George Lucas Educational Foundation

Embedding Assessment Throughout the Project (Keys to PBL Series Part 5)

Assessment can be integrated seamlessly into project-based learning. Find tools for measuring student understanding from the beginning to the end of a project.
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Share

Embedding Assessment Throughout the Project (Keys to PBL Series Part 5)(Transcript)

Peggy: Different than a traditional classroom, PBL's gonna integrate assessment throughout the project. Because these projects are multi-week projects, you need to keep on top of students and build in opportunities to assess where they are and what they're learning as you go along.

Sheela: From the minute a teacher introduces that learning target for the lesson, or engages in strategic observation, we feel that the assessment process is in play.

Liza: It's not a test at the end of the week or the end of the unit. You're doing a lot of small check-ins with the students to see where they're at and to see that they're growing a lot. So some examples of formative assessments that I use in my classroom is fist to five. So five is, I feel really good about this learning target, I'm learning what I need to in class today. A zero is, I have nothing.

Sheela: You really have to know what kids know and don't know. That can often determine what next steps need to be put into place in order to support or differentiate the learning for the kids in their classroom.

Marianne: You saw another form of assessment, which we call a quick check, or checking for understanding, and that's sort of the thumbs up. I get it, sideways, I'm not quite sure, or thumbs down, no, I don't get it. That's for them to reflect, but it's also for us to do a check for their understanding.

Peggy: It's just sharing some of the responsibilities for assessment with those who are most involved with the project, so you give students the opportunity to assess themselves. You give them the opportunity to assess their teammates.

Sheela: We find that some of the most important and useful feedback is when kids can offer it to each other.

Peggy: So typically in a PBL unit, the culminating event is what all the students and the teacher are working toward. So usually, this involves inviting community members, inviting other teachers, inviting parents, to the classroom. Or maybe you even do it in the evening and you present what the students have learned, whether it's the final product, something that they created, whether it's a solution to a problem facing the community. So it's usually a big deal and the teachers should take advantage of that being a big deal, because the students are very proud to present what they've learned. It really becomes an event where students are showcasing all that they've learned through this big project, and their plans for how they're going to pursue it further.

Get Video
Embed Code Embed Help

You are welcome to embed this video, download it for personal use, or use it in a presentation for a conference, class, workshop, or free online course, so long as a prominent credit or link back to Edutopia is included. If you'd like more detailed information about Edutopia's allowed usages, please see the Licenses section of our Terms of Use.

  • Web Video Producer: Christian Amundson
  • Editor: Daniel Jarvis
  • Associate Producer: Douglas Keely
  • Camera: Christian Amundson, Daniel Jarvis
  • Sound: Douglas Keely
  • Graphics: Cait Camarata, Jenny Kolcun
  • Web Video Strategy Coordinator: Keyana Stevens
  • Senior Manager of Video: Amy Erin Borovoy

5 Keys Video Series

See Edutopia's core strategies in action with our Five Keys video series. Take a deeper look at each strategy as we share the nuts and bolts of program implementation, give voice to examples from schools around the country, and illuminate the research behind the practices.

 Click here to watch "Five Keys to Rigorous Project-Based Learning." 

Learn more about the 5 Keys to Rigorous PBL: 

  • CORE STRATEGY PAGE: Project-Based Learning

    Use this roundup page to discover why project-based learning is a dynamic classroom approach in which students actively explore real-world problems and challenges and acquire a deeper knowledge.

  • ARTICLE: Project-Based Learning Research Review

    Studies have proven that when implemented well, project-based learning (PBL) can increase retention of content and improve students' attitudes towards learning, among other benefits.

Comments (2) Sign in or register to comment Follow Subscribe to comments via RSS

HollyDolly's picture

Assessment is key to ensuring that all students participate and learn. I agree that there should be frequent comprehension checks and there should be a final assessment of the group as well as the individual so all group members are held accountable. Some teachers do not utilize PBL because they are fearful that it requires too much time or costs too much. With a little creativity and planning, a teacher can easily implement PBL into their classrooms.

TARAWANDA's picture

I am learning so much about assessment. The website has helped me so much. Thank you.

Sign in to comment. Not a member? Register.