Project-based learning can be defined as learning that occurs within the context of a challenging project. Just as workers encounter complicated tasks in the workplace, students are presented with questions and problems that act as catalysts for learning. Projects usually extend over a few classes or weeks to help students acquire new, necessary knowledge and skill sets. In other words, instead of working on a small project for a week, projects build upon each other and can carry over from semester to semester as they facilitate the learning.
Long-term projects make it possible to personalize learning, achieve more active involvement by students in shaping their education, and enable more authentic assessment of what students have actually learned.
Project-based learning provides students with the opportunity to engage in real world situations that by their nature have no easy solution, or have no solution at the present time. Students learn to manage their time, interpret data sets, resolve value conflicts between group members and prepare and communicate the results of their investigation. In other words, they will use their experiences to learn to manage real life situations.
PBL empowers students as self-directed learners; by taking responsibility or their learning, students learn what they need to know. This aspect of PBL is crucial to developing active, intrinsically motivated, self-determined, lifelong learners. Project-based, constructivist learning emphasizes problem solving using the idea of an essential question as a starting point to set the stage for further questioning.
Great videos on PBL:
What Project Based Learning Is – http://howtovideos.hightechhigh.org/video/268/What+Project+Based+Learning+Is
What Project Based Learning Isn’t – http://howtovideos.hightechhigh.org/video/265/What+Project+Based+Learning+Isn%27t
Project-based Learning: Why do it? – http://ow.ly/50Ucz