• Myla

FINE-TUNING YOUR PBL PROJECTS

Originally posted on ISTE on March 3, 2021

By Myla Lee and Suzie Boss


In project-based learning, students achieve better results when they receive feedback and have time to make improvements in their final products or solutions. The same is true for PBL teachers. Critique and revision will help you improve projects so that your students experience high-quality learning from start to finish.


If you are new to PBL, you may be wondering how to go about critiquing your own projects.

Which questions should you consider? What part of your project needs fine-tuning? How might you integrate technology tools that could transform learning for your students?

After exploring these questions with educators at ISTE20 Live and hearing the wisdom generated by our participants, we are eager to keep this conversation going.


Three filters for fine-tuning

When it comes to fine-tuning PBL, we suggest taking a closer look at your projects through three filters: How can you amplify inquiry, ensure equity and deepen literacy for your students? All three are important considerations for designing high-quality learning that engages all your students. You can enhance each one by thoughtful technology integration to support your learners.



Inquiry

Inquiry is what drives student-centered learning in PBL. Fine-tuning for inquiry means finding ways to spark curiosity, connect to students’ interests and encourage questions that will take students to deeper learning. For example, after sharing a provocative video and driving question to launch a project, you could use Padlet to capture students’ need-to-know questions and ensure that everyone has a voice.


Equity

Equity means ensuring that all students will be successful in PBL. Fine-tuning for equity means setting high expectations for all and providing resources — and removing barriers — to enable student success. For example, you could have students interview experts, either in person or virtually (using Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams or another video conferencing tool), making sure that experts are relatable role models who reflect students’ culture and experiences.


Literacy

Literacy enables students to make meaning by engaging with content and ideas through speaking, listening, reading and writing. Fine-tuning for literacy means providing tools and scaffolds for students to engage deeply with content. For example, students could produce podcasts that would challenge them to communicate fluently.


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