An integral part of Project-Based Learning is prototype-making. Making prototypes are a useful learning tool that provides a common language for students with different academic and cultural backgrounds, and allows the creation process to advance faster by providing a physical object that clarifies the students’ abstract ideas, and makes it easier to explain and communicate to others.
When using the PBL method, the role of a teacher changes from being a lecturer to facilitating the learning process. Producing learning is not dependent on teachers’ ability to transfer knowledge to students. Rather, it depends on their ability to actively participate in their own learning process.
PBL activities apply theory to practice through real-life problems that can be accomplished only with support of a master in the field. In this situated learning, rather than separating theoretical knowledge learned in class from the practical application, students search for the knowledge needed to carry out a particular situated task, giving context to the knowledge, which is created or presented through participation, concrete doing, active thinking, and problem-solving. This way students focus on the how instead of the what.
Series Part 1: Introduction to ADF ways of working
This series explores different topics surrounding pedagogical development. Aalto Design Factory uses the principles of Design-based learning to provide a physical platform for passion-based learning, or problem-based learning (PBL).