What is PBL?

This week in my EdTech 542 class we learned about what is PBL or Project Based Learning and concerns surround a PBL environment. We had to choose one set of discussion questions to answer and then respond back to three other classmates. I chose to answer the Group 2 set of questions.  Here is my response:

  • Describe qualities of a successful project.  In my opinion, successful project qualities are student engagement, students asking questions of each other, and their overall grades. When students are engaged in a project they lose time, they forget they are in a classroom, and they are open minded to what may come at the end of the project. Engagement leads to the students asking questions and WANTING to find the answers; and I am referring to the questions not asked being asked by the teacher. Then finally, the overall grade. Students that are engaged and ask questions typically perform better on the tasks that are graded.

  • What issues must a teacher consider that are specific to PBL instructional strategies? One of the most apparent issues is placement of students. There are many factors that need to be considered such as, the student’s learning ability, and does the student have a take charge personality or more of a follower. Then the teacher has to take in to account if the students will get along at all or TOO well. Knowing their students is imperative for a teacher before they implement a PBL environment. 
  • What types of students will be successful in PBL environments? All types of students can be successful in a PBL environment. It is a matter of placement. Students thrive when they do not feel intimidated. However, the teachers have a big issue if they place very strong students with some that are not as strong. Depending on the type of roles the teachers want the students to take on in the group, will ultimately determine the success of the student.

I feel it is highly important to keep the students’ personalities and abilities in mind when trying to implement a PBL. Other considerations are what outcomes are you, the teacher, seeking; what is the purpose of incorporating the PBL. Many factors are in play when determining the success of PBL, remembering the students, to me,  is the most important.


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