Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Resources for PBL

If you want to start incorporating elements of PBL into your classroom but don't know where to begin, how about trying to break down the components and introducing them slowly? You can start with the component that seems easiest, most interesting, or most inspiring to you.

First, let's start by reviewing the different components of PBL:

We're going to focus in this blog post on a few different elements:


The arts can be used in the PBL classroom in many ways: as a final product, as a type of assessment, as a reflective tool and more. Check out why arts integration is an important educational tool:

The arts can also help build deep and beautiful work, as shown here by Ron Berger:


One effect of PBL is deeper learning. But don't take our word for it. Hear it from a student:


Obviously, there's no end to the types of digital media one can incorporate into a PBL project. Ask yourself:

Will I curate content digitally to share with my students as we gather information for a PBL unit? Are students curating the content? If so, are they sharing it on a digital platform? 

Does the class need a cloud-based, knowledge-sharing platform such as Google Drive in order to gather and process information?

Are students creating digital content? Will the content be online and/or for a public audience? 


PBL is for any learner in any setting. Check out what Ron Berger has to say on the subject:

Highlighting Student Work


Our go-to place for rubrics is bie.org. Here's a link to the organization's amazingly useful rubrics:

RubiStar is a rubric-making website you can use to create a rubric. 

Here's a rubric for learning goals that we developed for students to use when they first began a project:


Focus: content

What knowledge do I need to have to complete this project? What knowledge do I want to gain?


Focus: reading or math literacy skills; critical and analytical thinking skills; oral presentation skills (including interviews); etc.
What skills do I need to hone in order to complete this project? What adjunct skills am I going to need to develop?

Focus: artistic and digital media skills

How will I demonstrate my creativity in the assignment in digital and/or artistic ways? Are there additional ways I will demonstrate my creativity?

Focus: being a team player

What will I contribute to the project? How will I use my talents and skills to enhance my group’s work?

Focus: resilience and flexibility and adaptability skills

How did I fail over the course of the project? What did I learn from the failure, and how did I reframe based on my failures?

We've left room for students to fill out the form with four goals per category, but obviously the form should be individualized for each student and course. Students and teachers can also add and subtract categories as needed.



Following are resources from The Frisch School developed by students and teachers, pertaining to all the elements of PBL described in this post. Enjoy!