In my ten years of experience in higher education, I have learned that relevancy is important in order to engage students in learning.
Project-based learning (PBL) blends content mastery, meaningful work, and personal connection to create powerful learning experiences, in terms of both academic achievement and students’ personal growth.Buck Institute for Education, 2019
Project-based learning provided the foundation for students to apply real-world experiences to their learning experience, this is where relevancy comes into play and “real” learning takes place. Students are involved in the process of learning and can select the solutions to problems that interest them. Project-based learning requires buy-in from the students rather than students simply solving a problem given by the instructor.
While the idea of project learning dates back to 1918 with William Kilpatrick and is seen through the work of John Dewey, it continues to be applicable in 2019 and in the future because of the student-centered approach to learning. Based on the PBL model, students have a voice and choice, they are using modern day skills, also known as 21st century skills in the project, and there are opportunities for revision and feedback. In addition, there is an opportunity to be innovative and create something for the public to view.
As an instructional design and educational technology student, I have designed and executed several projects and there is an added benefit to the project knowing that there is potential for the public to view it. Knowing the project will be public motivates me to make it something worth my time, but also something the public would be interested in seeing or taking part of.
Project-Based Learning vs. Problem-Based Learning vs. X-BL | Edutopia. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/pbl-vs-pbl-vs-xbl-john-larmer
Why Do We Focus on Project Based Learning? | PBLWorks. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.pblworks.org/why-project-based-learning