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Project-Based Learning in a Middle School: Tracing Abilities through the Artifacts of Learning


Journal of Research on Technology in Education Volume 38, Number 1, ISSN 1539-1523


The purpose of this study was to explore how individual differences--specifically abilities--were used in the construction of computer-mediated learning artifacts while working within a project-based learning environment. A case study design was used with five participants purposively selected from 61 eighth grade geography students at a small, private day school in the southeastern United States. Data were collected through a self-report inventory, interviews, observations, and artifacts. Results indicated that learning artifacts reflected individual differences through blends of abilities while other abilities identified by the participants went untapped or unrecognized. Second, the learning artifacts represented the learners' knowledge in three ways: system knowledge, domain knowledge, and metacognitive knowledge. However, some knowledge, such as process decision making, went undocumented. Finally, the flexibility in the project-based learning environment allowed the participants to make decisions about their abilities, resources, and plans. Recommendations and implications for teacher educators as well as inservice and preservice teachers are also presented.


Grant, M.M. & Branch, R.M. (2005). Project-Based Learning in a Middle School: Tracing Abilities through the Artifacts of Learning. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 38(1), 65-98. Retrieved April 8, 2020 from .

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