How have you shown success with project-based learning?

/ 25 September 2009

I’ve shown success with project-based learning in a multitude of ways. A few examples that I’ll touch on here include last year at recognition night, the sheer number of projects that I’ve completed, and what content/deliverables those projects had. On top of that I simply work well when I get to be entirely independent for at least 50% of my work and therefore I’m also the only person that really keeps full control over my schedule. In the last week of the 2008-09 school year I received the Recognition of Excellence in Active Learning. That award was given based primarily on the amount of independent work done over the past nine months, as I’ll get to in a moment. But it also touches on the involvement I give with life outside of school in those projects. To start off, I make sure that all final deliverables for all my projects (and my senior project this year won’t be an exception) on my website. I also blog about each (or try to) at the end to make the content being there more known to the world. This isn’t direct community involvement, but it is getting my work into the hands of anyone who is doing work on the same topics. That is a great component of all my projects that I do purposely because it may help others. Last year I did nearly 10 independent projects over the course of the 4 block year. I was the only student in my advisory, if not the school, that did that many. It proves my success with project-based learning not just because of the number, but because I could complete that many. I was at least 60% engaged in each project, even if the content was not so interesting or the deliverable not so imaginative. Each project had a piece of my personal interests linked in, and that shows good use of the project process. I also tied at least one component of the previous project to the next project building a working thread that connected and drove the whole year. Even in this school year I’ve tried to integrate project components from the final project last year in order to hook together the two years. I also built projects that, though centered on state graduation standards, were also linked enough to real current-day content that even if I disliked the project it was at least relevant to the time in which I’m in high school. This is important due to the aforementioned public display of deliverables, but also to making sure that some of my sources are good, reliable, and current sources. All these are just a few examples of ways in which I’ve shown success with project-based learning. There are more, and likely even some that my advisor or parents would think of that I don’t think about. Unlike my other senior journal entries, some of these answers are likely to overlap with those of my classmates. Also unlike other entries, these are very much each just stubs for what could be entries as long as this for each answer above.