Key elements of project-based learning

An overview of project-based learning

Project-based learning (PBL) is a dynamic, flexible pedagogy that may look different for every group of students in every classroom. The essential elements promote deeper learning, greater engagement and higher quality work.

These elements include:

  • challenging problem or question
  • sustained inquiry
  • authenticity
  • application of learning
  • integration
  • student voice and choice
  • A public product for an authentic audience
  • feedback loops of critique, reflection and refining of the product - including formative and summative assessment.

When PBL is effectively programmed and scaffolded, this can have a significant impact on your students and teaching practices.

Download project-based learning infographic (JPG 621.56KB).

Text version project-based learning infographic.

These resources will help:

Activity - audit of existing PBL units

Select a PBL unit from the links below and use this template to analyse for inclusion and strength of the key PBL elements. Discuss the findings with your team/supervisor/mentor. You may find PBL Works rubric useful for project design to be helpful in clarifying PBL essential elements.
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