7 project based learning tips
Project-based learning is on the rise. As a teaching method that allows in-depth investigation into topics, it can help prepare students for common challenges in higher education and employment.
But what’s the best way to start implementing a learning project? We’ve pulled together some of the best pieces of advice, to help you start planning your projects in 2017.
Use checklists to monitor student progress
You can use online checklists to look at whether students are hitting targets on a range of lessons, such as for presentation, spelling, lab safety or resources. Take a look at the online checklists on 4teachers.org.
- Begin from the end
When planning your project, first think about the end goal – what do you want your students to have learnt? Plan in milestones and points at which lessons can be worked in – this can help you to meet teaching standards in your country.
- Bring the project to life
Include a roleplay challenge to spark the interests of your students and to bring a reality and understanding to their work – you could reimagine the ancient Greek political system with a pebble vote in the polis, construct a miniature 16th century house with an architectural commission from the King or speed into the future to find problems that can be solved with new technology.
- Make it relevant
Encourage civic interest by linking the project to the local challenges. Team up with your local council for challenging ideas to pose to your students.
- Have a trial run
The best way to see if the project idea works, is to do it yourself first. That way you can see any potential for further exploration or, more importantly, where it could fail.
- Start small
If you’re new to project based learning, start with a small idea, then work up to bigger projects once you’ve gained some knowledge and confidence.
- Create a unique project plan
Project based learning is a technique that can work across subjects and age groups. Working from a common framework, you can start to make plans just for your goals, and tweak it for future projects. To get some inspiration, BIE provides a range of project plans.