Frequently asked questions
The challenging question or problem needs to have sufficient depth to link closely to core curriculum content. If the core question is chosen well, it can cover significantly more content at a higher level than traditional units or programs.
When developing the core question with students, providing them with curriculum content and outcomes assists them to come up with a question that is engaging, has real-world implications, and is connected to the curriculum.
Consulting scope and sequence documents early will assist to identify focus for the challenging question or problem. As the practice of project-based learning (PBL) evolves in your school, tracking content as you teach it, rather than predicting what you will cover, is a more effective strategy. Having mechanisms established so that PBL planning documents are available to all teachers in the school will ensure that teachers know what learning their students have experienced in previous years and can plan responsively.
Assessment practices are deeply embedded in the PBL process and are explained in this guide. Assessment in PBL will look a little different to traditional methods because they are open-ended, student-led and formative, however these practices provide a rich source of information about student learning and progress.
Using rubrics and success criteria (also explained in the guide) provides opportunities for the rigorous collection of evidence and data related to student growth and performance.
PBL is closely tied to curriculum content. It is not an 'add on' or extra to the teaching and learning that happens in the classroom.
There are many opportunities during PBL for students to record steps in the process , research, and collaborate on presentations. Setting up online platforms, such as Google Drive or Microsoft Office 365or other shared spaces, will help students to collect evidence and use it in future tasks. Using a reflective journal, or PBL 'book' is a powerful strategy for recording students' process, changes in thinking and their learning.
Open communication with parents and carers is essential prior to the introduction of PBL. Presenting evidence of the current learning context and the importance of preparing students for a post-school world requiring different skill sets will help them understand the necessity of this approach.
Inviting parents and carers into the classroom as experts, judges and audience members supports them in developing an understanding of the depth and quality of PBL learning.
Some information that may assist can be found here – Case for change.