Virtual education is currently considered as a practical, feasible and dynamic option in adult education . Its multiple characteristics allow the development of comprehensive learning, which includes planning and solving projects, better known as Project- Based Learning (PBL) .
Basically, this type of learning develops in students the ability to select knowledge and tools to solve a situation or case. This methodology provides an approach to the real world, where the information to find a solution must be selected among various options.
A Project-Based Learning for real situations, in the future
Presenting students with a real problem, that is, a situation that may arise in the exercise of their profession or area of work, allows them to gain experience, participate in a research process and collect the necessary information to define and execute a solution.
Students gain experience by actively participating in the learning process, in PBL forget about giving content and then pass a test that checks knowledge.
Although PBL puts the student at the center, its value in education is that it teaches students to ask the right questions when determining what information they need to know to define the project. This, in turn, motivates the curiosity and ingenuity of the students.
Some strategies to apply Project-Based Learning
This methodology presents opportunities to develop a more comprehensive and deeper learning, with greater involvement in daily life. It also involves important skills that link academic and professional training.
For this reason, I share with you some strategies that are focused so that by implementing Project-Based Learning in your virtual course you can achieve the expected results:
- Motivate knowledge sharing: Project-Based Learning enables peer-to-peer collaboration. Take advantage of this resource to motivate your students to share their opinions and provide feedback to their classmates, you can organize them by groups to make it more effective.
In addition, they can share their findings and difficulties during the process in the projects developed through constructive criticism. This will allow them to improve their processes and discover new alternative solutions or approaches.
- Test the project: in PBL there are many paths for many different proposals that give a viable solution to the proposed project.
For this reason, I recommend that you carry out a test of the project. By doing so, you will be able to check the average duration of time it will take, establish if it can be easily implemented or is it too challenging for the knowledge acquired so far by the students, you can even realize if it is boring.
From start to finish, do the project online. You will live the experience that your students will experience and you will be able to verify that the necessary elements are found on the platform (content, access, etc.) and that the learning objectives of the course are met.
- Assign responsibility to students: it is necessary that you provide students with the tools they need as well as establish the guidelines to comply with and what you expect of them during this process. In this way, the students themselves will be in charge of their learning and they will be in control.
Keep in mind that the goal is for students to be involved in the process either individually or collaboratively.
You can provide them with help and support if they need it, but PBL is also presented as an opportunity for students to learn from their mistakes, this will make them more observant, analytical and purposeful.
- Integrates interactive scenarios and variety of skills: Tailor-made customization in scenarios and simulations in project-based learning is a feature that immerses the student in the situation to figure out the solution.
The possibility of interacting and exploring various scenarios gives students the possibility of finding different results. The choices made in this process are valuable in finding an answer.
Consider developing a broad series of exercises that develop skills so that students apply previously acquired knowledge. This is how they will be able to more effectively retain the information they need to make decisions and solve real problems in work and personal life.
- Publish results and findings– The project resolution post should be public, such as a blog post or wiki article, or even via video. Students make their project public by explaining it, showing it and/or presenting it to other people outside the “virtual classroom”.
He believes that it can motivate students to make their results public, as many more people will see their work, an authentic public product to a real-world audience. This is what distinguishes project-based learning from other strategies.
Developing a project that is comprehensive and dynamic can take time, so you can invite your students to be part of the process from the beginning. You can ask them questions that invite them to propose activities or cases of interest to them.
Project Based Learning is a journey towards the solution . It seeks to implement the best practices and strategies to take advantage of the full potential of this process in a virtual course.