Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to engaging questions, a problem, or a challenge. Students lead their learning and the teacher acts as a facilitator or advisor for the students individual projects.
- PBL makes school more engaging for students. In PBL, students are active and engage their hearts and minds in learning.
- PBL improves learning. Students understand content more deeply and retain the information they have learned for longer.
- PBL builds life skills not just academic skills. Students learn to take initiative and responsibility, build their confidence, solve problems, work in teams, communicate ideas, and manage themselves more effectively.
- PBL helps address academic standards. Projects incorporate more standards at one time and build cross curricular connections.
- PBL provides opportunities for students to use technology.Students have opportunities to use new and innovative technological tools on their projects.
- PBL makes teaching more enjoyable and rewarding. Teachers have the opportunity to work closely with students and build intrinsic value rather than extrinsic motivation.
- PBL connects students and schools with communities and the real world. Students are empowered to make a difference in their community and in the world by coming up with innovative solutions and projects to share with the community.
Essential Project Design Elements
Key Knowledge, Understanding, and Success Skills – The project is focused on student learning goals, including standards-based content and skills such as critical thinking/problem solving, collaboration, and self-management.
Challenging Problem or Question – The project is framed by a meaningful problem to solve or a question to answer, at the appropriate level of challenge.
Sustained Inquiry – Students engage in a rigorous, extended process of asking questions, finding resources, and applying information.
Authenticity – The project features real-world context, tasks and tools, quality standards, or impact – or speaks to students’ personal concerns, interests, and issues in their lives.
Student Voice & Choice – Students make some decisions about the project, including how they work and what they create.
Reflection – Students and teachers reflect on learning, the effectiveness of their inquiry and project activities, the quality of student work, obstacles and how to overcome them.
Critique & Revision – Students give, receive, and use feedback to improve their process and products.
Public Product – Students make their project work public by explaining, displaying and/or presenting it to people beyond the classroom.