What is the PBL Process?


1. Begin with the end in mind: What are the standards/objectives/learning targets? What do your students already know? What pre-assessment have you done? What do they need to know or to be able to do? How will you know when they get there? How does this connect to the real world and authentic tasks?
Here is Edutopia's Step by step guide to the best projects

Here are 8 Essentials to PBL

2. Write an Effective Driving Question: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/pbl-how-to-write-driving-questions-andrew-miller
Guidelines for the Driving Question: Driving questions should
  • Be provocative-sustain student interest and take them beyond superficialities
  • Be open-ended-should not have easy answers, and should cause the students to dig deep!
  • Go to the heart of the topic-could focus on controversies or debatable topics
  • Be challenging
  • Arise form real world dilemmas
  • Be consistent with curricular standards and frameworks

Framing the question is easier with the Tubric!

Activity 1: Let's try it now! Look at your standards, the EIE or other STEM your grade has chosen and write a driving question.

Refining Driving Questions: Examples of refining questions:
Was Truman's decision to drop the bomb justified? Could be refined to-Can the use of nuclear weapons be justified?
Have robotics and automation changed our society in the past century? Could be refined to-How might robotics and automation change our town and its businesses in the next century?
What is global warming? Could be refined to-Should we be worried about global warming in our town?

3. Plan the assessments: What major concepts, vocabulary and skills are needed? What formative assessments will you do along the way? How will you assess for learning and provide feedback to enhance learning? How will you assess for grading along the way and what will the summative assessment be for the final grade? How will you assess individual vs group participation? (Check page 2a for More on Assessments)

4. Map the project: What teaching and guided practice will you provide? How much leeway will you give your students to determine their path for learning? What activities will your students complete? What choices do you give your students, in terms of learning activities and products? How will you differentiate for higher or lower abilities? What about multiple intelligences? How much time can be dedicated to the PBL? Check page 2c for great forms and templates for your PBL.

5. Manage the project: Managing the Process:
  • How will you embed opportunities for teaching concepts and guided practice? As your students are working, you will conduct observations, use probing questioning and other formative assessments. Based on this, you will make decisions to address gaps in learning. This might include small group instruction, guided practice, and bringing in experts to address the class.
  • How will you pace the class?
  • How will you manage groups?

Here are Twenty Tips for Managing Project-Based Learning
Here are some ideas for rubrics, planning forms and student handouts for PBL