Project-based learning encourages teachers to, in some ways, abandon curriculum. The idea is to teach a concept, and allow students to prove their competency by working collaboratively to complete a project. Edutopia has a quick three-minute video that briefly explains the concept of project-based learning.
As you can see from the video, there are various types of projects you can assign to students. Benefits include allowing them to encounter and overcome the challenges of working as a team, as well as giving students an opportunity to apply classroom knowledge to larger undertakings. Here are a few tools that can help you and your students stay on task, from beginning to end, while completing projects.
One of the keys to success is time management. Use an integrated calendar to set benchmarks, deadlines and reminders that help your students stay on task every step of the way.
Online Grading Tools
A project can sometimes have smaller submissions along the way. To maintain student momentum, provide feedback as soon as possible. Use a tool such as Mark It Up!, which allows teachers to annotate student submissions easily and get them back to students quickly.
Social Learning Walls
Use a safe social learning wall to create a social media experience for students to collaborate with their group while they work on a project. You can also require students to post a grading rubric along with roles of group members to maintain some accountability within the group.
Have each group create a blog where they can track challenges and successes and share with the other groups in the class. Doing so will help maintain morale and keep students encouraged and creative during the entire process.
The skills gained from project-based learning will transfer a million times over throughout various stages of students’ lives. When you assign a project to your students, make sure to also give them the tools that will help them stay on task and complete projects successfully.