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April 8, 2015

2 min

Dr. Jessica Spallino

A Winning Pair: Online Learning and Projects

Project Based Learning has become a preferred learning modality in many schools today. As noted by the Buck Institute for Education, Project Based Learning helps students develop deeper learning competencies that can be applied in the real world. According to latest research findings and practical experience, highlights of Project Based learning are: 

  • Students become active learners, providing real world relevance for learning
  • Students retain content longer than in a traditional modality of delivering content through lecture
  • Better equips students with 21st century workplace skills such as how to take responsibility, build confidence, solve problems, work collaboratively, communicate ideas, and encourage innovation
  • Aligns to the Common Core standards to better prepare students for the 21st Century
  • Provides more opportunities to utilize modern technology to connect with others, find resources and information, create products and ultimately collaborate more effectively.
  • Allows teachers to work more closely with active and engaged students through high-quality and meaningful work while they rediscover the joy of learning

We have found the above findings on project based learning to be accurate and that students enjoy and ultimately retain more content through completing projects, we also recognize the need for exposure to standard aligned content to be sure a foundation of knowledge is present from which to build upon. We believe the combination of standard aligned online content along with projects is an effective blended modality to achieve these two elements we find critical.

Utilizing online curriculum has been a useful tool in helping students acquire foundational knowledge that they will not only be tested on, but helps them to be better prepared with 21st century skills of digital communication and collaboration. This in turn makes their projects more content driven so that they are able to successfully build on the knowledge they have acquired through content exposure. We believe that this blended approach helps students engage and retain more effectively.

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