Project-Based Learning (PBL) Methodology*
By using authentic scenarios in projects, learners step into roles that require specific content in order to create a polished, finished product. Along the way learners develop problem-solving abilities and sustainable (21st Century) skills.
Entry (Step 1)
Every project begins with an entry event and/or an entry document. The purpose of this is to introduce not only subject matter but, more importantly, the context within which the content to be learned fits. Entry documents leave 'breadcrumbs' for learners to follow, to uncover information, and to use as markers along the way during project execution.
Below is an example of an entry document from a project called Pure NRG about the Fukushima/Daiichi nuclear disaster.
What do we know? (Step 2)
Learners work collaboratively to determine what they know in order to begin, what they need to know to complete the project, and what next steps need to be taken along the way.
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*the process described herein relies heavily upon the New Tech Network's model for project-based learning. I was trained using the New Tech model as I was a teacher at a New Tech school. New Tech is a subsidiary of KnowledgeWorks.