L. Garcia1, J. Zanetich2, J.D. Garcia1, A. Rodriguez1

1University of the Basque Country (SPAIN)
2Berkeley College (UNITED STATES)
In Learning Communities, knowledge is not simply “discovered” but is socially constructed through interactions between people. To convert the experiential interactions into authentic learning, the instructor needs to integrate activities making sure knowledge is shared with other members of the learning community. As a result, classroom learning communities are student centered and in which the instructor maximizes interactions between all members efficiently. Problem Based Learning (PBL) has received a lot of attention and recognition for the action oriented individual approach it promotes. However, learning interactions are arithmetically increased by the additional number of possible interactions in a group project. This is known as Project-Based Learning. Once the project and the possible interactions reach beyond the classroom, as in an international project with a common goal, the workers in the project become part of a community of learning. When the activity energy is focused on obtaining the desired group outcome, the basic human need to communicate and socialize within a group naturally provides learning opportunities for all participants. Interactions within the community of learning are facilitated and enhanced by the use of social media.

Learning communities based on Project Based Learning help transform traditional pedagogy to experiential pedagogy, and change faculty-student relationships from teacher focused to student focused. Students learn through experience and the evaluation of their contribution to the outcome is made in terms of individual student’s artifacts to the course portfolio which each student can include in their employment portfolio.

From all this above, we present the aim of our study, that is, to create a common project between US students and Basque students (Spain) in which the two countries work together analyzing the effects of Project Based Learning and social media on project outcome. The project will consist of different activities related to the subject considered, for instance, pretest, posttest, , discussions in forums, etc. These activities will allow us to know the differences existed in terms of ways of looking solutions between two groups and to know how this Project Based Learning is efficient in different contexts.