All the reasons why project-based learning is the future

project based learning

It’s not a brand-new concept. It’s been around since before formal education was normalized. This concept, called project-based learning, is simply a method of learning that heavily depends on problem-solving and innovating through practical application. Let’s understand this better.

What is project-based learning?

The project-based learning model is the method of learning and grasping new knowledge through practical and project-based methods. Further, it’s known to help learners acquire deeper knowledge through active exploration of real-world challenges and problems.

While textbooks give you the foundations, real-world experiences give you the wings to fly and discover what you want to be. The conventional learning paradigm has a one-way flow of pre-prepared information. On the contrary, project-based learning or problem-based learning lets you discover interests and passions via a whole new world of innovation and creativity.

Examples of project-based learning activities include creating volcanos, monuments, or even solar systems for school projects. Finding solutions to environmental issues, pitching an innovative business idea are also some examples. Now that we know what it is, let’s dive into understanding how PBL helps young learners like yourself in the long run. 

Advantages of project-based learning

Focuses on critical thinking and problem-solving

Project-based learning is essentially an inquiry-based method of learning that relies on solving problems through projects assigned to learners. In the long run, it enables you to view things critically in order to arrive at a solution that works. These skills go a long way in making you confident, job-ready and equipped for the future.

Builds Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTs)

Lower Order Thinking Skills or LOTs include remembering, recalling, understanding, and applying. On the other hand, skills such as analyzing, evaluating, synthesizing, and creating are categorized as HOTs. When broken down, HOTs include everything from creativity, sense of inquiry, problem-solving, teamwork, and so many more skills. Moreover, these skills play a big role in shaping your future as they enable you to find your expression in the world and are better equipped to overcome challenges.

Accommodates a variety of learning styles

Every learner prefers a style of learning that suits them best. Project-based learning takes this very fact into account and allows you to work to your own advantage or capabilities. How? While project-based learning gives you a problem to solve or a project to complete, the method by which you choose to arrive at the end is entirely up to you. You can work to your strengths and build more specific interests over time.

Promotes independent learning and creativity

The ability to learn independently and test one’s creative boundaries is a skill often credited to this learning method (PBL). In this method, you are given the opportunity and tools to think out of the box and arrive at unconventional solutions to real-world problems presented before you. This not only sets you apart from the crowd but helps boost your confidence too.  

Encourages self-determined and self-directed learning

Through projects, you are given the canvas to explore and solve real-world challenges that require critical thinking. Something as simple as designing a marketing campaign for a sneaker launch can build a lifelong love for communication, maybe designing or even creative writing! It not only helps you build a deeper understanding of a concept but also encourages self-directed and self-determined learning. This, in turn, gives you all the necessary tools to understand your innate strengths and interests.

Challenges your limits

Real-world experiences teach learners skills such as resilience, divergent thinking, and perseverance. In the real world, you as a learner, get to express your unique opinions, approaches, and ideas. When you work on projects, there are no boundaries to expressing creativity. To take it further, it even allows you to push your limits and come up with 50 different solutions to a single problem, which then leads to innovation! 

Makes learning fun

A very important factor to take into consideration is that often young learners struggle to grasp complex theories, lose interest quickly, and can’t quite put 2 and 2 together. By following a project-based learning model,  you get to find your unique ways to obtain the same knowledge. Projects become intrinsically fun, engaging, and interesting. This definitely contributes in removing the intimidation that traditional learning methods often come with. 

At this point, you must have asked yourself this question at least once: Are there any downsides to this method? Let’s take a look.

Disadvantages of project-based learning

Requires time for research and implementation

Since project-based learning does not follow the rules of traditional learning, it can sometimes be hard to put a timeline to it. Learners should be given sufficient time to explore their ideas and creativity before arriving at a solution. 

Poses challenges for educators

In order to incorporate a project-based learning model into the curriculum, instructors have to drastically shift their teaching methodologies. They must find a means of assessing a student’s performance and take into consideration factors such as tasks completed, overall work, manner of arriving at a solution, communication among fellow students and team members, etc. Especially since it does not follow traditional assessment guidelines.

What are some project-based learning activities?

Here are some great starter project-based learning activities that learners can try at home:

  1. Script your own TED talk: Find a subject or topic that a learner would love to talk about and draft a script around it. Doing so will help them find their voice, express themselves and communicate about the things they’re passionate about.
  1. Make an infographic: Pick a topic the learner has researched previously and ask them to concise their knowledge into an infographic.
  1. Create a photo essay: Pictures are an extremely impactful method for learners to grasp and retain information. Task them with creating a photo essay of a topic they find challenging. 

