Project-based learning (PBL) provides students with the opportunity to investigate real-world problems by employing various autonomous methods to their investigations: goal-setting, collaboration, and reflection to name a few.

An inherent focus of PBL is on the practice of developing long-term transfer goals. In Assessing Student Learning by Design: Principles and Practices for Teachers and Student Leaders, Jay McTighe and Steve Ferrara define a transfer goal as the effective uses of understanding, knowledge, and skill - practices that students can do when they confront new challenges both inside and outside of school. In developing an understanding of transfer, students are able to apply PBL to current and future learning.

How can educators support PBL and the overall goal of transfer? PBL takes place over a continuum of time, which requires various forms of feedback throughout the entirety of the process. Feedback cannot wait until the end of the project - regular feedback that is tied to learning objectives and transfer are essential in this effective, but often misunderstood practice in teaching.

Spaces Tip

Have students use Spaces to document learning over time. In doing so, documented feedback (peer, self, and teacher) can be easily referenced throughout PBL. Students can track growth in real-time using various methods of reflection and curriculum tags can keep learning objectives at the forefront. Tracking the process can be highlighted in presentations and can be easily referenced when assessing the process and the product.

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