Online Course: Becoming a PBL Teacher

An 8-week course that prepares teachers to facilitate PBL with their students, both in the classroom and online.

Course Description

For teachers seeking to engage their students in deep and long-lasting learning through Project Based Learning, PBLWorks offers a new facilitated course—Becoming a PBL Teacher—to guide teachers in building the knowledge and key teaching practices to become PBL teachers. 

Cost: $399
Next Cohort Starts: September 21, 2020
Time: Monday, 6:30pm-8:00pm – for 8 weeks

Register now

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 just getting started with Project Based Learning and looking to develop the skills and strategies for successful and sustainable implementation of PBL. 

This course is also for teachers seeking to advance their PBL teaching practices and to earn optional graduate-level professional development credit. 

Course outcomes

  • Learn how to use the Project Based Teaching Practices for Gold Standard PBL to benefit your students  
  • Build on your existing practice to become a Project Based Teacher
  • Understand how focusing on the Essential Project Design Elements for Gold Standard PBL will help your students achieve meaningful learning.

The essentials

  • Course Fee: $399
  • Instruction: Facilitated 90-minute weekly sessions and independent work
  • Grading: Pass/Fail
  • Class Size: Up to 50 students
  • Course Length: 8 weeks
  • University Credit: Optional graduate-level professional development credit is available for add-on fee.

Additional Course Details

  • Course Outline

    Week 1: Build the Culture – required 90-minute online session
    Create a welcoming learning community with your fellow course participants and learn why high-quality PBL is “main course” learning.

    Week 2: Design and Planindependent work and optional online session
    Focus on the 7 Essential Project Design Elements for Gold Standard PBL to set the stage for high-quality learning experiences for your students. 

    Week 3: Align to Standardsindependent work and optional online session
    Align your project to learning goals that are important and appropriate for PBL to ensure academic rigor.

    Week 4: Manage Activities – required 90-minute online session
    Build your project management toolkit and experience what it’s like to interview a content expert.  

    Week 5: Scaffold Student Learningindependent work and optional online session
    Ensure that all students can succeed with PBL by planning for appropriate support. 

    Week 6: Assess Student Learning independent work and optional online session
    Apply assessment strategies to keep learning on track in a project from start to finish. 

    Week 7: Engage and Coachindependent work and optional online session
    Fine-tune your strategies for engaging and coaching students by focusing on your “teacher moves” at the beginning, middle, and end of projects. 

    Week 8: Celebrate and Reflect – required 90-minute online session
    Showcase your learning and reflect on your next steps as a Project Based Teacher in our final online session.

  • Learning Documents & Materials

    Required Text: none, required materials are provided online

    Supplemental Reading (optional): Project Based Teaching: How to Create Rigorous and Engaging Learning Experiences (Boss & Larmer, 2018)

    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.
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Why we're excited about this online course.

Teachers who use Project Based Learning often say, “This is how I’ve always wanted to teach!” It’s exciting to see students actively engaged in learning, gaining deeper understanding, building skills and developing confidence. But, as we often say, teachers don’t become PBL experts overnight. It takes time to adjust from traditional practices. 

This new online course is designed to guide teachers in their shift to becoming a PBL teacher. You’ll learn how to incorporate effective teaching practices you already use into the framework of PBL, and you’ll learn how to assume a new and rewarding role in the classroom. Instead of mainly being a transmitter of knowledge, you’ll gain the skills to become a well-informed coach, a facilitator of learning, and a guide through the inquiry process--forming a learning partnership with your students.

Your course will be facilitated by our National Faculty, a hand-picked group of seasoned teachers, administrators, school coaches, authors, and PBL experts who conduct professional development activities on behalf of PBLWorks.

Choose your time zone, and register now.

Eastern Time

Dates: September 21 – November 9, 2020
Start Time: 6:30 PM Eastern Time
Instructor: Myla Lee

Registration is closed.

Pacific Time

Dates: September 21 – November 9, 2020
Start Time: 6:30 PM Pacific Time
Instructor: Erin Brandvold

Registration is closed.