Project-Based Learning (PBL) is currently one of the big buzz words in education. To some it is like a "magical wand” that transforms everything and turns dull classes into rich and deep learning experiences. Others think that PBL is just a waste of time and that the return on investment is not worth trying.
In order to give you a better understanding of this pedagogical approach, I will (1) define what Project-Based Learning is, (2) what it is not, (3) what scientific research tells us when it works and when it does not work, (4) which educational challenges teachers and students have to face when using PBL in classes and (5) which theories of learning & teaching help us explain and understand why and how PBL works. Finally, I will give you a very personal account of PBL based on my teaching experiences in a higher education setting.