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Topic/purpose

Understanding Project Based Learning, its role in a in a high school child development course, and how it can apply to you.

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Needs Assessment

  • To provide the definition of project based learning, how it applies to a family and consumer sciences classroom, and how it can be used in other content areas.
  • Instructors will learn what project based learning is and how they can apply it to their content area.
  • This unit begins with the definition and overall understanding of what project based learning is. That is followed by and understanding of how project based learning is utilized by proving and example from a child development course in the Family and Consumer Sciences subject area. There will also be a description of a student created rubric for a project based learning activity. At the end of the unit, users will engage in an activity that helps them constructively think of ways their classroom can engage in a PBL environment.
  • Users will also complete an evaluation of the mini-course.
  • This unit has been designed based on constructivism with the focus on student-centered activities, situated learning, and learning as a collective process.

Performance Objectives

By the end of this unit instructors will be able to:

  • Understand what project based learning is and its benefits to high school students
  • Explore a project-based learning course example
  • Develop a student-based rubric of assessment for a PBL lesson
  • Adopt PBL instructional strategies for their classroom


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Task Analysis

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Curriculum Map

References and Resources

  • Blumenfeld, P. C., Soloway, E., Marx, R. W., Krajcik, J. S., Guzdial, M., & Palincsar, A. (1991). Motivating project-based learning: Sustaining the doing, supporting the learning. Educational psychologist, 26(3-4), 369-398.
  • Grant, M. M. (2002). Getting a grip on project-based learning: Theory, cases and recommendations. Meridian: A Middle School Computer Technologies Journal, 5(1), 83.
  • Larmer, J., & Mergendoller, J. R. (7). Essentials for project-based learning.Educational leadership, 68(1), 34-37.
  • Larmer, J., & Mergendoller, J. R. (2011). The Main Course, Not Dessert.
  • Lokken, S. L., Cheek, W. K., & Hastings, S. W. (2003). The impact of technology training on family and consumer sciences teacher attitudes toward using computers as an instructional medium. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences Education, 21(1), 18-32.
  • Solomon, G. (2003). Project-based learning: A primer. TECHNOLOGY AND LEARNING-DAYTON-, 23(6), 20-20.

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