The following sample schedule provides ideas for one- and two-day sessions.

Depending on your set-up, Edutopia video segments can be viewed online at Edutopia.org, embedded on a blog or web page, downloaded from iTunes U, or purchased on DVD. The ideal situation for participants includes online access to resources, particularly for the afternoon and second-day sessions.

One-Day Workshop

Morning session:

The morning session will encompass four parts:

Welcome the group and give an introduction to the project-based learning session.

Show Edutopia's PowerPoint® presentation and hand out a printed hard copy of the Project-Based Learning Professional Development Guide to introduce the topic of project-based learning (try the Why is PBL Important? and What Is PBL? pages).

Show the Newsome Park video, asking the participants to look for evidence of effective learning taking place.

Engage participants in conversation about what they saw.

Start a list of criteria of good projects on a flip chart or other medium that can be kept, added to, and reproduced (see Activity 4 in the Workshop Activities section).

Show the Mountlake Terrace video, asking participants to start to identify the different kinds of learning that are taking place (i.e., academic skills, social interactions, problem-solving). After viewing, have the participants work in groups of 4-6 to talk about what they saw; have a representative of each group share out to the larger group.

Take participants to Edutopia.org, and acquaint them with some of the features, including the Project-Based Learning Core Strategy page and Edutopia's Video library.

Show a third Edutopia video, First People's Project, to provide participants with another example of project-based learning that uses an online, international project as its foundation.

Ask participants to explore in small groups the kinds of projects they are thinking about developing. Ask them to include their ideas for addressing content standards and working across disciplines. Allow adequate time for all participants to share within their small groups, and ask a representative to share key ideas with the large group. (Part of the purpose of this activity is to see if there are people in the large group with similar interests, which might encourage collaborations on project development and implementation within the group.)

Back to top

Afternoon session:

The afternoon work will encompass three activities:

If the group has access to the Internet, suggest that they read the story, "A Sampler of International Web Projects." From this article, participants can visit a variety of links to see a range of possible projects using online resources that are already in existence.

Participants may also be given the list of Suggested Readings and Viewings in the PBL Resources section. Suggest that when participants find other valuable websites, they record the URLs to share with the group. Have the group share their findings with each other.

Review Activity 3: PBL Experts, in the Workshop Activities section. Ask small groups to explore the views of particular experts and share their views with the large group.

Introduce two websites that step teachers through developing rubrics for assessing their projects (see Activity 9). Ask the small groups to share their findings.

To close the day, engage the large group in a discussion about the next steps they will take to develop projects for their students. Encourage the group to share their concerns, questions, and needs. It may be that there are others in the group who can help!

Edutopia also offers an Assessment Professional Development Guide, which explores the topic of evaluating project-based learning using rubrics and other methods.

Back to top

Two-Day Workshop

Day 1: See above.

Day 2: Morning session:

The morning work will encompass two activities:

Key to any good project is a compelling question. Again divide the group into small groups, and have them explore Dr. Sylvia Chard's Project Approach website (see Activity 5 in the Workshop Activities section). At this site, participants will learn about project planning, phases of a project, the classroom environment, questions, and be able to view examples of good projects.

Another approach to asking good questions can be found at Jamie McKenzie's From Now On website. Suggest that participants visit and explore Dr. McKenzie's work (see Activity 6).

Challenge participants to share what they have learning, and demonstrate it through several questions they have developed that will be the foundation for classroom projects.

Share the online sites that were located on Day 1, and suggest that participants visit sites they haven't seen before, with the charge to identify the question that is being explored in each project.

At the end of the morning, have participants share their findings.


Day 2: Afternoon session:

The afternoon work will encompass one major activity:

Allow time for individuals and/or small groups to work on project development. Provide the participants with the Project Template as a starting point. Let participants know that at the end of the session, they will be asked to share several things: a description of their project, the age/grade level, subject area(s), standards that are being addressed, assessment method(s), any help that is needed, when the project will begin, and their next steps.

Back to top