Learning, Beliefs, and Products: Students' Perspectives with Project-based Learning

Main Article Content

Michael M. Grant

Abstract

Project-based learning offers promise as an instructional method that
affords authentic learning tasks grounded in the personal interests of learners. While
previous research has presented results of learning gains, motivations, and teacher
experiences, limited empirical research has presented student perspectives in project-based
learning. This research sought to explore how learners created projects. A qualitative case
study design was employed with five purposively selected participants from eighth grade
geography at a private day school. From interviews, observations, and document collection,
five themes emerged from what influenced participants’ projects and what the participants
learned: (1) internal influences, (2) external influences, (3) beliefs about projects, (4)
tools for technology-rich environments, and (5) learning outcomes and products. The first four
themes describe influences to shape the fifth theme, learning products. The term learning
products was used to describe both the learning acquired by the participants and the learning
artifacts the participants produced as part of the instructional unit. Implications for
practice and future research are considered.

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