What is PBL?

PBL Image

Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge.

Essential Project Design Elements:

  • Key Knowledge, Understanding, and Success Skills - The project is focused on student learning goals, including standards-based content and skills such as critical thinking/problem solving, collaboration, and self-management.
  • Challenging Problem or Question - The project is framed by a meaningful problem to solve or a question to answer, at the appropriate level of challenge.
  • Sustained Inquiry - Students engage in a rigorous, extended process of asking questions, finding resources, and applying information.
  • Authenticity - The project features real-world context, tasks and tools, quality standards, or impact – or speaks to students’ personal concerns, interests, and issues in their lives.
  • Student Voice & Choice - Students make some decisions about the project, including how they work and what they create.
  • Reflection - Students and teachers reflect on learning, the effectiveness of their inquiry and project activities, the quality of student work, obstacles and how to overcome them.
  • Critique & Revision - Students give, receive, and use feedback to improve their process and products.
  • Public Product - Students make their project work public by explaining, displaying and/or presenting it to people beyond the classroom.

PBLGoldStandardPBL 101 is the Buck Institute for Education’s (BIE) foundational three-day onsite workshop. Based on BIE's model of Gold Standard PBL, the workshop provides participants with the skills and knowledge needed to design, assess and manage a rigorous, relevant, and standards-based project. 


BPS-PBL implementation The projects in this course have been created by Bismarck Public School Teachers. Some projects include the planning that was completed in PBL 101 and the implementation evidence. Some of the components are complete and some are a work in progress. They are meant to generate ideas that you may incorporate into your own projects or adapt for your classroom.

PBL102 Implementation

Participants in Project-Based Learning (PBL102) will implement their project-based learning unit developed during PBL101. Participants will collect and share implementation evidence.