Feb. 1, 2019
Here are some articles, blog posts, research studies, and other resources I’ve recently run across that relate to Project Based Learning.
How Learning Happens
This is a wonderful video series, informed by the work of Linda Darling-Hammond of the Learning Policy institute and Pamela Cantor of Turnaround for Children. Several of the short videos connect directly to PBL; all are worth watching.
It’s 2019. So why do 21st century skills still matter?
My co-author and Buck National Faculty member Suzie Boss surveys the education landscape today and reports that we still see “too many students sitting passively while teachers deliver instruction; too much technology is still used to replace routine tasks rather than turbo-charge the experience of learning.” She provides examples of strategies and resources for charting the way forward.
Group Work That Works
Excellent advice for many facets of managing student collaboration, such as assessing group work, supporting introverts, group size, norms, meaningful roles, and making sure everyone participates.
Student-Centered Learning and Student Buy-in
Inside Higher Ed
Here’s an interesting and encouraging study of college students that also applies to K-12 PBL. It found that “student resistance to curriculum innovation decreases over time as it becomes the institutional norm, and that students increasingly link active learning to their learning gains over time.” Love this quote: “a student said to her peer, ‘Oh, don’t take that class, it is just a lecture.’”
Assessments can support, not just measure, student learning
The Hechinger Report
This article describes the Assessment for Learning Project initiative, which “advocates assessment systems that empower students, lead to greater equity and deepen students’ skillsets by virtue of their design.” It is exploring portfolios and capstone projects as ways to assess the 4C’s that PBL teaches so well.
Tools for Project-Based Learning
Common Sense Education
A very helpful list of tech tools “that can help both teachers and students keep track of, finish, and assess projects.” Some are designed specifically for PBL, some are “plug-and-play PBL experiences.”
Teachers: Don’t Feel Guilty About What You Can’t Do. The System Needs to Change.
I really like Jennifer Poon’s point in this opinion piece, written in response to the recent teachers’ strike in Los Angeles: school structures and policies need to change to better support learner-centered education and PBL.
How to Find an Authentic Audience for Your Students’ Work
Kathleen Morris provides a helpful spectrum of six possible audiences for making student work public (one of our Gold Standard PBL Essential Elements), from classmates to family to distant students to joining global projects to publishing on the web.
6 Tips For Powerfully Integrated Projects
Teacher, blogger and Buck National Faculty member Mike Kaechele gives some practical guidance, based on personal experience, for handling the often-tricky task of designing and coordinating interdisciplinary PBL units.
Three Ways to Boost Collaboration in Student Projects
I missed this one back in October, but it’s another good one from John Spencer, with detailed, useful advice for PBL teachers: “Begin with ownership; Incorporate interdependence; Provide structure.”
Unpacking Equity in Passion Projects and Genius Hours
Tarrant Institute for Innovative Education
Katy Farber, drawing from her knowledge of students from low-income families in Vermont, makes a great point in this post that applies to PBL in general: “It’s important to consider kids’ lived realities: these are not homework projects because not all students have access to internet, materials, support and free time at home.”
Storyboarding Tips for Better Student Video Productions
Paul Langhorst offers excellent guidance for PBL teachers and students for projects that involve creating videos.
A platform to manage classroom projects and inquiries
This is a new outfit whose platform allows student and teachers to collaborate online and check the status of project tasks being worked on by each team member. They also have a growing catalog of CCSS-aligned K-12 projects.
Group Grading Conundrum: Contracts May Be the Answer!
A View of the Web
A teacher explains how she lets students take more control of their learning in group projects.