For educators, teaching is about more than sharing information and hoping students retain it. It’s about the joy of watching young people learn ideas and concepts that prepare them for the world. And while testing can be an effective way to gauge whether students are learning what they should be, not all learning is the same.
Students certainly get an education with traditional learning models, but project-based learning – like what you can facilitate with Beepods at your school or in-home learning environment – is increasing in popularity. Project-based learning is exciting, hands-on, and motivating for students. And when it comes to testing, the proof is in the pudding: students participating in project-based learning test well, and sometimes, test better.
Today, we’re exploring how project-based learning improves student testing outcomes. We’ll also go over how Beepods supports project-based learning and why we’re fans of this emerging approach to education.
Traditional classroom learning is an education format we’re all familiar with. A teacher leads a class of students inside a classroom and teaches them about a set of specific topics or subjects, usually based on approved texts. Students are to master a subject in an environment where there is an emphasis on instruction, knowledge, information, and a uniform learning process for the class.
Project-based learning is a different story. Teachers make learning an interactive experience where students work for stretches of time on projects that introduce real-world challenges or questions before demonstrating what they’ve learned through presentations or creating products. To put it simply, students learn by doing. Some of the benefits of project-based learning observed in students are:
At Beepods, we’re fans of project-based learning and the endless ways it enhances learning experiences. With a Beepods Lab membership, teachers and students have access to tons of videos, resources, lesson plans, and more that support hands-on learning. And with a Beepods Complete Beekeeping System, you can engage students and inspire them through discovering bees in a safe and sustainable way.
With Beepods, students learn about various subjects, including math, physics, the environment, and agriculture, through in-class and virtual learning in Lab or in-person with a Beepod. The possibilities are endless when it comes to project-based learning with bees. Don’t forget to follow our blog to stay up-to-date on the benefits of project-based learning, along with other educational information.
The traditional way of learning and memorizing information has long-been a trusted way to prepare students to tap their brains and recall information during standardized tests. With the increasing popularity and success of project-based learning, researchers are finding that project-based learning students do as well as traditional learning students, if not better, during testing.
Why might that be? Project-based learning allows for a level of engagement and in-depth learning experience that traditional classroom learning simply can’t provide. Think of a time you’ve read or learned about how to do something, and then actually done it. Your understanding of whatever the concept was was likely enriched tremendously by carrying out that task yourself.
With project-based learning, students are actively applying the information they’re learning to hands-on work. They’re engaging in critical thinking and learning subjects in a way that calls for them to communicate and solve problems. Because they’re learning and practicing skills and knowledge over an extended period, the focus is less on memorizing and more on understanding in real-life.
The standardized tests required by states ensure that all schools and education systems are held to certain learning and achievement standards. Higher education testing, such as the SAT and ACT, are – in theory – meant to demonstrate a student’s preparedness for college or university education.
There are mixed opinions about standardized testing and whether or not it’s needed. Some say it’s an outdated measurement of what students are learning at school. Fans of standardized testing stress that it provides valuable information that can be used to ensure quality education for all students.
In recent years, and in particular, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, public opinions on standardized testing appear to be shifting. In 2020, some states dropped their annual testing requirement, and colleges and universities removed (at least temporarily) testing from their application requirements due to the pandemic.
Perhaps the power of standardized testing is shifting as the education-world is reacting to the times. Regardless, as long as standardized testing exists, it will be a relevant aspect of gauging the effectiveness of different learning methods.
We’re a little (okay, a lot) biased about project-based learning at Beepods. We’ve seen how impactful it is for students to work through their projects with hands-on learning and take away meaningful educational experiences. While the use of standardized testing may change in the future, for now, it’s important to know that project-based learning is helping students do well on those tests.
As for us, we’re proud to provide resources and tools that make project-based learning all the more fun and exciting for students everywhere!