It is evident that every college student has reached their current position by a unique academic path, as learning styles differ drastically between individuals. Progress is assessed in multiple ways, but there are methods that stand out in efficiency.
One option is project-based learning, which is an instructional approach meant to engage students in modern problems in their communities. Project-based learning has been around since the 1960s, so it is not a new concept in the classroom. However, it is reemerging in popularity as traditional American classrooms are beginning to evolve in response to educational reform.
The increased use of technology at home and in the classroom have created new problems with student interest, but the inevitability of tech-based education calls for more hands-on work. Many students struggle with engagement and retention where conventional testing is concerned, as they are unable to connect its use to real-world issues and their personal lives. Project-based learning alleviates this by allowing students to explore their own interests in real-world issues.
This is especially effective at the college level because, in a place where many students have proven they can handle traditional tests, individuals are enabled to develop soft skills for their future careers. Peer cooperation cultivates improved communication and critical thinking skills. These projects also allow students to see how their own biases might play out in the workplace, and they can remedy this with the higher order thinking that project-based learning ultimately calls for to complete it successfully.
Lastly, this type of learning allows students to branch off into areas that they believe are relevant to modern society, making them much more likely to produce quality work that is indicative of their progress in the unit. Essentially, by utilizing this route, educators will create an atmosphere where learning is “played out” rather than passively completed.