Understanding Project-Based Learning in the Online Classroom
By: John Orlando, PhD
Also as a LinkedIn discussion: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/4249252/4249252-6101373957234049029
the main value of project-based learning is that it teaches students to ask the right questions. Traditional assignments predefine the information that the students will use. Project-based learning puts students into the position of having to determine what information they need by asking the right questions.
The online environment proves yet another benefit in that it allows for the possibility of creating public results, such as a blog or Wikipedia article. You can also create a class wiki to host the projects. Students are far more invested in work that will be seen by many others than they are in the traditional assignment that is seen by nobody other than the teacher.
Finally, project-based learning constitutes a kind of gamification of learning, and thus has the same benefits that are driving the gamification of education movement. Games allow for short-term failure on the way to a goal without long-term cost, multiple paths to success, and just-in-time information within context of a goal (Gee, 2003; Kiang, 2014).