Project-Based Learning (PBL): Make Students’ Learning Real and Effective!

Concept by
Ilaria Barbieri

Table of Contents


How hard does it sometimes feel to engage students in the lessons, to replace shallow learning with deep understanding of topics and long-lasting competences?

Educators may struggle to motivate students… whereas students struggle to see the usefulness of school activities.

If you also cope with similar issues, Project-based learning may interest you. In Project-based learning (PBL), pupils develop deep knowledge and skills through engaging learning activities within a student-led, real-world, meaningful context.

PBL can be used in any subject, is easily implementable, and does not require teachers to turn their job upside down.

During the course, you’ll not only discover what PBL is through a variety of inspiring examples: you’ll also find out how your own curriculum topics can be incorporated in PBL.

You’ll learn which tools are best for your students, how to effectively evaluate their learning, and how to be a good mentor which promotes critical thinking, autonomy, collaboration and more 21st century skills. Finally, you’ll have the chance to plan a successful, manageable PBL activity.

By the end of the course, you’ll have realized how PBL can provide you with great solutions for fruitful learning experiences, and you’ll have gained confidence and enthusiasm to exploit the opportunities it offers.

Practical strategies and tools will be available for you to nurture students’ key competences, and to make a difference both in your lessons and in your schools.

You’ll be deeply aware how this teaching strategy can make learning more long-lasting, and will be ready to use a working PBL model you’ll have designed for your own students!

Learning Outcomes

The course will help the participants to:  

  • Understand what PBL really is and how it can be useful for any educator;
  • Incorporate curriculum topics from any discipline into PBL;
  • Getting hints and tools to motivate students and to boost their key competences;
  • Gain insight into a variety of activities that you can use in PBL (and beyond);
  • Confidently implement PBL in their classes and/or school communities;
  • Assess PBL products confidently;
  • Evaluate students’ learning of curriculum topics;
  • Create detailed, effective, manageable PBL lesson plans.

Tentative Schedule

Day 1 – Introduction to the course and to Project Based Learning

  • Introductions to course contents, schools, and the external week activities;
  • Icebreaker activities;
  • Understanding what Project Based Learning really is;
  • Motivation in PBL.

Day 2 – PBL vs other methodologies – 21st century competencies

  • Project-based learning and Projects: any differences?;
  • Project, Task, Inquiry based Learning;
  • 21st century Competencies.

Day 3 – Implementing PBL

  • PBL: finding a topic;
  • PBL: the structure;
  • The Driving Question;
  • Frequently Asked Questions.

Day 4 – PBL Design and Assessment

  • Creating a detailed PBL lesson plan;
  • Kinds of Assessment.

Day 5 – Presenting PBL

  • Completing and presenting your PBL plan and rubric;
  • Brainstorming and discussing school-wide PBL programs.

Day 6 – Course closure and cultural activities

  • Course evaluation: round-up of acquired competencies, feedback, and discussion;
  • Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance;
  • Excursion and other external cultural activities.

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