Online Course: Adapting Your First Project

An 8-week course for teachers who wish to adapt an existing Gold Standard PBL unit to implement immediately with their students.
Adapt Your First Project

Course Description

In this course, teachers will adapt one of 72 standards-based PBL projects to meet the needs of their students and unique context - both for the classroom or remote learning - while gaining a grounding in the Essential Design Elements for Gold Standard PBL. In addition, teachers will learn how PBL can be a powerful tool for promoting educational equity. 

Cost: $399
Next Cohort Starts: October 19, 2020
Time: Monday, 6:30pm-8:00pm – for 8 weeks
(Courses offered for 2 time zones: PST Cohort, EST Cohort)

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Optional graduate-level professional development credit is available through Southern New Hampshire University for an additional $120 fee. Learn more ›

Who should take this course?

Teachers who are new to PBL, as well as experienced PBL teachers, who wish to learn how to adapt existing Gold Standard projects for their students - whether in the classroom or online. It’s also a great opportunity for teachers to learn or review what PBL is and how it can be transformational for students. 

This course is also for teachers who wish to earn optional graduate-level professional development credit.

Course outcomes

  • A ready-to-implement, standards-based PBL unit designed for a participant’s students - including community resources, technology specs, and a comprehensive assessment plan with both formative and summative strategies. 
  • A grasp of the Essential Project Design Elements for Gold Standard PBL, and how  to apply these elements to make learning more meaningful and engaging for all students. 
  • Facility in navigating the interactive Project Designer tool to adapt future PBL units for their students. 

The essentials

  • Course Fee:  $399 - Includes Project Designer, an online planning tool, with a library of 72 adaptable, standards-based PBL Projects across subject areas and grade levels (K-12). 
  • Instruction:  Facilitated 90-minute weekly sessions and independent work
  • Grading: Pass/Fail
  • Class Size: Up to 50 educators
  • Course Length: 8 weeks
  • University Credit: Optional graduate-level professional development credit is available for additional fee and is offered through the Southern New Hampshire University

Additional Course Details

  • Course Outline

    Week 1: Gold Standard Project Based Learning Overview - required 90-min online session
    Build your understanding of what PBL and a Gold Standard project is, and gain an understanding of a project through your students' eyes.

    Week 2: Engaging Your Students with a Challenging Problem or Question - independent work and optional online session
    Consider your project with the end in mind by learning how to develop a challenging problem or question tied to learning goals, standards, and success skills, and educational equity. Project Based Teaching practices will be introduced.

    Week 3: Sustaining Inquiry from Start to Finish - independent work and optional online session
    Adapt an Entry Event to meet the needs of your classroom. Learn how to ensure all students can succeed through need-to-knows and effective question strategies.

    Week 4: Planning for Voice and Choice - required 90-min online session 
    Develop opportunities for students to have voice and choice within the activities, milestones, and final project. Consider strategies for developing effective teamwork skills including providing feedback.

    Week 5: Authentic Connections - independent work and optional online session
    Develop plans for including authentic audiences - community partners/experts aligned to the subject matter - for your students during the project. Explore technology tools and strategies to help actualize this part of the project plan.

    Week 6: Assessing and Reflecting - independent work and optional online session
    Apply formative and summative strategies aligned to learning goals, standards, and success skills that allow students to reflect and improve upon their work.

    Week 7: Critique and Revision - independent work and optional online session
    Improve your plan with peer feedback.  Learn critique protocols to embed in your project and learn how to anticipate challenges and make adjustments

    Week 8: Exhibition of Learning - required 90-min online session 
    Showcase learning and reflection. Learn how to prepare for student showcases and plan for student reflection post-event.

  • Learning Documents & Materials

    Required Text: None. Required materials are provided online

    Supplemental Reading (optional): Setting the Standard for Project Based Learning  (Larmer, Mergendoller, & Boss, 2015)

    In addition, each module includes:

    • Background building, via short readings, video case studies, interactive learning activities
    • Formative assessment (either for self-assessment or shared with facilitator), including focused discussions, weekly reflection, open response prompts, quizzes, and peer critique.
    • Collaborative learning, e.g., guided discussion with subset of classmates, collaborative response to scenarios
  • Assignments
    • Weekly journal entry in response to specific reflection prompt. Journal is submitted as final deliverable.
    • Final product will be presented in Week 8 during a synchronous session and contributed to an idea bank
    • Peer assessments, based on rubric for final product
  • Technical Requirements


    • Desktop, laptop, Chromebook, or Surface PRO 4 or newer are ideal. (We do not recommend iOS or Android tablets)
    • Speakers (either external or internal) or headphones/earbuds 
    • Webcam (either external or internal)


    Internet Connection

    • An internet connection – broadband wired or wireless
    • 3Mbps/3Mbps (upload/download) – Not sure? Check here. 


    Operating Systems

    • Mac OS 10.10 or newer, Windows 10 or newer, and Chrome OS Browsers
    • Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge are recommended.



    • Zoom Video Conferencing program (latest update), available for free download here
    • Google Docs via a Google-enabled account. Free sign up here.

Choose your time zone, and register now.

Adapting Your First Project

Pacific Time

Dates: October 19, 2020 – December 14, 2020
Start Time: 6:30 PM Pacific Time
Instructor: Jeanine Leys

Register is closed.

Adapting Your First Project

Eastern Time

Dates: October 19 – December 14, 2020
Start Time: 6:30 PM Eastern Time
Instructor: Jorge Valenzuela

Register is closed.