Project Based Learning + Hāpara = deeper learning

Oct 29, 2019 | For the Classroom

Using technology for deep learning

WRITTEN BY

Lindsay Dixon Garcia

Head of Content | Hapara

Hāpara and PBL Works recently teamed up to host a webinar with two of the leading experts in project-based learning: John Larmer and Rich Dixon. During this 30-minute webinar, Larmer and Dixon shared lots of information about what PBL is, how to use it in the classroom to personalize learning and how PBL works with the Hāpara Instructional Suite. 

Keep reading to learn more about Hāpara and PBL.

What is PBL? 

In project based learning, students learn by working for an extended period of time to research and answer an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem or challenge (PBL Works). There are a lot of misconceptions about PBL and what it is. Project based learning is not “doing projects” like dioramas that focus solely on the final product and not authentic to the real world. It’s actually a lot more than that and done correctly provides a rich, deep learning experience. PBL promotes genuine inquiry, collaboration, solving real world problems, student voice and choice, and it focuses on the process rather than the final product–this is where learning really happens.

PBL is…
The project IS the unit (or the major vehicle for teaching the content).
Open-ended task with student voice and choice; often differs year to year.
Often done in teams, most during class time.
Focused on the process.
Authentic to real world or students’ lives.

Source: PBL Works

Why PBL? 

PBL is a method that can be used with all types of learners; from elementary to high school, in math class or music class. It is a way to deliver instruction that is truly personalized and differentiated for each learner’s needs. Because PBL stresses personalization and student voice choice, learners are much more engaged, learn more deeply, develop skills they can use in the real world and have a lot of room to express their creativity.

Hāpara and the HQPBL Framework

The High-Quality Project Based Learning Framework is made up of six components: 

  • Intellectual challenge and accomplishment 
  • Authenticity 
  • Public product 
  • Collaboration 
  • Project management 
  • Reflection 

It’s this framework that makes PBL what it is, and it’s the reason that PBL is such an effective teaching method. Students in classrooms where PBL is in use are highly engaged and invested in their learning because it is relevant to their own lives. They learn so much along the way and use skills like project management well into adulthood.

PBL Workspace

In this example Hāpara Workspace, students learn about the importance of establishing habits for a healthy lifestyle. The great thing about this project is that it incorporates the HQPBL Framework. In this Workspace, learners are invited to research a health issue in their community.
Students get to choose the health issue that they want to research and in doing this they have the opportunity to make an impact on their peers and community at large.
This project is not something that will be turned in and filed away to collect dust. Students will present their findings and ideas at a student council meeting.
The project requires them to work together and create a project plan, as well as self-regulate their progress. In addition, Hāpara Student Dashboard works as a student-facing tool to help learners manage their projects.

Reflection is built into this project–not only at the end, but throughout. All of this is clearly laid out for learners in their Hāpara Workspace.

Check out our free webinar on project based learning!

View the webinar

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