Project-Based Learning (PBL) is a teaching-learning methodology, which facilitates and encourages learning by engaging students in real-time projects. PBL helps students acquire, understand, and apply knowledge and skills to have fulfilling personal and professional lives. Project-based education also helps students to improve their academic grades.
Reasons Why PBL Must Be Included in Academic Curriculum
Project-Based Learning can be used as a tool to deepen learning and develop skills among students. Yet, several academic institutions find project-based learning antithetical and are wary of adopting it as a part of their curriculum. Here, we list the benefits yielded by project-based learning that we have witnessed over time.
- PBL builds a deeper understanding of a subject and allows longer retention of the knowledge attained. The learnings are significant and realistic. In fact, even the theoretical lessons can be better understood with the help of project-based assignments. The projects deal with real-world problems, providing students with opportunities to apply their skills and learnings to new and actual situations.
- PBL helps students develop and demonstrate problem-solving skills. It assists students in the identification of critical problems of a project and finding solutions to those issues. Such problem-solving channels the temperament of the students. They learn to seek answers to problems that may arise in their lives beyond the project.
- PBL enables students to become better decision-makers. It teaches students how decisions taken while working on a project affect others and the task at hand. Understanding the consequences of decisions taken makes them good world citizens. A project on marine life can teach students about the impact of human decisions that have led to the degradation of water bodies.
- This multidisciplinary approach to learning promotes the integration of various topics into a single project. The projects stimulate students to think across varied content expanses. For instance, a project on robotics is a cross-curriculum assignment that would use multifaceted knowledge of maths, science, computer, and project management.
- PBL can be employed for classroom learning as well as virtual learning. It grants students the freedom to work remotely as an individual or collaboratively in a classroom. This method of learning promotes teamwork among students and helps them identify their interest areas.
- Project-based education makes students ready for the challenges that the future may hold. The world is constantly changing, and so are its challenges. We all are witness to how the COVID-19 pandemic transformed the way the global society functions. Project-based learning prepares students to utilize their skills and meet the demands of the ever-changing world.
- PBL builds stronger parent-child and teacher-student relationships. Students interact and work closely with their parents and teachers for a project. Such interaction helps in building stronger relationships based on trust and understanding. Students experience love, affection, care, protection, and warmth. Parents understand the way their children perceive things, and teachers are better equipped to expedite meaningful learning.
- With PBL, students are prepared to become a better future workforce. They interact with adults and businesses during the projects and understand the importance of effective communication. They take initiatives and behave as responsible individuals.
- PBL gives students a profound sense of purpose. They work on real projects, which helps them see their impact on the world and people. These projects may provide them with a purpose in life.
- Working in a community for PBL instills empathy in students and lets them witness the impact of a project on a community.
- PBL can be especially beneficial in bringing the underprivileged into the mainstream. Project-based learning nurtures a sense of self-worth and confidence in those who have been deprived of educational opportunities.
Selection of Effective PBL
Even with all its proven benefits, it can be very challenging to apply project-based learning to modern-day learning. Many are still of the opinion that PBL can never replace traditional learning. The truth, however, is that with the choice of a great project, PBL can be far more beneficial for the overall development of a student than conventional teaching methods. It must also continue to support academic achievements. A well-thought-out project will emphasize equally on proficiency in significant academic content. All in all, PBL can effectively improve the teaching-learning scenario.
Design of Effective PBL
Project-based learning modules are mostly designed to develop students’ technical skills and help them achieve academic excellence. Educators should further include features that enable students to develop a keen sense of compassion, empathy, tolerance, and equality. The projects must address major concerns that affect the world. They must help students identify their interests, talents, and potential. The projects must be implemented in a way that empowers students to enhance their creativity and voice their opinions. PBL must motivate them to become self-reliant as well as sociable. While designing an effective PBL, the present and future requirements of students, the outlook of parents and teachers, and the demands of the global society must be taken into consideration.
PBL can act as a transformative catalyst for students and help them revive the true essence and bliss of learning. Every student, irrespective of their socio-economic conditions or their demography, should have access to excellent PBL. Projects can make learning fun and easy. They will also help students gain better grades in their academics and, at the same time, prepare them for personal and professional success.
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