Project-Based Learning- A Worthy Effort To Increase Students’ Engagement

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In this age of technological determinism, where students get new things and gadgets to explore, the one thing that gets missing in them is ‘engagement’ in any education based works. Studies done by communication theorists have shown that people could not decipher whether their ‘need’ comes first or ‘technology’. Therefore, the psychology of the mass has been set in such a way that any technological up-gradation becomes their need very soon.

Thus, a drastic change has been encountered in the educational system as well. Now, it is next to impossible to make the students sit in their respective classrooms and listen to boring lectures. This is where; the system of ‘project-based learning’ has made its mark. This is one of the worthy efforts to keep the students engaged in educational activities without getting bored. In this process too, there is the inclusion of technology and other upgraded instruments to make the process easy and fun loving. That is why; many students have come and taken part in this.

The process is a student based pedagogy that includes a dynamic approach of the classroom. Whatever they study in their textbooks, project-based learning demands a practical application of the same. Therefore, this is a task of more profound knowledge. This is a type of process where students get to work on projects in various semesters. There are multiple challenges and activities that they have to go through to accomplish the project. This process involves demonstrations about their understanding of a subject with real-life examples. They work, explore and keep themselves engaged.

This blog will discuss how this project-based learning activity has helped the education system to make more students engaged and increase their skills. Not the only score, but a practical application of their learning also boosts their mental health.

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Here are the 12 reasons why project-based learning helps in increasing students’ engagement and why it should become a mandatory part of every curriculum.

It motivates students:-

Theorist Daniel Pink in his study of students’ psychology stated that most of the students step back from such activities because they do not get motivated. Due to the lack of it, they tend to keep a distance from classes and boring lectures. When there is project-based learning, students get automatically motivated because they find it exciting and something different from just taking notes and pointing out essential sections in textbooks.

Helps in gaining anatomy:-

Most of the students lack in this case. They are unable to engage themselves in education entirely because they are perplexed about the structure and the composition of the work. Therefore, they refuse to do their assignment or project works with just simple guidelines provided to them. In project-based learning, the students gain anatomy with practical knowledge about the subject. Therefore, leading to a reduction of apathy toward education leading to the enhancement of engagement.

Classrooms are no more boring:-

According to Pink, any work which is fun and adventurous can make students engaged. Therefore, while including project-based learning in the curriculum, they automatically make the classroom a community. In this community, students interact more, work together, and also have fun. They ask questions; solve complex problems on their own etc. In a nutshell, a group is built that makes the whole process interesting thus improving engagement.

Students make practical applications:-

Whatever students get to learn from their textbooks and boring lectures are useful for their examinations. But, when it is about project-based learning, the engagement becomes double as it is a real-life experience. Students find it as much exciting as crossing a level of their favourite video game. In a study about high school students, researcher Chris Hulleman established that students find it very dull about writing a summary about what they have learnt. Whereas, when they make a practical connotation of the same thing, the engagement level increases. Mugging up the syllabus and scoring good grades are no more a burden, when such practical implementation is done.

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Feedback helps in mental boost up: –

When a student increases his or her engagement in project-based learning, there is always an expectation of feedback. Whether it is positive or negative, feedback is always helpful in such activities. When it is about the engagement of the students, minimum appreciation and rewards are very helpful. Project-based learning ensures this, and thus students get associated with it too.

Rolling stone gathers no Moss’ syndrome: –

Sitting idle in the classroom can make them frustrated from within. Therefore, project-based learning is required. To keep them engaged, it is essential to keep them active. When they take part in such a learning process, they remain active. Hence, engagement increases!

Stubbornness increases engagement: –

When the project-based learning or PBL classrooms become challenging and competitive, the students are likely to increase their determination. The process becomes a war, and they get excited, engaged and challenging. You know ‘everything is fair in love and war’ right? They leave no scope to win it at any cost.

Success and failure saga: –

It is imperative to understand your skill in any matter. So, when it is about project-based learning, there will be success and failures. To appreciate their capability, they get engaged in this actively.

Skill and intelligence development: –

As the project-based learning process requires proper skill and intelligence, the students also get a chance to boost those. Therefore, the engagement level increases because they can realise the changes within them. Once they recognise their skills are improving, they automatically get dedicated to the activities.

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They become a critical thinker:-

Developing thought process is also a part of project-based learning. As the students get engaged with the activities, they tend to think about problem solving and the other tasks provided to them. So, it helps them to become a critical thinker and enrich their thought process.

They become self-critic:-

Once students get into project-based learning, there are a lot of things that keep them engaged. By participating in one PBL class, they slowly get to understand their flaws and other drawbacks. It helps them to bring a change within them.

Experience and knowledge factor:-

While attending different PBL classes and activities, students understand how their experience list is increasing and so does the knowledge. They get to know new things, experience and explorations help them to understand the reality. They can now actively take part in various debates or other seminars. Who doesn’t have the greed of knowledge? So, engagement is inevitable.

Project-based learning has therefore spread in every school and colleges to make the students feel that there is a world out of their video games. Socializing and ‘snapchatting’ is not the end of life. So, this project-based learning with real-life experiences can change the whole educational process.

Author Bio :

Marceline Joseph is an online educator, programmer and an academic writer associated with Homework Help Company. Besides being associated with the education and teaching industry, Marceline is a passionate stamp collector and chess player.