The Effect of Project-Based Learning on Student Performance: An Action Research Study

Darren H Iwamoto, Jace Hargis, Ky Vuong


This study analyzed the effectiveness of an alternate pedagogical approach in the form of standards-focused project-based learning (PBL) teaching model in psychology classes.  Both the control and experimental groups initially adopted a negative attitude when presented with an alternate method of learning.  They viewed the group project as an unnecessary task although the literature contradicts their initial perception.  Data analyzed found that the experimental group that engaged the project and took responsibility for the learning of their peers scored significantly higher on the multiple-choice exam when compared to the control group.  No significance was found in the second experimental group where majority of the students did their part, but did not report feeling a sense of responsibility for the learning of their peers. Key indicators for higher academic performance were: 1) high self-efficacy; 2) high level of perceived control; and 3) growth mindset.


Project-Based Learning, Active Learning, curriculum development

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