Learning by doing was once the primary way that people learned things. In recent history, the approach was somewhat eclipsed by "book learning" and lectures. However, since the 1990's, experiential learning has made a strong comeback in educational theory and practice.
Project-Based Learning (PBL) is a teaching method in which students learn by actively engaging in real-world and personally meaningful projects. - PBLWorks.org
The Project-Based Learning method involves more than just doing a hands-on project after learning about something through readings and lectures.
In Project-Based Learning, the project is the vehicle for teaching the important knowledge and skills students need to learn. The project contains and frames the curriculum and instruction. - PBLWorks.org
In order to be an effective frame and vehicle for learning, a rigorous project should involve the following essential design elements and teaching practices: