Recipe for Success with Project-Based Learning

A dose of hands-on problem solving sprinkled with collaboration makes this project-based learning recipe a go-to for teachers looking to challenge students

Ingredients:

1 DIGITAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT THAT PROVIDES A VARIETY OF TOOLS FOR COLLABORATION • 1 CLASSROOM OF EAGER AND CREATIVE STUDENTS • 1 CENTRALIZED LOCATION FOR STORING AND MANAGING PBL ASSETS • A HEAPING CUP OF CHALLENGING PROBLEMS TO SOLVE

Project-Based Learning Directions:

  1. Build a Project Around a Driving Question
  2. Plan Introductory Event
  3. Give Students a Discussion Platform
  4. Encourage Collaboration
  5. Set a Clear Deadline
  6. Encourage 21st Century Presentation Skills
  7. Use an LMS to Support PBL from the Get Go

 

1. Get started by building a project around a driving question that ties-into your lesson plan.

Work backwards by determining the conclusions you’d like your students to come to and what problems you’ll need to present them with to lead them there.

2. Engage your students from the very start of the project by planning an exciting introductory event.

Consider planning a dramatic presentation or a field-trip. This will draw them in and introduce them to key concepts and terms they’ll need for research and discussions.

3. Jumpstart the conversation by giving students a platform for critical discussion.

Poll the class based on their initial reactions and have them hypothesis answers. Provide them with a readily available “glossary” that lists keywords and concepts to facilitate their conversation.

4. Encourage students to work collaboratively.

With integrated cloud tools, students can easily work in groups to complete the project by sharing files from Google and other applications and accessing those tools across multiple devices.

5. Set a clear deadline and a time frame for each leg of the project.

Have daily catch ups with the class to ensure they’re completing their research and ask each student to submit a weekly outline of the research they’ve done and what they’ve learned so far.

6. When it comes time for students to present their findings and demonstrate their comprehension of the subject, use this opportunity to test the depth of their 21st-century presentation skills.

Have them create a media-rich presentation that they share with the class. Record and save their presentation for use in future lessons.

7. Using a learning management system will simplify assessing your PBL initiative from the get-go.

With itslearning, you can tie all content and courses to your district’s standards, and use advanced reporting tools for assessing each student for comprehension, communication, teamwork, and collaboration skills.

Get the printable Project Based Learning recipe PDF here and find other great resources for teachers in our New Teacher’s Lounge.