How do these types of teaching/learning FIT into today’s requirements under the NCLB? Since more and more instruction to prepare students for the achievement tests seems to be moving back toward direct instruction (behaviorism), how can PBL and other strategies fit into these requirements?

Students who are more advanced and have the skills to use the internet can be put in groups with other students that are at their learning level. Projects and requirements can vary.
Another option is to split groups so they have a higher end level of learning and a lower end. The higher students can manage the lower students and be given more responsibilities as well as peer tutor.

Instead of teaching "at" students, why not allow them to put what they
are learning into practice? How can we do this as educators?
"Project Based Learning"

PBL is a way of teaching students using projects that incorporate various subjects and can be applied to real life situations

    • helps students develop skills for living in a highly technological society
    • provides authentic assessment
    • promotes lifelong learning
    • accommodates various learning styles and differences

“PBL is not just a way of learning; it’s a way of working together. If students learn to take responsibility for their own learning,they will form the basis for the way they will work with others in their adult lives.”

Students will need to know:
v how to work with others
v organizational skills
v management skills
v web safety

Teacher needs to provide for students:

  • Examples
  • Specific goals/outcomes/tasks or task worksheet
  • Dates/times that a certain part of project is due-keep on schedule
  • Scaffolding for internet safety
  • Assessment sheets for both the student (self) and the teacher
  • Rubric

Examples of PBL:

Music project based learning

A helpful guide to PBL:

Engaged Learning

Creating Learners for Life


What is engaged learning?

Engaged Learners actively participate in their learning by researching, exploring, debating, and discovering ideas of their choice. They take responsibility for their own learning and assess their own achievement.

Web-Based Engaged Learning

Engaged Learning is about students engaged in a problem they have initiated and generated to solve. The problem requires the use of interdisciplinary skills to solve. Some strategies for using the web in engaged learning could include
  • researching the problem on the Web
  • downloading articles concerning the problem off of various news sites
  • communicating with schools, businesses, or companies around the world that are connected to the problem
  • creating artifacts representing their problem that can be posted on the web that include but are not limited to videos, webpages, or blogs

Skills Students Need

In order to be successful students and teachers need to be comfortable with the constructivist model. Students are responsible for initiating the research by identifying a problem they are interested and engaged in. They also need to know how to set up their investigation, how to colloborate with others, and where to gather information. They need to be comfortable with how to use the web, how to determine which resources on the web are reliable, how to conduct effective searches, and how to record the information they gather in a way that can be communicated to the public.

Examples of Web-Based Engaged Learning

How to assess engaged learning

Assessing for learning is a shared responsibility between teacher and student. Rubrics are often recommended.

Discovery Learning

-Some millions of years ago a creature with a stick solved the problem of what to eat for lunch by knocking fruit from a tree. At one stroke our ancestor demonstrated problem solving, tool use, and discovery learning.

Discovery Learning is a method of inquiry-based instruction, discovery learning believes that it is best for learners to discoveDiscovery_Learning.jpgr facts and relationships for themselves. Jerome Bruner, a psychologist was a major influence on discovery learning. This type of learning uses cognitive psychology and a constructivist learning environment. Discovery learning allows students to interact with their environment thereby increasing their knowledge.

Proponents of this theory believe that discovery learning has many advantages, including:
  • encourages active engagement
  • promotes motivation
  • promotes autonomy, responsibility, independence
  • the development of creativity and problem solving skills.
  • a tailored learning experience
Simulation is one example of discovery learning where students get a chance to explore, solve, and use those important critical thinking skills to discover and gain new knowledge.
Although discovery learning never achieved great success or acceptance, when combined with theory based instruction the results are more successful.

Sites of interest include:

Inquiry Based Learning

Inquiry Based Learning is

  • use of questioning to produce knowledge
  • constructing knowledge on a "needs to" or "wants to" basis
  • integration of many learning disciplines

Students will need to know

  • framework into which to ask questions
  • how to access, transfer and apply learned information into new situations

How to use the Internet to aid inquiry based learning? This article gives a step-by-step approach for using a structured inquiry based learning approach with the Internet as the primary resource. This is an excellent tool for beginning to integrate technology and the inquiry based approach to a classroom!