Project Based Learning

Renzulli Learning provides many pathways to Project Based Learning (PBL), which is based on the Enrichment Triad Model and more than four decades of research from University of Connecticut professors Dr. Joseph Renzulli and Dr. Sally Reis. Through the Enrichment Triad Model, students lead up to the Type III Investigation process which is the best of Project Based Learning intertwined with Problem Based Learning – “PBL” at its very best!

Students who use PBL are engaged with in-depth research experiences of real world problems that offer enrichment, engagement, and accelerated learning. Renzulli Learning’s Enrichment Database offers students their own personalized differentiated resources, as well as the ability to search the full fifty thousand-plus differentiated resources to support their PBL experiences.

Before School, during school, and after school, teachers and students can integrate the ready made Super Starter Projects into the curriculum or use these templates to customize their own unique project plan. Renzulli Learning’s PBL has been successful in engaging students in community related activities that ignite curiosity and often result in Renzulli Learning community exhibits.

Global Collaboration within Renzulli Learning gives students the opportunity to work collaboratively on Project Based Learning with other participating schools around the world. Participating schools will partner-up with schools on an opt-in basis through Renzulli Learning. Students can be grouped into PBL enrichment clusters based upon any criteria within the system including interests, learning styles, expression styles, or can be sorted into custom groups by teachers. Students develop advanced learning and executive function skills which include critical thinking, communication, collaboration, time management, and creativity skills. The projects culminate with a group presentation in which students will present their work to an authentic audience.

Renzulli Learning offers Professional Development to support your PBL efforts and is based on the research and pedagogy of Dr. Joseph S. Renzulli and Dr. Sally Reis. The Enrichment Triad Model and Schoolwide Enrichment Models are among the most widely used and researched enrichment programs in the world and are the basis for advanced PBL opportunities, including both individual exploration and small group projects, pulling together Project and Problem Based Learning.

By giving students the power of choice and voice, the result is a higher level of engagement that more closely mirrors real life settings. Renzulli Learning’s unparalleled Project Based Learning is guiding school leaders in recognizing the potential of their students, preparing students today for the jobs of tomorrow, many of which do not exist today.

Virtual Presentation Environment

The Renzulli Learning Project Management System includes a powerful presentation environment which can be used to showcase student creative work and provide an immediate authentic audience.

The platform includes an image of each student’s video summary or photo essay of their project and can be used as a collaborative remote learning event venue to host virtual fairs, contests, projects of the week and projects of the month.

“We are excited to launch a virtual platform to showcase HISD GT scholars and their work. This Virtual GT Expo is a landmark opportunity to display our scholars’ extended and independent investigative work in their respective fields of inquiry and interest.”

Tia N. Locke-Simmons, Director, Gifted and Talented Education
Explore Examples of Student’s Projects:
Student’s Name: Sena
From: Japan
Topic: Women in STEM
Student’s Name: Siddarth
From: India
Topic: Plastic Reduction Proposal
Student’s Name: Sofia
From: Russia
Topic: Where Can We Get New Skin From?
Student’s Name: Ben
From: United States
Topic: The Pneumo-Solar Engine

Problem Based Learning (PBL) and the Type III Enrichment Component of the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM)

There are similarities between PBL and SEM but there are also some important differences. PBL is designed to cover topics in the prescribed curriculum using innovative grouping and teaching practices that involve all students. The outcome is mastering the topic more effectively through these different teaching methods and this approach has had positive effects in promoting more student engagement. In PBL the work is usually carried out within a regularly scheduled time period for a particular unit of study.

SEM is problem-based learning but it is much more personalized and follows the modus operandi of what scientists, writers, artists, and creative adults do in the outside-of-school world. The problems within SEM are personal to the individual student or small groups that share a common interest. They are selected by students on student-based interests and passions rather than prescribed curricular topics, even if the interest is restricted by the teacher to a general subject area or unit of study (e.g., students may want to investigate the music, fashion, movies, or a particular politician in a unit on the Great depression). A defining feature is that they are intended to bring about some kind(s) of changes in the world beyond the classroom. They are evaluated by a Student Product Assessment Form which includes items that reflect the use of authentic methodology and impact upon audience rather than merely testing the mastery of information covered in a unit of study.

The Type III component of the SEM also goes beyond simply working on a problem. The time period for a Type III is determined by the nature and complexity of the problem and sometimes takes months or even years. SEM projects do not have “a right answer” or even a single best-way of addressing the problem and they always culminate in a product or service for an authentic audience. The problems are meaningful and the solutions to the problems are impactful.

Joseph Renzulli
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