P, P, or PBL – My Thoughts

I’m always forced to stop and think (a good thing, perhaps) about the similarities and differences between the ideas of project, product, and problem-based learning. For my own understanding, I always seem to think of them as fairly similar – the main differences being that in problem-based, there may be no final answer or product, and the learning starts with a problem or question (very much like the scientific method). For product or project-based, a student is looking to show learning (perhaps still based on a question) by the creation of some artifact. If I’m off the mark, help me out.

That being said, here are my succinct thoughts on PBL, based on the MET program…

You know things are easier to remember when they’re put to music? I see products / projects as music. They are both a vessel and vector for information. I couldn’t tell you all the theories of all the thinkers I’ve come across in MET thus far (off the top of my head), but when it comes to things like Moodles, videos, VoiceThreads, CMaps, blogs, etc., I am more prone to remember the information that went into one of those artifacts (or “songs”) than just “random” information. I have something to associate it with… to attach meaning to… to give it heft. With those experiences and memorable objects, I am able to better retain and use the information I have encountered.

A good site to compare the three P’s:


Posted in: Week 10: Product-Based Assessments