Teaching M.A.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Cavalier, Meghan


In an effort to find new ways of motivating and engaging students this literature review aims to understand the main concepts of Project-Based Learning (PBL), what motivation is, and how it affects student academics. PBL is a teaching method that uses inquiry, collaboration, real-world scenarios, and community involvement through the use of projects. PBL is a student-driven method in which teachers help facilitate discussion while students create and drive the projects. Teachers assist and guide students in the right direction as they ask questions and find solutions. Many researchers found higher levels of student motivation with PBL classroom environments based on surveys and academic results. Studies show students at a variety of learning abilities thriving with the PBL teaching method. Student surveys showed that students prefer working on projects of their choice and they felt higher motivation when the work was tied to real-life scenarios and their communities. Research showed that some students and teachers had concerns about PBL. Not all students enjoyed working collaboratively and struggled to work with their peers. Additionally, teachers struggled to implement all the concepts of PBL at once. They found the process challenging to fit all projects within a specific time frame and all curriculum materials within the projects. This literature review suggests further studies in specialized classes and academic results from a range of learning abilities and socioeconomic status factors.

Degree Name

Teaching M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis