Project Based Learning (PBL)

What is Project Based Learning?

Project Based Learning is a rigorous, relevant and engaging education model that promotes self-directed learning. Project Based Learning makes learning relevant and useful to students by establishing connections to life outside the school community, addressing real world concerns and developing real world skills. Research confirms that Project Based Learning is an effective way to learn in order in deepen the learning experience of each student.

The implementation of Project Based Learning redefines the classroom environment as Educators are no longer distributors of knowledge, but they are participants in the learning process with the students. Now more than ever, the Educator is critical to the development of a student. A successful education requires the ability to find relevant information from multiple sources, analysing the information for validity, sharing that information with others and publishing the information in new and engaging ways. Through each project, Educators play a vital role in the development of these skills in each student.


Why do we use Project Based Learning at Marist?

At Marist we are committed to having the student at the centre of all learning experiences. We believe the most effective way to ensure the student is at the centre of learning is to adopt a Project Based Learning approach built on the Australian Curriculum. Project Based Learning enables each student to engage in learning at his/her ‘point of need’ in order to further develop their skills as an independent learner.

Students who participate in Project Based Learning are more likely to become lifelong learners. They gain increased motivation towards their own education because Project Based Learning provides opportunities for students to pursue their own interests and questions and make decisions about how they will find answers and solve problems.

The ability to collaborate and work as a team is a skill that is imperative in any environment, including that of the Educators. Project Based Learning creates an environment where students learn how to collaborate and their social skills improve. They are more confident talking to groups of people including adults. Consequently, students who participate in Project Based Learning will develop collaborative skills.

Education is not just about content coverage, but about the development of essential skills that will prepare our students for the post-school work.


What skills are developed in Project Based Learning?

Project Based Learning focuses on helping students gain experience, understanding and developing new skills that will benefit them in the future.

In each project, students are assessed on both level of understanding and skills such as:

Work Ethic – ability to use initiative, effective organisational skills and willingness to support others

Presentation Skills – ability to effectively communicate when presenting to an audience

Written Communication – ability to use appropriate written techniques in multiple forms

Teamwork – ability to work in groups, share ideas, perform different roles and promote positive group environment

Evaluation– ability to critique work and reflect on feedback from a variety of sources

What is the role of Technology in Project Based Learning?

Technology is an important facet of the 21st Century. The internet has changed the way in which we acquire knowledge; we can now learn ‘anything, anytime, anywhere’. Marist College uses technology as a tool to assist in the delivery of the curriculum. It must be stressed that technology is only a tool and Project Based Learning could be implemented without technology. However, the way in which technology is used enriches the learning of our students.


How are projects assessed at Marist?

In Project Based Learning, students are assessed more frequently than in a traditional classroom. This provides both teachers and students with the necessary feedback required to achieve sound educational progress. Throughout each project, students are required to complete a series of tasks known as Benchmarks, in addition to the End Product. The overall assessment of each project, covers content outcomes and also a selection of school wide learning outcomes. These school wide learning outcomes include Work Ethic, Presentation Skills, Teamwork, Evaluation, Literacy and Numeracy.


What Learning areas are covered at Marist?

At Marist College, all of the Australian Curriculum Learning areas are covered:

  • Religious Education
  • Mathematics
  • English
  • Science
  • Art
  • Health and Physical Education
  • Technology
  • Humanities
  • Languages (Indonesian)

 

Additional Information

More information with respect to Project Based Learning can be found on the following websites:

http://bie.org/about/why_pbl

http://www.newtechnetwork.org/about/project-based-learning