High School Students Can Learn Better, And Remember Longer, With Project-Based Learning
By Sofia Durham, Stride Student Advisor
Projects are often the most dreaded part ofeducation, for many people. After hours of tests, quizzes, and studying, you get a giant project dropped on you, at the end of your semester. This project needs to cover most of what you learned, or at least summarize it. You sigh, knowing that the project is nothing special. It is just another slideshow, filled with whatever information you could find on the internet, alongside some pictures. But, what if there was another way to do projects? And, what if that other way was creative and fun? Also, what if that new way to do projects would cut out tests and quizzes altogether? That is when we introduce project-based learning, as another educational option!
What Is Project-Based Learning?
Project-based learning, sometimes abbreviated as PBL, is a form of education that focuses on teaching students' units through projects, instead of a traditional lectures and test-based curriculum. The teacher will cover the necessary materials for the student, to understand what the project is about. The only difference is that instead of taking notes, studying, and doing a big test at the end, students will create a project that demonstrates their knowledge. The projects can vary, from something the student builds, to a large presentation, or even a video. The importance here is that students will instead spend weeks getting involved and directing their own education. A project is only graded by the teacher, and it is not controlled… meaning it gives students a chance to demonstrate a unique way of understanding the unit.
How Does Project-Based Learning Help You?
Project-based learning sounds very interesting, from afar. How could it not be appealing, when you’re learning and creating a project, instead of studying for a long test? But project-based learning has many benefits, aside from avoiding hours of studying. First, project-based learning provides a hands-on experience for students, when it comes to their education. Sometimes taking notes isn't enough for students to recall everything done in a unit. By doing a project, students pay more attention to the information that is present. Second, project-based learning ensures that students remember all the information they gained, rather than forget it.
Standard learning relies on short-term memorization, which results in students only bothering to learn the bare minimum they need to pass the test. Information about the units over time is easily forgotten, as students have to intake more knowledge throughout the semester. Whereas project-based learning focuses on long-term memorization, by putting emphasis on understanding the information in the form of a project. Students are more likely to recall essential information gained from a project, rather than a test. Third, standard learning puts emphasis on getting good grades and great scores on tests, resulting in students not caring about the knowledge they are getting in the long-term. A lot of students are worried about getting good grades. Because of this, they will often take cuts in their education, just to get an ‘A.’ Project-based learning does not emphasize this, and instead it pushes for the idea of a student working on a project, which then demonstrates their current understanding. A student will not have to worry about constant quizzes and unit tests, and instead can put all of their full focus on just the project itself. This results in more care for their education, recalling information from the unit better, and having more fun in the project-based learning class.
Should I Do Project-Based Learning?
Absolutely! If you think project-based learning is for you, or for your students, look into Stride Schools. Hopefully, reading this article helped you consider project-based learning for your education!
To read more about attending an online school, be sure to check out What I Learned From Doing Online School For 10 Years.
Stride also has an article to help students new to online high school, so make sure you read 5 Tips For New Online High School Students, too!
And, be sure to check out the 2022 Graduates Speak About Their Online Education podcast.
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