In fact, you can find more exciting project-based learning activities and challenges on the Uable app, right here.

Is project-based learning effective?

We’ve read about the pros and cons but is project-based learning really that effective? The answer is subjective. Because the method of teaching and learning is both dependent on the teacher and learner respectively, the outcome may vary for all. Some learners thrive with a project-based learning model, where practical implementation of knowledge plays a key role. Keep in mind that every learner is different and what works for one may not work for the other. 

That said, problems-based learning or project-based learning is a great way to become an industry-fit professional and a resilient individual. A cycle of reflection and creation enables learners to identify their strengths and improve their skills. Just as one cannot learn cycling until they sit on a cycle, merely knowing a domain doesn’t add any value until you start exploring it.

Here on the Uable app, learners can start by exploring and then deep diving into fields that interest them and start creating micro-projects to test their affinity. In the long run, these challenges will help groom them not just for a job or career, but for the big, big world beyond!

How to Create Jaw-Dropping Creations on the Uable App

Uable is a daily space for learners where they can self-design their career discovery journeys – one challenge at a time! While academic knowledge gives you only a one-way flow of pre-prepared information, here you are free to explore at your own pace and interest. Based on your intrinsic motivation, curiosity and creativity, you can delve into diverse domains on the app and discover your talents and possible career paths.

Real-World Challenges for Real-World Learning

Imagine if you wanted to become a baker. Could you become successful just by watching baking videos alone? You’d have to bake lots of cakes (and burn a few as well) to master the art.

When you ‘learn by doing’, instead of just reading about it, something amazing happens. You become self-motivated and determined to understand a concept/ domain deeply. This leads you on a journey of self-discovery where you build long-lasting skills and discover your true potential. This is what we call real-world learning!

We encourage learners to unlock their hidden talents with the power of real-world challenges created by experts.

While you may have learnt a lot of abstract concepts in books, these challenge allows you to put them to use. They literally challenge you to think outside the box and apply your knowledge to create concrete and actionable output.

Challenges on the Uable app are nothing but a call to action to learn deeply about the subject that interests you!

Attempting the First Challenge

Getting started on your very first challenge is quite simple. Go to the challenges tab on the app to view dozens of challenges. You can pick from a range of domains like marketing, entrepreneurship, engineering and so much more. Once you chose a challenge, click on ‘unlock’ to start creating!

Things to Keep in Mind for Submitting Jaw-Dropping Creations

Take Inspiration

Glance through the community creations for a dose of inspiration. The global teen community’s creations allow you to look at the real-world challenges from a broader perspective. Make sure to save the creations that serve as your inspiration so that you can aspire to match their quality in the future!

Comprehend before you Create

Before you start creating, make sure you have understood the challenge clearly. Comprehend, create a plan, find the best solution, and then just let your creativity flow!

Break it Down

Break down each output of the creation. Does it call for photos/videos or a presentation? Remember to clearly articulate your message in the best way so that users will be able to engage better with your content.

Clean, Crisp, and Clear

The most important thing for any photo-based creation is that it should be clean and simple.

  • Avoid hard to read fonts styles and colours on your photo. Your main message will get missed out if your text is not readable!
  • Declutter: Remove unnecessay elements and embellishments.
  • Use a minimalist approach for colours. If your background colour is dark, use white colour for the font so that it’s easy to read and vice-versa.
  • Keep a balance between conveying your message and the aesthetic appeal. One should not overpower the other.

If it’s a video that you are going to submit then follow this strategy:

  • Stand against a clean and plain background so that your face is clearly visible.
  • The room should be well lit with the light falling directly on your face.
  • Reduce background noise
  • Take a deep breath before you start recording. Speak slowly and clearly.
  • Oraganise your key points on a piece of paper and keep it handy while recording.

Correct Tools

It’s not possible that everyone with great ideas possesses the same creativity to make visually pleasing photos. But with the world at our fingertips now, anything is possible. There are many great tools out there like Canva, Adobe Spark, Snappa, and more. These platforms provide multiple features that will help you in your creations, whether simple or complex. They are pretty user-friendly, so you don’t have to be a know-it-all to use them.

Create, Learn, Repeat

While you follow the tips given above, make sure to abide by the Uable guidelines so that your efforts don’t go to waste. Try to keep the work as original, and if you do need incorporate someone else’s work, make sure to give them credit. While staying true to the challenge requirements, make sure you don’t give away personal information. Most importantly, don’t create disrespectful content, be mindful of the different age groups and backgrounds and be sensitive about your content to avoid any hindrance. Happy creating!