Students are free to follow their own path (to a certain extent) as they decided how best to achieve the objectives set.
The amount of materials that need to be planned and created is significantly reduced in terms of worksheets and supplementary materials that you will need to provide. In project-based learning the materials are essentially created by the students.
Grouping students together is a great way of breaking large classes down into small, more manageable sizes. A class of thirty becomes six groups of five. Differentiation in this form is achieved through placing students of the same level together.
Classes will inevitably have students with various abilities. With projects you can group stronger and weaker students. Here, the stronger students will act as a peer support to the students that need more help.
Assessing projects can take on many forms. It can be summative (conducted at the end to assess what has been learnt), or it can be formative (conducted throughout to gauge how learning is progressing). Or you can combine both to get a well-rounded picture of the project process.
This new found freedom is unusual for many students who may be used to following direct instructions from the teacher. As such, these students will need a little more guidance until they get used to going it alone.
The teacher will need to have a clear idea of what they would like the students to achieve by the end of the lesson and map these expectations out for the students. Students who have been used to working from worksheets will tend to get lost if they do not have a focus.
Working in groups doesn't come natural for some students who just prefer to work alone. It can also be very stressful as they have to negotiate meaning with others and learn to work in a team.
For some students taking on a mentorship role can be challenging, especially when age, sex and specific circumstances are taken into considerations. The tensions that arise may cause you to change the groups, but stick with it, as these are important life skills for the students to learn.
Many students are used to rote learning information and repeating it via a standardised test at the end of the semester. Projects can be assessed in much the same way. However, using alternative means by assessing them with via formative and summative means can be difficult for some students who are used to testing.