Project Based Learning Instruction for K-12 Educators


Catherine Rossi

Course Introduction

How can we achieve deep understanding of content while engaging our students and equipping them with 21st century skills? Too often in the media and in other settings we hear negative connotations about school. In cartoons, television, movies and books classrooms can be depicted as boring and unfulfilling. Students themselves will often admit that they are bored or uninterested in their classroom experiences. When students are unengaged, they are less likely to develop deep understanding of content (Krajcik & Blumenfeld, 2006). However, certain instructional strategies that are backed by research can have an effective outcome on student learning. Project Based Learning (PBL) can be described as simply learning by doing. Students are given a constructed question that mirrors a real life situation and allows them to develop meaningful learning through inquiry based activities and assessments (Krajcik & Blumemfeld, 2006). While there are constraints with standardized testing and state mandated curriculum, there are still strategies that can be used by teachers in order to create authentic learning opportunities for students while also mastering academic standards. By participating in this mini-course, K-12 teachers will receive support and ideas for creating successful PBL units in their classrooms.

Below are the learning objectives and outcomes for this mini-course. By participating in this course, it is hoped that you as a teacher will be able to:

  1. Create collegial and collaborative environments among students
  2. Use learning strategies and activities to effectively promote real world problem solving skills
  3. Facilitate an environment that encourages creative summative assessment
  4. Provide opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning through authentic experiences'

PBL Image 1.jpeg

Lesson 1-Learner Diagnostic

Lesson 2- Selecting and Assigning the Topic/ Problem

Lesson 3- Creating Performance Tasks

Lesson 4- Formative Assessment

Lesson 5- Summative Assessment

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Krajcik J.S., & Blumemfeld, P.C. (2006). Project based learning. Journal of Research in Science Teaching