Learning Thursday #2: Project-Based Learning

December 27, 2018
Katrina Marie Baker works for Adobe as a Senior Learning Evangelist. Her independently operated consulting firm, Resources of Fun Learning, has advised organizations in multiple industries, including aerospace, construction, legal, retail, technology, and transportation. Katrina speaks frequently and maintains YouTube channel Learn Tech Collective. She has authored books LMS Success (2018), The LMS Selection Checklist (2018), and Corporate Training Tips & Tricks (2017). Katrina is a former Director of Technology with the Association for Talent Development. She has worked in global training capacities for Fortune 500 retailer Whole Foods Market, and Global 100 law firms Cooley LLP and Latham & Watkins LLP. Previously, Katrina worked in music and video production for clients such as Disney Channel and Adult Swim.
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Learning Thursday #2: Project-Based Learning

Katrina Marie Baker works for Adobe as a Senior Learning Evangelist. Her independently operated consulting firm, Resources of Fun Learning, has advised organizations in multiple industries, including aerospace, construction, legal, retail, technology, and transportation. Katrina speaks frequently and maintains YouTube channel Learn Tech Collective. She has authored books LMS Success (2018), The LMS Selection Checklist (2018), and Corporate Training Tips & Tricks (2017). Katrina is a former Director of Technology with the Association for Talent Development. She has worked in global training capacities for Fortune 500 retailer Whole Foods Market, and Global 100 law firms Cooley LLP and Latham & Watkins LLP. Previously, Katrina worked in music and video production for clients such as Disney Channel and Adult Swim.
Guide 57 posts
Followers: 57 people
December 27, 2018

Earlier this month, I started the Learning Thursday blog series, which features a new learning and development article every other week that has a unique perspective.  I’ll also post some discussion points for those who would like to reflect on the article.  If you’d like to participate, please follow me here on the Adobe eLearning blog and comment on this week’s article:

Krajcik, J., & Blumenfeld, P. (2006). Project-based learning. In R. K. Sawyer (Ed.), Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences (pp. 317–334). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar

(The Google Scholar link will take you to a free PDF of the article.)

Introductory Paragraph: Any teacher or parent can tell you that many students are bored in school. But many of them tend to assume that boredom is not a problem with the best students, and that if students tried harder or learned better they wouldn’t be bored. In the 1980s and 1990s, education researchers increasingly realized that when students are bored and unengaged, they are less likely to learn (Blumenfeld et al., 1991). Studies of student experience found that almost all students are bored in school, even the ones who score well on standardized tests (Csikszentmihalyi, Rathunde, & Whalen, 1993). By about 1990, it became obvious to education researchers that the problem wasn’t the fault of the students; there was something wrong with the structure of schooling. If we could find a way to engage students in their learning, to restructure the classroom so that students would be motivated to learn, that would be a dramatic change.

After reading the article, please add a comment with your thoughts on one (or all) of these questions:

  1. Can you give an example of a project-based learning experience you’ve had?
  2. What is one topic you would like to deliver using a project-based learning approach?
  3. How can learning technology be used to support project-based learning?
Comments (5)
2018-12-29 09:35:24
2018-12-29 09:35:24

Katrina, I didn’t yet keep my promise to write out some blogs about my experiments in university college with problem-based learning and flipped classes.

A very successful experiment was for ‘Project Management for Construction Sites’.  Even a national radio journalist reported about it. He was amazed that students were spending about 60 hours/week on the campus for that project, where they were required to be there a minimum of 20hrs. Working totally independently, although they could reach me through social media (Twitter was the favourite).

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Lieve Weymeis
's comment
2019-01-07 18:39:07
2019-01-07 18:39:07
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Lieve Weymeis
's comment

I’m excited to hear more about it.  Sometimes the non-traditional learning environment allows students to devote themselves more completely to a topic.  If a person feels free to explore, solve problems, and try things, it’s possible to fall in love with a topic that wouldn’t have been of interest in the classroom environment.

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Katrina Marie Baker
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2019-01-07 19:14:41
2019-01-07 19:14:41
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Katrina Marie Baker
's comment

Indeed, but managed to avoid pitfalls. Students could propose part of the content for the individual assessments….  Give control to the students, best way to engage them! And I taught them how to use Twitter to get the quickest answers from me. It was so much fun! That tutorial was also done with Captivate of course.

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2018-12-28 17:20:27
2018-12-28 17:20:27

There have been giant leaps in technology since the article was published. I imagine the noted technology obstacles have evaporated. Many students today are carrying a design studio/TV station/radio station in their pocket.

Training aircrews today includes technology that allow level 5 simulations. This learning technology allows the student to explore extremely dangerous situations without that actual danger.

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Todd Spargo
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2019-01-07 18:53:18
2019-01-07 18:53:18
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Todd Spargo
's comment

That makes sense.  I’ve heard of virtual reality simulations that are intended to prepared fire cadets for their first building fire experience.  I would imagine simulations would be useful in crash trainings and a number of other scenarios that are difficult to replicate in a real life environment.

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