Project Based Learning is most powerful when every level of a system is aligned in service of deeper learning for students. To this end, PBLWorks partners with district and school leaders to help them create and sustain high-impact enabling conditions for PBL. As part of this work, we support leaders in building key knowledge, skills, and dispositions in four key dimensions: Vision, Culture, Capacity Building, and Continuous Improvement.
We define capacity building as building the capacity of leaders to lead the implementation and sustainability of high quality PBL, while supporting schools to create the conditions necessary for teachers to design and implement high quality projects. We are especially interested in helping leaders with supporting teachers to design and implement high quality projects that advance & accelerate learning for all students. We encourage leaders to ensure that teachers have access to ongoing learning experiences, coaching, and peer to peer dialogues to support the design and implementation of gold standard projects.
To support leaders with capacity building for PBL, we created a guide called Using the PBLWorks Online Learning Modules for Collaborative Professional Learning. This guide is designed to support instructional leaders and coaches in leveraging the PBLWorks Online Learning Modules (provided to PBL 101 participants since May 2019) to plan and implement collaborative professional learning experiences for your teachers. The guide includes ready to use tools and templates and walks leaders through the following steps:
- Establishing a “Why” for this work.
- Structuring Your Collaborative PBL Professional Learning Experiences
- Reflection and Refinement
The Online Learning Modules tackle many of the implementation barriers that novice and experienced PBL teachers face when implementing project based learning. Topics include:
- Laying the Foundations for a PBL Culture
- Rubric Design
- Forming Student Teams
- Sustained Inquiry & the Need to Know Process
- Managing Team Tasks
- Cultivating a Growth Mindset in PBL
- Collaboration in PBL
- Critique and Revision
- Scaffolding in PBL
- Teacher Feedback in PBL
- Reflection in PBL
- Using Rubrics Throughout a Project
Each module includes a balanced blend of activities, including readings, videos, interactive exercises, and opportunities for teachers to reflect and check their understanding as they learn. The modules offer practical tips and activities to use with students. Modules vary in length from 1 to 4 hours of self-paced learning. The combined modules offer approximately 20 hours of learning. The modules are designed for teachers to work through at their own pace or to work through together in a PLC format. The modules are designed for teachers to stop and start as needed with the ability to easily continue where they left off at any time.
The work of becoming a strong PBL teacher is an ongoing and challenging process, and providing structured opportunities for collaborative learning is one important way that you as a leader can build teacher capacity, and in turn, improve deeper learning outcomes for all of your students.
The PBL Learning Modules have been included for participants in our PBL 101 Training since May 2019. If you are interested in purchasing the modules (20 person minimum) for your school or district, please reach out to [email protected].