The Tasmanian Association for the Gifted



Explicit Teaching vs Project Based Learning – Achieving the Best Outcomes for Gifted Students

 A philosophy of education based on 15 years’ experience and learning in the field of coding and robotics


Bob Elliott

Why are we teaching robotics by project-based learning when evidence-based practice says that students learn more with explicit teaching?

All students, but especially gifted students, need to see a purpose to their learning. Making the learning project-based, with real-world issues or an authentic task, sparks student motivation. Similarly, student choice and projects aligned with student interests taps into this motivation to drive learning. The student choice in project-based learning helps not only motivation, but the development of intrinsic motivation, which is more powerful in the long-term.

Bob will discuss robotics pedagogy, why we teach using robotics, and how this benefits gifted students, especially twice-exceptional gifted students.

Bob will discuss using a blend of Resnick’s ‘4ps’, Design Thinking, Spencer’s ‘LAUNCH’ cycle, explicit teaching, and gamification to allow gifted students the flexibility to cultivate their interests and develop the habits of mind that bring a project from concept to fruition and promotes a life-long love of learning.


 7.30 pm

Tuesday 20th February 2024

Online Delivery (Zoom)

Those registered will be emailed a link and instructions a few days before the event.

Current TAG financial members – Free

Non-members – $10

Book your place at

Bob Elliott graduated from Stanford University with a Ph.D in Biology in 1992. Bob also has degrees in Teaching and Computing. Bob started teaching in 2011 as a high school maths/science teacher. Being part of the Tasmanian committee for Robocup Jr. lead to him being invited to take over Smartbots, the Gifted Online robotics and coding course he teaches with his colleague David Titherly. As part of the Smartbots program he visits about 12 schools fortnightly.   Bob’s speciality is “… the improvisational teaching of robotics and coding as theatre for parents and teachers…”. Bob encourages his students to say, “I have been thinking…..”.  Bob is a member of the local makerspace ‘Hobart Hackerspace”, informally leading their youth activities.

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