Instructor Resources

Why Project Based Learning Is So Important

July 16, 2021
Cartoon characters of two female students talking

Group work and collaboration have always been seen as essential parts of learning experiences in an educational setting. Implementing collaborative learning into a curriculum can be daunting at first but there are endless benefits to doing so. Project-based learning (PBL) is one approach that many instructors have found to be useful for student learning. Ensightful recently had the great opportunity to be a sponsor at one of the PBL Works conferences. After attending this conference, we have started to learn how PBL can enhance education by applying their knowledge and gaining the necessary interpersonal skills.

In this blog article, you will learn about how PBL can benefit students and what you can do to begin implementing it.


PBL is a great learning strategy to help students:

  • Engage with others
  • Adopt an inquiry-based learning
  • Develop interpersonal skills
  • Develop communication skills

In education, the goal is to prepare students for their future careers and “the real world”. In their future jobs, students won’t be memorizing textbooks and spitting out information. Instead, they will have to apply their knowledge to solve real-world problems. By learning to communicate with others, think critically and combine an array of ideas from their peers, they will gain skills that no textbook can provide them with. With PBL, students will be able to apply the new knowledge they are learning right in the classroom. When given the chance to apply their knowledge, they will obtain a deeper level of engagement with the content, giving them a sense of purpose.

Why Collaboration Is Key

There’s no question that collaboration is a skill that is needed for almost every kind of career. Collaborating with others goes far beyond working well together. When students are given the opportunity to collaborate with their classmates in their educational program, they can

  • Open their minds to new perspectives
  • Challenge themselves
  • Expand their creativity to come up with solutions

When students are challenged to express their ideas and listen to others, they learn to communicate effectively while applying what they have learned in school. This way of thinking also helps students retain information more effectively.

Tools To Succeed With PBL and Collaboration

1. Providing Students With a Team Collaboration Tool

Using a team collaboration tool can be very helpful for students who are learning through project-based learning as it helps them gain project management skills and a collaborative mindset. If students have a tool that can help them stay connected and organized, they will also gain essential skills for working in a team.

Ensightful is a project management tool that helps students collaborate more effectively, while also giving instructors valuable insight into the student teams, helping them identify any problems early on.

To learn more about what Ensightful has to offer for students, check out our Student Walkthrough Video. Likewise, if you are interested in seeing what Ensightful has to offer for instructors, check out our Instructor Walkthrough Video.

2. Ensure Students Communicate Their Goals and Expectations

Students need to have the chance to tell their teammates what they want the outcome to be and what they expect from their teammates. Having these conversations at the start of the project can establish a work dynamic that leads to a positive outcome while reducing conflict. Additionally, this also teaches students that all of them have a voice and a place within the group, which is an essential part of being a part of a team.

3. Giving and Providing Feedback

Students learn from their mistakes. Students must understand where they could improve. Additionally, it is equally as important for students to learn how to provide their peers with feedback. Learning how to receive constructive feedback and criticism is something that will only allow students to improve.