Back to Project-Based Learning: An Answer to the Common Core Challenge (Reimagined) [PDO]
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) pose many challenges for educators. The change to fewer, higher, and clearer standards calls for deeper study of fewer concepts. The other key change introduced by the CCSS, is the focus on preparing all students for college and careers when they graduate from high school. Since the Common Core standards call for more student focus, responsibility, and independent learning, educators must rethink their curriculum and methods of instruction.
Project-based learning (PBL) is a well-researched pedagogy that supports the implementation of the CCSS. PBL encourages student-centered learning. Planning for and executing projects that students choose and construct requires a level of autonomy that many students, as well as teachers, may be unprepared for. Although, once students embrace PBL, teachers will see them highly-motivated and doing important work around issues that are relevant to them.
In this course, you will learn how to prepare your students for PBL and guide them through the process. You will come to understand the roles that teachers and students play in planning for and conducting project-based learning experiences. The importance of assessment, formative and summative, to student success in PBL is emphasized. And the key motivational elements of PBL, including student voice and choice, creation of products, and presenting findings to an authentic audience are described in detail.
- Identify characteristics of PBL and how using it in the classroom prepares students to be college- and career-ready.
- Summarize and reflect on why PBL is an effective way to increase student motivation, deep content understanding, and achievement.
- Interpret how PBL addresses the standards and the shifts in instruction called for in the Common Core standards.
- Understand the foundations of and research about PBL.
- Examine a PBL plan; evaluate the driving questions; and analyze the authenticity, skills, and Common Core elements that the plan addresses.
- Determine skills and strategies that students need to successfully participate in PBL experiences.
- Prepare students for the level of collaboration and thorough research they will face in PBL.
- Design a PBL plan with students by clearly identifying learning goals and generating authentic questions.
- Create a PBL plan using elements that make the plan effective, authentic, motivating, and purposeful.
- Investigate Smarter Balanced and PARCC assessments for the Common Core State Standards as well as formative and summative assessments and how they can be embedded in PBL.
- Create or modify an assessment that aligns with a PBL plan; formative assessment, summative assessment, or a rubric.
- Identify the differences between teaching and coaching and when each is needed in PBL.
- Understand, implement, and reflect on elements of PBL (research, cooperative learning, differentiation, and coaching).
(ASCD PD Online course, 2013) Self-paced asynchronous online course. Upon completion, learners will be awarded an ASCD Certificate worth up to 20 Clock Hours.