Introduction to Project Based Learning

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"Is this going to be on the test?" "Why do I have to learn this?" "When will I ever use this outside of school?"

Those are three questions that you will never hear from a student engaged in Project-Based Learning. Why? Because when students undertake a project, they learn what they need to know to solve a real-world problem for presentation to a real audience. They see first-hand how their learning and effort can have an impact outside of school.

Perhaps you've read a journal article or heard other teachers discussing Project-Based Learning. Maybe a school in your district is trying it out. Chances are good that you have heard something about Project-Based Learning recently. Touted by some as the ideal combination of last century's 3 R's with this century's 3 C's - Collaboration, Communication and Critical thinking - PBL is becoming increasingly popular. The goal of this mini-course is to provide an introduction to what Project Based Learning is and why research shows it to be so effective, so that you will want to learn more.


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  • Upon completion of this topic, the participant will
    • ...Understand what is involved in project-base learning
    • ...Be able to identify what is (or is not)an appropriate project.

Go to Intro2PBL-Unit1


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  • Upon completion of this topic, the participant will understand why PBL is an effective learning tool

Go to Intro2PBL-Unit2


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  • Upon completion of this topic, the participant will
    • ...Be able to recognize a rigorous, standards-based project
    • ...Identify the components of a PBL project
    • ...Understand the role of 21st century skills in the project

Go to Intro2PBL-Unit3

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  • Upon completion of this topic, the participant will
    • ...Know where to find existing projects
    • ...Know where to find additional resources

Go to Intro2PBL-Unit4