Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Is BLearning a Good Tool for Project Based Learning (PBL)?

First of all, we must define what PBL is. According to Buck Institute for Education (BIE), Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to a complex question, problem, or challenge.

The PBL Essential Elements include:
  • Significant Content - At its core, the project is focused on teaching students important knowledge and skills, derived from standards and key concepts at the heart of academic subjects. Which is related to all types of study.
  • 21st century competencies - Students build competencies valuable for today’s world, such as problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity/innovation, which are explicitly taught and assessed.
  • In-Depth Inquiry - Students are engaged in an extended, rigorous process of asking questions, using resources, and developing answers.
  • Driving Question - Project work is focused by an open-ended question that students understand and find intriguing, which captures their task or frames their exploration.
  • Need to Know - Students see the need to gain knowledge, understand concepts, and apply skills in order to answer the Driving Question and create project products, beginning with an Entry Event that generates interest and curiosity.
  • Voice and Choice - Students are allowed to make some choices about the products to be created, how they work, and how they use their time, guided by the teacher and depending on age level and PBL experience.
  • Critique and Revision - The project includes processes for students to give and receive feedback on the quality of their work, leading them to make revisions or conduct further inquiry.
  • Public Audience - Students present their work to other people, beyond their classmates and teacher.

All of these Essential Elements can be easily achieved with a good ELearning platform, plus the aid of classmates and teachers. But, how can we "attach" these Essential Elements in a good practice environment?. The answer is in the kernel of BLearning.

As can be read in a previous post (About the Project). The method dates from 1999, but never defined quality standards. Nowadays different learning methods are emerging. But we need, the most attractive for the learners.

One of the most attractive is PBL because of the use of competences and all its Essential elements can be achieved with a useful tool as the BLearning is. But, first of all, we need to define the quality criterias for this tool. And this is the aim of the project.

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