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I’m excited to announce that I have new research being published in the the September issue of the Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning. This article presents the findings of students’ perspectives with project-based learning, conducted with 8th graders studying geography.  This is a follow-up to some of my previous writing and research on project-based learning.  (See for example, “Getting a grip…” , “Project-based learning in a middle school” , and a brief at the Buck Institute for Education.)

Below is a brief abstract of the findings, and I will give you an update when it comes out.

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.

If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below, or if you’d like to have a preprint version of the paper, I can probably swing that, too. 😉

About Michael M Grant

Dr. Michael M. Grant is a passionate professor, researcher, and consultant. He works with faculty members, schools and universities, and districts to integrate technology meaningfully and improve teaching and learning. When 140 characters just won't work, then he blogs here at He has a beautiful wife and three equally beautiful daughters, who will change the world.

2 Thoughts on “New research: Students’ Perspectives with Project-based Learning

  1. William Oehlkers on July 14, 2011 at 9:18 am said:

    We going to be heavily involved in PBL in RI this fall through a unit on Egypt in a middle school and a graduate literacy class that is build around PBL. I would love to receive a copy of your latest article.

    Bill Oehlkers
    Barrington, RI

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