Looking for ways to spark excitement and enthusiasm in students? Project-based learning (PBL) is exactly what you need! It is key to authentic classroom experiences. However, to be successful, PBL requires students to look into the real world.
True-to-life, complicated, and puzzling—problems humanity faces today give students a challenge they are excited to solve. PBL is a much-needed motivation. With specific and tangible situations, students make sense of the theory they learn at school and evoke their hunger to explore.
Why Align PBL to the Real World
PBL is based on real experiences students are likely to encounter in their lives. When working with students and providing homework assistance, online paper writing service writers have noticed that projects help students grow academically. They empower learners to:
- Deal with school projects using real-life problem-solving;
- Increase information retention by engaging with content on a deeper level;
- Stimulate reflection;
- Promote self-directed learning and independent inquiry;
- Learn to collaborate;
- Make connections between theory and practice;
- Develop critical thinking, reasoning, and communication skills.
To help students gain all these benefits, use the following five strategies when designing PBL activities.
5 Strategies for Authentic PBL
Bringing real-world PBL to the classroom requires special instructional design. The goal is to inspire students to develop actual solutions, products, or artifacts.
1. Collaborate with an Organization to Solve a Social Issue
Ask students to do research and pick a social issue they care about. It can be anything worth fighting for:
- Climate change;
- Immigration issues;
- Gender stereotypes;
- Access to health care.
Then, find an organization that specializes in the chosen issue. Students should brainstorm possible ideas on how they can help solve the issue and present their answers. Students can also contact the organization directly to see what it needs or offer their ideas. For example, a center for immigrant education may need a language tutor. An organization fighting for gender equality would appreciate it if you organized events to spread awareness about stereotypes and bias.
Students can be useful in many diverse ways. Such a project allows them to narrow down a social issue and work on a real tangible solution that actually makes a difference.
2. Help Your Local Community
Your local community might be facing challenges that directly affect student lives. It may be something happening in your city or even school. Helping the local community gives students a chance to be part of a real-time solution and see the impact of their work immediately. You can hardly find an assignment more rewarding.
The ways how students can help their local community are highly specific to the situation but here are some ideas:
- Organize a fundraiser to help a local animal shelter, hospital, charity, etc.
- Write an essay addressing an issue your community struggles with. With the help of an essay writing service, you’ll come up with a truly persuasive and inspiring piece. Publish it in a local newspaper or on your school’s website.
- Create a poster that spreads awareness about an issue you care about. You can display it around community areas so more people can see it.
3. Reach Authentic Audiences
Having a real audience adds a genuine context to a student project. It allows learners to collaborate with community members who come from different disciplines and industries. It improves their communication skills and allows them to network and build meaningful relationships.
While working on their projects, students should engage people by conducting surveys and interviewing experts for research. Real stories make projects more meaningful and give them context. Besides, students can also get guidance from industry experts, which may be useful for their future employment.
4. Go on Field Trips
Taking field trips is one of the ways to add original elements to student projects. Bringing learning outside the classroom gives students new hands-on experiences and opportunities. Find organizations that may let students talk to their employees. This is a chance for students to get company insights and work on their professional development. You can refer to different industries—from retail and media to technology and finance.
Field trips serve to show students how skills they learn in school can be used in a professional environment. They can also observe how their projects may be applied in the real world.
5. Use Real-World Processes and Tools
Encourage students to go beyond textbooks and traditional supplies. Their work on projects will be much more profound if they use professional methods and tools. For example, to do research, they can use:
- Database study;
- Focus groups;
- Scientific modeling;
Authentic learning tools connect learning and real life. They serve not only as methods for research but can also be applied to share knowledge and make a real impact on the community. The use of real-world processes and tools helps students develop transferable skills and adaptability. They are vital skills for students to succeed in the classroom and beyond.
To Sum Up
Students often ask, “How do I use it in real life?” Learning needs to be relevant to engage students and give them the motivation to research, explore, and create. By connecting PBL to the real world, students can draw from authentic events and experiences to fulfill their learning goals. This promotes student achievement through in-depth exploration and adds more context to the learning process. Try our strategies to boost PBL and help your students build their skills and prepare for success.