Project-Based Learning

Posted on Jul 18, 2015 by Rosemary Rizk Latest activity: Feb 9, 2017

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For those teachers who hand out the assignment before teaching the skills. I was wondering what your views were on Project Based Learning where students learn on the go and your teaching is synchronised with the assignment requirements. Does it work or have you tried more effective approaches.

Comments (7)

Sean Malone

Posted on Feb 9, 2017 12:47 AM - Permalink

I am a major advocate of PBL in the classroom, especially with making. The amount of real world problems and preparation students can become exposed to because of PBL is essential for the 21st century

When it comes to the Adobe suite, you can implement proficiency-based learning if you want to combine the standards and the PBL in the classroom. Students having to produce real, authentic products is essential in this day and age. The beauty of the Adobe suite is the real world professionals are using these tools, exposing students to them sooner rather than later puts them a step ahead progressing forward.

Charles Bourrier

Posted on Jul 5, 2016 10:05 AM - Permalink

As a student I had both approaches.
As a PBL approach, as a class we were supporting one another and the more advanced ones could develop new skills (and develop their own workflow) while the beginner learn the tools with the help of the most advanced students. The basic tools and interface were however quickly presented.
On a frontal approach, our skills were not growing furthermore it was on a tool by tool approach. Just felt useless.
For me the advantages of PBL in Adobe products:
— Allows student to develop their own working process with the products (we all work slightly differently)
— Allows the advanced students in my class to learn new tools while the beginners do learn as well

— I can link the assignments to other projects in their study process, making it a bit more interesting
— It also allows me to focus my mentoring on the non-technical skills, or bringing particular tools to particular students if needed.


Posted on Jun 1, 2016 6:29 PM - Permalink

I started teaching computer classes some time ago and definitely feel project based learning is always the best when dealing with technology. Regardless, what needs to be considered from the get go is what student level you are teaching, how often does the class meet, how long does the class meet.A course taught for K-12 will more than likely be completely different than Higher Ed. I teach at the university level. When I was teaching majors, at the same class level and with the same traditional skill set the course content was extremely easy to design and implement, we all used the same language which was translated easily into software lingo. I now teach elective classes that can be a mix of freshman to grads, fashion design to philosophy majors. One class focuses on the use of PS and AI for textile (Surface Pattern) design, and ID for presentation,it meets twice a week for 2.5 hours. I have students that usually have no clue about professional textile (Surface Pattern) design, some may know 1 of the software programs, some know none. Since this class has a focus it is delivered best thru project based learning. The other class has no specific means to an end except for students to learn PS, AI and ID for presentation. This class meets once per week for 5 hours - ARRGGHH. Not helpful, even with a break. This class has been the most difficult class to create, develop and teach. I provide students with files to use each week, the files correlate to the weekly lectures, the students are then given weekly assignments showing the application of what was covered. I am still delving into ways to change this, some complain it is too much work, others love the instructions for each assignment because it forces them to navigate thru the software. At the end of the semester they complete a final project, they select the tools to be used from an "approved" list. With the class being comprised of any combo of majors this has worked out well. As we all now if you don't use it you'll loose it. Yes, we are all dealing with students weaned on technology, but remember when they get a new cell - don't they still have to figure out how to use it ? Software is a tool, plain and simple, project based learning shows what the tool is and how to use it.

Rebecca Reiter

Posted on May 15, 2016 7:09 PM - Permalink

I work off of an essential question for an entire trimester. The skills and content are thematically woven together as we progress toward our final project. Currently, my students are creating skits about digital citizenship. The essential question studied was, "Should access to digital technology be a right or a privilege?" I have found weaving the content, skills, and technology together from the first day of class has its advantages and disadvantages. The benefits of this approach allow us to practice using the necessary tools and skills as the trimester progresses. The students then have greater expertise as they begin their own products. The disadvantages include the technology tool becoming the focus sometimes and not the content especially when the tool is challenging. Sometimes it is better to keep them separate. Overall, scaffolding is good practice, with the content, skills, and tools. Weaving the the three components together also affords more engagement and interaction. Some of the tools we weave together are theme-based discussion boards, games, videos, websites, and digital research. Overall, thematic PBL style learning has been quite effective for me and my students.

Joel Whitehead

Posted on Mar 9, 2016 2:21 AM - Permalink

I start at the end of the assignment at times, so my student can build a glossary of terms and see the end project, so that when they go through the lesson assignment that know what to pay attention to and it brings relevance to the assignment.

Donna Groves

Posted on Sep 16, 2015 11:27 PM - Permalink

No! Project based learning is not the same as OJT. One thing you need to keep in mind is the level the students can and can't handle. If you don't first teach these are where the retouching tools are located then this is how we use them, the students will fail. The projects will take forever. I tried this approach my first year teaching graphic design. I though, I've found some good video tutorials they can surely follow along and figure it out. But the first two months of my class are now dedicated to learning Photoshop and Illustrator inside out. No projects. The students love it and feel more confident. We do small things that can be accomplished in 20-30 minutes as a class. We have discussion about what types of things we could do with this. Then the following day we add a few steps. Now that you know how to apply a layer mask and create clipping masks lets place an image between two layers and make it look like it's really a part of the picture. Wow, that only took fifteen minutes. Otherwise that project would have take days. Trust me. We are four weeks into school and my Design I students know more about Adobe Photoshop than the kids who have been enrolled in the photography class across the hall.

Brian O'Dell

Posted on Aug 13, 2015 1:57 AM - Permalink

I do quite a bit of Project Based Learning. Over the years I have come to find out that the students become much more involved when they can work toward something that they have discussed and have been presented with opportunities to do. Watching presentations and reading from books is not what these students want. I think the more projects you have them do with the understanding of the tools and how they work, you'd be surprised how much students learn by doing. You can still show them techniques and use assessment tools but let them work and learn while you are implementing your strategies.