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The Ultimate PBL Resource Guide

Dyan Branstetter | August 2018

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Project Based Learning can provide a deep and meaningful learning experience for students. It allows the students to really drive their own learning, which allows that learning to stick – students will better retain the content because they are not simply passively taking in information.

A Diagram of PBL

This year, I stumbled upon a graphic related to project-based learning that I hadn’t seen before, and it really made sense. The Project Based Learning bicycle model was created by educator Charles Fadel, and I love how it depicts what is happening during a PBL lesson or unit.

PBL resource

The handlebars include the driving question that students (and teachers) are working to answer. Also included in the part of the bike/project are the gears, representing the tools needed in the project, the bell, which is the self and teacher evaluation or assessment, and the speed, which represents the pacing of the project.

Furthermore, the wheels represent a continuing process of defining, planning, reviewing, and doing, both by the teacher (analyzing the construction of the project and whether it meaningfully meets objectives) as well as by the student (analyzing their work in answering the driving question).

If I had created this PBL resource, I would have placed the teacher as “bike salesperson and mechanic” instead of as the front rider of the bike. The teacher’s job is to design and facilitate as students drive their learning.

Overall, “the goal is a rich learning experience that blends knowledge understanding, and solid performance on many of the 21st-century skills” (101). As a result, it gives the students the opportunity to express themselves and think outside of the box while demonstrating their talents. (https://sites.google.com/site/shumaliaaliade/standard-2/objective-b)

Project Based Learning Resource Guide

There are many resources available whether you’re just beginning to use PBL or if you are already an expert… but sometimes it can be hard to put your finger on the right resource when you need it. So I have pulled together some of my favorite PBL resources and I’ve grouped by their content to make it easier to find what you need. 

New to Project Based Learning?

Are you just starting out, or do you want to make sure you’re doing PBL effectively? Check out these resources:

Trouble Shooting Project-Based Learning

Once you begin implementing Project Based Learning, there can be bumps along the journey. Here are a few tips for troubleshooting issues that arise:

Building Community and 21st Century Skills for Learning

Advocating for Authentic PBL

Project Based Learning is effective when students are working towards a real world, authentic problem or project. Here are some guidelines and resources for ensuring your project design is best practice:

Lesson Ideas for PBL and the Arts

  • Are you struggling for ideas to implement PBL in the arts classroom? Find inspiration here.

Educating others about PBL

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