Project-based learning (PBL) is a student-centered methodology that encourages students to learn and apply knowledge and skills through an engaging experience and active exploration of real-world problems (Dewey, 1997). Students learn about a subject by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to a complex question, challenge, or problem (Markham, 2011). PBL contrasts with traditional teaching since it doesn’t portray a linear knowledge path but instead poses questions and problems, thus enabling the motion of learning by doing.

Project-based learning vs Projects

Projects are usually limited in scope and duration. They are a good way for students to work with content they have already learnt. In PBL students learn through the project.In traditional classroom projects, however, students engage in only part of the inquiry process. The teacher does the questioning, planning, and researching and presents all the material to the students. Then, students create something. The teacher and student work together to improve it, and then the student presents the project to the class or puts it in a glass case in the school.

On the other hand a typical PBL scenario proposes a question or a problem that needs to be addressed. The project is focused on teaching students important knowledge and skills, derived from standards and key concepts at the heart of academic subjects.Project-based learning is often multidisciplinary and longer, whereas problem-based learning is more likely to be a single subject and shorter. Generally, project-based learning follows general steps while problem-based learning provides specific steps. Importantly, project-based learning often involves authentic tasks that solve real-world problems while problem-based learning uses scenarios and cases that are perhaps less related to real life (Larmer, 2014).

Goals in project-based learning

According to educators Project-based learning (PBL) encompasses many benefits of applying this methodology to students. Those vary from deeper understanding of concepts, broadening the knowledge base, improving communication and enhancing interpersonal and / or social skills, enhancing leadership skills, to increased levels of creativity. This methodology intensifies self-directed learning through problem-centered authentic frameworks offering activities that include multisensory representations of knowledge (Mills & Treagust, 2003).

Role of the educator

Sets the question / issue in such a way in order to direct the learning towards the content based on the material available.

Sets the question / issue in such a way in order to direct the learning towards the content based on the material available.

Urges the learners to think rationally about how to solve problems.

Besides the teacher assumes the role of the facilitator, in collaboration with

students carefully evaluating what students have learned based on the experience they have acquired.

Helps students set the goals. This wat the teacher ensures that students’ projects focus on a deep understanding of the concept.

Provides feedback to help students enhance the skills they will need in their next project.

Endorses active listening skills by advising them to participate in the dialogue regarding the issue/question.

Role of the students

Students are engaged in an extended, rigorous process of asking questions, using resources, and developing answers

Students take part in research activities to solve a problem, answer a question, or address a challenge given to them.

Then, they work together to achieve specific goals that address the problem/question.

They cooperate with another and exchange ideas in order produce a common solution

They improve their critical thinking since they constantly choose how to obtain, or handle, information and at the same time evaluate their choices.

Finally Students present their work to other people, beyond their classmates and teacher, therefore improving their public speaking and presentation skills.


PBL is a didactic approach that differs from traditional projects. It is student-centered, as it sets emphasis on collaboration between learners, having them face challenges that have real-world application, increasing the chance of long-term retention of knowledge and skills (Falik, 2008). Finally It can be assumed that PBL follows the theory of social constructivism since it includes collaboration between peers and knowledge acquisition by doing and not just listening.