A. Introduction to Networked Project-Based Learning
We use the term NetPBL (Networked Project-Based Learning) to describe online collaborative learning.
There is nothing new about Project-Based Learning (PBL). Good teachers have always used projects as a supplement to their regular course of instruction. Any teacher who has taken a group on a field trip, had students enter projects in a science fair, had a class garden, collected and measured the pH of various water sources, or any one of a thousand activities that involve students in studying and interacting with the real world around them, has conducted a project-based learning activity.
We are seeing a resurgence of interest in the idea of PBL and its successful application in classrooms. Many educators, schools, communities, and other organizations are exploring aspects of project-based learning.
We believe that at least some of this renewed interest is due to the project opportunities presented by the Internet and World Wide Web. While the Internet adds valuable dimensions to a PBL experience, the management issues of a networked project are the same as those faced by every teacher who has embarked on an "old-fashioned, low-tech" project.
Therefore, this first section briefly introduces PBL concepts and provides resources to help you grapple with classroom management issues.