Project-Based Learning

Project-based Learning is an instructional approach that practices 21st Century skills and content. Students are given a project, replicating an authentic experience, and work collaboratively using communication skills, organizational and time-management skills, and research and analytical skills. Individuals also reflect and self-assess themselves throughout the process. Project-based learning develops project management skills needed in the authentic world.

Here is a brief introduction to project based learning.
One voice in this video is Seymour Papert, a familiar name in the area of LOGO and Microworlds.


This video shows Project-based Learning in Philadelphia where students learn academic skills through projects of their choice.

Problem-Based Learning (PBL)

PBL is student-based in which a realistic and authentic problem is given to students. The problems are open-ended and challenging. Students usually work collaboratively in groups. The teachers role is to a mentor or facililator.


David Jonassen (introduced in another section) provides insights into how constructivism applies to ill structure problems in learning. Watch one or two of the video clips presented on this site.

Case-Based Learning (CBL)

Cased-Based Learning is an instructional learner-centred design model that uses factual and complex cases to stimulate discussion and create collaborative analytical opportunities. Students work together to answer a problem that does not have a single correct answer. A difference between Problem-Based Learning (PBL) and Case-Based Learning is that PBL focuses on subject matter content and CBL focuses more on developing decision-making skills. CBL develops communication, analytical, and collaborative skills. Similar to PBL, the CBL teacher facilitates discussion and encourages exploration.

National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science
This site features a collection of case studies for educational purposes in various educational levels: from middle school to graduate level. Each case study is followed by a set of questions for learners to discuss and try to answer. The teacher can choose what type of activity that the case study uses for learning: discussion, debate, dilemma case, clicker case (using clickers as a personal response system), and jig-saw.

3986759299_5c506bde9f_m.jpgFOOD for THOUGHT
Reflect on the impact of project based learning, problem based learning or case based learning for your current context. Would it work? How would you apply these principles?

Buck Institute for Education. (2011). Project Based Learning for the 21st Century. PBL in Philadelphia. Retrieved from