PBL Primer

An Easy-to-Refer summary



Project Based Learning – A Primer


21st Century Skills to be developed


  1. Critical thinking: Help students to investigate and propose solutions for a real world issue.
  2. Creativity: Encourage students to include multimedia components in their entry.
  3. Teamwork: Requires students to compete in teams, working cooperatively to meet a shared goal.
  4. Cross-cultural understanding: Encourage students to research a topic of global relevance and to use sources that provide diverse viewpoints.
  5. Communication: Remind students that information in their entries must be clearly presented and logically.
  6. Technology: Requires students to use the online publishing tools in ThinkQuest Projects.
  7. Self-direction: Make students responsible for managing their time effectively in order to meet the deadline


Choose the topic


  1. Identify a lesson that may be assigned to students for learning on their own in part/full.
  2. Identify the areas that will be taught by the teacher and the areas that will be self-learnt by the students.
  3. Identify the Learning Objectives to be achieved by doing the project.
  4. Frame an Essential Question and the Guiding Questions that the students will be answering in completing the project.


Plan the Project


  1. Identify the students who will be assigned the project.
  2. Finalise the roles of each member of the team. (Researcher, Editor, Artist, Tech Expert, Surveyor etc.)
  3. Decide if the members will all work on the full project or on separate sub-topics.
  4. Identify the sub-topics to be done by each student, if sub-topics are assigned to the members.
  5. Identify the 21st Cent Skills to be targeted.
  6. Frame the timeline for the project.
  7. Decide where the Project will be done – a) in the TQ personal pages of the students, b) in student pages assigned in a Project set up for the purpose, or, c) in topic pages assigned in a Project set up for the purpose.
  8. Identify the culminating products (Charts, models, powerpoints, video, survey reports, debates etc.).
  9. Decide how the Project will be presented before the class / audience.
  10. Decide the evaluation pattern – what will be assessed and how (Tests, Rubric based, Peer / guest assessed etc.).


Decide the Timeline


Decide the dates for the Launch, Research, Editing, Preparing the additional products, Submission of the Project Report, Presentation before the class,  Evaluation, Website preparation, Checkpoints, Review Meetings etc.


Prepare the Support  Structure


  1. Set up instruction / information pages in ThinkQuest
  2. Specify what products will be submitted at the end of the project
  3. Publish the timeline
  4. List the sites / resources to be used
  5. Give the rubric for evaluation
  6. Set up Message Board / Ask Me / Debate etc. as needed in the Teacher’s page or the Project pages
  7. Organise the resources (Lab time, camera, webcam, scanner etc.)


Monitor the project


  1. Follow the checkpoints
  2. Hold review meetings to assess progress
  3. Give instructions for modifications from time to time
  4. Hold direct instruction as needed
  5. Carry out formative assessment from time to time


Present the Project


  1. Present the project before the class / audience
  2. Publish in ThinkQuest
  3. Convert into a website for TQ competition




Review with whole class how the project could be improved the next time