of project. These needs can be hardly accomplished through academic or traditional learning but when project based learning is implemented, the gap between learning and development is bridged and thus students who have completed multiple projects in school get wider opportunities and better career options.
Qualifying test and competitive examination: From time to time students need to give rigorous test and examination that are not restricted to their curriculum. The competitive examinations analyze student aptitude and skills along with coherent knowledge. In traditional learning method, students aren’t exposed to all this facet of practical challenges. But in case of Project based learning, students take part in debates discussions, solving tricky questions that altogether sharpen their skills and knowledge. Thus skills such as leadership, decision making, answering tricky questions etc. can be acquired with PBL.
In this world of robotics, one who is capable and skillful in every respect can set a unique image and can dig the path of success and this opportunity can be grabbed with project based learning.