Samantha's Mini-Course: Project-Based Learning
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How can we get students to gain a deeper understanding of class material and show us they understand?
In today’s classroom it seems and research has agreed that students learn best being hands-on in the classroom. As time goes on, the traditional structure of a classroom should be changing to foster additional ways in which students show their understanding of the content. In a project based learning classroom the teacher gives the students a “whole” concept and they must work together to find the “parts” of the content and bring it back together. The students are given resources, technology, support, and students must research concepts and apply them to their learning. Students are involved in multidisciplinary assignments and the classroom is centered on them, not the teacher.
A project based environment gives way for a classroom filled with student opportunities that help students gain better problem solving techniques, connecting and addressing real life issues, is facilitated by the teacher, and lets students take control of how and the best way of learning the instruction. Project based learning has been found to motivate students, encourage a deeper way of thinking and promote collaboration between students and teacher.
Project based learning is also very beneficial when students are able to create their own rubric for their projects. Creating a rubric decreases student confusion of what is expected and a clearer picture on what they are responsible for in their learning.