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My Topic and Purpose

Intent of Project

The intent of this course is to show educators how to incorporate project-based teaching methods effectively into their classroom.

Topics that will be covered:

· What is project based learning?

· What does effective project based teaching look like in practice?

· How can educators use project based teaching to develop curriculum?

· How can educators evaluate and assess student projects?

Learning Outcomes

Learners will be able to:

· Identify examples of effective project based teaching in the classroom.

· Apply project based teaching to formulate curriculum.

· List student skills gained from project based learning.

· Choose to use project-based learning in their teaching.

· Provide effective project-based learning assessment techniques.

Needs Assessment/Learner Analysis

Instructional Problem:

Problem Based Learning is a method of instruction used by instructors to help prepare students for a real-world setting. Problem Based Learning (PBL) helps students gain and develop skills such as problem solving and critical thinking while reflecting on information from personal real life experiences and knowledge about their own learning. (Ceker & Ozdamli, 2016) PBL can differ among courses, however the goals and learning objectives of all PBL outcomes generally stay the same. The goal of PBL is to help students construct extensive and flexible knowledge, develop effective problem solving skills, develop self-directed lifelong learning skills, become effective collaborators, and become intrinsically motivated to learn. (Ceker & Ozdamli, 2016) In this type of student-centered approach, instructors act as “facilitators rather than disseminators,” (Ceker & Ozdamli, 2016, p197) It is important for instructors to understand how to incorporate this method of instruction effectively into their curriculum so that students benefit from this student-centered approach to learning. The role of the instructor in PBL is critical in helping students become self-directed learners. PBL forces students to take initiative and responsibility for their own learning. Understanding how to effectively engage students into this type of behavior can be difficult. Instructors must create an environment in which students “receive systematic instruction in conceptual, strategic, and reflective reasoning in the content of a discipline the will ultimately make them more successful in later investigations.” (Ceker & Ozdamli, 2016, p197)

Incorporating PBL into the classroom can be challenging. The goal of this course is to investigate the advantages and challenges of PBL, discuss instructional methods used to incorporate PBL, and provide examples of successful PBL applications within multiple subjects.

The nature of what is to be learned:

Participants will learn how to incorporate PBL into the classroom by identifying example methods of PBL in successful higher education classrooms. Participants will investigate challenges of PBL instruction, and the methods used to insure outcomes meet learning objectives.

The Participants:

Participants will include current and upcoming educators in higher education. Participants do not necessarily have prior knowledge in PBL, however they will have prior teaching experience. Participants will understand the concept of PBL and will understand that the outcome of PBL is to prepare students for a real world setting. Instruction and activities will be geared toward the face-to-face classroom instruction, although information could also be shared among online instructors.

Learner Analysis:

Learners/participants within this course include educators and administrators who teach adults in higher education. Participants will have a varying degree of familiarity with PBL methods used in the classroom.


  • Prior teaching experience
  • Prior lesson planning experience
  • Knowledge of online discussion forums and submission boxes

Context for Instruction:

Participants will learn context through this online mini-course. Instruction will occur in an asynchronous, anytime anywhere environment. Delivery of the content will require internet connection and the use of a computer.

Exploring the Instructional Problem and Solution:

As participants explore this course, they will be introduced to common challenges in PBL instruction, and will investigate methods used to ensure successful outcomes. Participants will engage in activities that encourage them to form their own solutions in PBL design through investigation.

Goals of this Mini-Course:

One goal of this course is to make participants aware of the challenges associated is PBL. A second goal is to provide participants with the knowledge and skills to incorporate effective PBL into the classroom by identifying examples of effective PBL methods. A third goal of this course is for participants to understand student learning outcomes and goals from PBL instruction.


Ceker, E., & Ozdamli, F. (2016). Features and characteristics of problem based learning. Cypriot Journal of Education Sciences, 11(4), 195-202. Retrieved October 22, 2017, from

Performance-Based Objectives

  • Using the provided examples of successful PBL instruction, participants will identify key components to PBL instructional design and propose criteria to effective PBL instruction.
  • Given several examples of ineffective PBL instruction, participants will further identify key components to PBL instructional design and critique criteria for effective PBL instruction.
  • When given examples of ineffective PBL instruction, participants will identify challenges and investigate solutions within that context.
  • When the learner has a choice of multiple methods of PBL instruction, the participant will choose the method in which is best for the context of the course.
  • Given the question, ‘What learning outcomes should all PBL instruction provide a student?’ the participant will state three goals in writing, explaining his or her rationale.
  • At the conclusion of this course, participants will be able to formulate their own solutions to PBL instructional design when common challenges are identified.

Task Analysis



1.1 Recognize PBL and its importance.

1.2 Recognize the core elements of PBL and be able to think critically and relate how each element makes PBL successful.

1.3 Recognize the advantages and disadvantages of PBL.


  • Participants will watch a video discussing what PBL is, the elements that make up PBL, and the ways new instructors can get started with PBL.
  • Participants will watch a second video describing the five core elements of successful PBL.
  • Participants will participate in a discussion forum. The activity asks participants to discuss the benefits of PBL across different curriculum. The question asked; what subject areas or courses do you think PBL would work best in?


  • Participants will submit a journal entry reflecting on the material learned in this module.


2.1 Explain the steps for a successful PBL project.

2.2 Explain the process of planning and building projects.


  • Participants will watch a video that explains how PBL can be incorporated into school-wide curriculum.
  • Participants are given an article to read which, explains how to write effective essential questions for PBL.
  • Participants are given an article to read which explains to readers what it takes for a project to be “authentic”.


  • Participants will develop a first draft lesson plan that incorporates PBL into their curriculum.


3.1 Apply a project rubric.

3.2 Apply assessment throughout a project.


  • Participants will create a project rubric that applies to the PBL lesson plan they developed.
  • Participants will collaborate in peer review to offer feedback to each other on their PBL lesson plans.
  • Participants will revise their draft based on feedback.


  • Submission of the participant's finalized PBL lesson plan in the participants teaching field of focus. Submission will include the project rubric.

Curriculum Map



Ceker, E., & Ozdamli, F. (2016). Features and Characteristics of Problem Based Learning. Cypriot Journal of Education Sciences, 11(4), 195-202. Retrieved from

Common Sense Education. (2016, July 12). What is Project-Based Learning? [Video file]. Retrieved from

Edutopia. (2007, October 19). How Does Project-Based Learning Work? Retrieved from

Edutopia. (2012, May 23). Project-Based Learning: Success Start to Finish [Video file]. Retrieved from

Edutopia. (2014, July 16). Embedding Assessment throughout the Project [Video file]. Retrieved from

Edutopia. (2014, June 26). Five Keys to Rigorous Project-Based Learning [Video file]. Retrieved from

Exploring the Environment. (n.d.). Developing Rubrics for PBL Projects. Retrieved from

Hernandez, M. (2016, June 6). Evaluation within Project-Based Learning. Retrieved from

Larmer, J. (2012, May 24). What Does it Take for a Project to be “Authentic”? Retrieved from

Miller, A. (2015, August 20). How to Write Effective Driving Questions for Project-Based Learning. Retrieved from

Weyers, M. (2015, May 13). PBL Pilot: Formative Assessment and PBL. Retrieved from