To answer any questions about Project Based Learning (PBL) , there must first be a basic understanding of PBL. Before moving forward, there is often confusion between PBL and a more popular Problem Based Learning.
There is no clear-cut distinction between Project and Problem based learning (Many researchers and educators have commented that there is no/little need to because of the close similarities and ultimate benefits to students.) In Engineering especially, the lines are often blurred and most combine the essence of both. Nevertheless, some researchers have indicated that there remains two key distinguishing features:
My work has a more specific focus on Project Based Learning because there is a strong preference for hands-on opportunities to make something from prior interactions with the student body of NUS ME. Relative to Problem-based learning, PBL is also less documented and hence the need for a greater understanding to achieve better implementations.
Project Based Learning is often described to be:
- Driven with an end product in end
- Most often carried out in groups, though individual projects are possible
- Clear assessment guidelines with active feedback and revision
- Some degree of student choice and voice
For a more in-depth description, I referred to: http://bie.org/about/what_pbl
My next blog post will share some perception statistics from the student survey carried out with students in NUS ME. Some of the interesting points include the identification of motivational factors for our students and their evaluation of their skillsets and improvements via PBL if applicable.