Using specific classroom scenarios, teachers explore characteristics and benefits of Project-Based Learning (PBL). Throughout the course, teachers consider their own teaching practice as they follow a teacher new to project-based learning who discusses strategies with a mentor teacher. Planning and project design modules guide teachers through organizing the curriculum, the classroom, and students for successful 21st century projects. The assessment module demonstrates strategies for assessing students’ 21st century skills throughout an open-ended project. The course offers opportunities to apply the PBL concepts with action planning exercises.
Module 1: Projects Overview
In this module, participants explore the principles of project-based learning. They learn about the differences between a project-based approach and conventional teaching, and review the research-based benefits of project-based learning. As they view examples of
different projects and hear from teachers doing projects, they come to understand the characteristics that projects have in common.
Module 2: Project Design
In this module, participants begin thinking about designing their own projects. They are introduced to the four major steps of project design and apply these steps to consider their own learning goals, Curriculum-Framing Questions, assessment, and student activities.
Participants follow one teacher’s process as he begins to plan his project.
Lesson 1: Project Planning
Lesson 2: Learning Goals
Lesson 3: Questions That Frame Learning
Lesson 4: Assessment in Projects
Lesson 5: Activity Design
Lesson 6: Module Review
Module 3: Assessment
Assessment is integral to a project-based approach. In this module, participants learn how to integrate assessment throughout a project. They see examples of assessment instruments and develop or adapt them for their own use. They learn how to assess 21st
century process skills—such as collaboration, self-direction, and reflection—using teacher, peer, and self-assessment methods. They also identify the challenges and possible solutions for assigning grades during projects.
Lesson 1: Assessment Strategies for Projects
Lesson 2: Assessment of 21st Century Skills
Lesson 3: Assessment Planning
Lesson 4: Grading Projects
Lesson 5: Module Review
Module 4: Project Planning
Planning the day-to-day work of a project is just as important as planning the big picture. In this module, participants learn how to plan project details to keep a project organized, using project timelines and implementation plans. They consider management strategies to support their students’ self-direction and success and ensure their projects run smoothly. Teachers also discuss ways to keep students on task during projects and strategies for project time management.
Lesson 1: Project Organization
Lesson 2: Management Strategies
Lesson 3: Project Tasks and Activities
Lesson 4: Module Review
Module 5: Guiding Learning
In this module, participants focus on improving instruction throughout projects. They explore questioning strategies to improve student learning and ways to develop students’collaboration, self-direction, information literacy, and reflection skills. Sample lessons are demonstrated as models for participants as they create mini-lessons for their own projects. Participants also observe student dialogues as students develop 21st century skills through
discussions and practice.
Lesson 1: Questioning in Classrooms
Lesson 2: Collaboration and Self-Direction
Lesson 3: Information Literacy
Lesson 4: Student Reflection
Lesson 5: Module Review
Register to follow Project-Based Approaches online course
Follow Project-Based Approaches online course
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