Project-based learning has gained a relevant position in education in recent years. Project-based learning fosters the development of skills such as investigation, teamwork, and active student participation in oral presentations and the search for alternative solutions.
Using projects as a learning strategy is an approach that exposes students to the acquisition of soft skills, much needed for their professional life. Project-based teaching focuses on looking for answers for real problems, the investigation of social issues, or different solutions for the same problem; even so, launching a product or service needed in the market.
Teachers and students are the main actors of the learning process, and their roles will change to work in this type of methodology efficiently. The teacher is in charge of the team distribution, the material to work, the points to cover, and the results expected for the research. The planning work must be detailed from the time to the evaluation rubrics for the projects and its presentation requirements. Once the projects started their process, the teacher becomes the moderator and monitor for the project research and development. He will perform periodic revisions, advancements revisions, and redirect efforts when necessary. Also, read how socialization occurs in online education
Online education is the best environment to develop a project with a learning purpose. Teachers will find an endless source of information and resources online to look for the projects. These are to be real cases that demand a thorough investigation to find possible solutions or alternatives for intervention. The professor also counts with a limitless number of online applications and tools to plan work, evaluation systems to measure the students’ performance. Online platforms help teachers publish and schedule the instruments, create discussion forums, and spaces for students to publish their results.
Students as well will adapt their performance in project-based learning education. Their role will become more active, and also of high responsibility and conscience of their learning process. One of the primary skills students will develop is those for investigation. Thanks to online education and technology will broaden the extent of their research through virtual libraries, academic periodicals, professional and academic publications. They will get hold of worldwide investigations, relevant and current data, which will help them deepen and reflect on the topic. Exploring the problem might include now videos, long-distance surveys, and interviews with real results and analysis in real-time. Students have a wide variety of online tools for videoconferences, calls, and audio recordings. As for the benefits of an investigation in a virtual environment, students will become proficient in the acquisition of soft skills, such as selecting information, critical thinking, decision-making, organization and time administration, reaching goals, and the power to face challenges.
Another advantage of project-based in online education is the students’ teamwork. Working in teams provides students with a unique space to perform different roles to do their tasks. They will have the opportunity to take on different parts based on their strengths. Nonetheless, they will acquire new skills along the process. They will overcome challenges, communicate better, keep a healthy relationship with all the members of the team, tolerance, respect for the ideas and work of others, and above all, complement their work with others’ effort. Online tools will assist them in communicating written and orally, synchronously, and asynchronously efficiently. The team will work towards the common good, and for the excellence of the project.
Once the project is complete, after processing the information, students will present their results. They will introduce solutions, alternatives, points of view to defend, and details to cover all the aspects of the project. Students will put their creativity to work as well as online applications and multimedia to persuade the audience. At this stage of the project, students will find new obstacles to overcome since all their time and effort invested relies on the effectiveness of their final presentation. They will display the synergy produced throughout the weeks or months together in their last performance. They must overcome the fear of speaking in public, and any problem that aroused along the way would be worthwhile when they introduce their project to the rest of the group and their teacher. They will treasure the invaluable experience, mastery of the subject, an opinion of their own, and an immense sense of satisfaction for a work well done as a team. A moment like will triggers hunger for more knowledge and success, which will empower them for life.