For the past five years I have been a Project Based Learning Coach (PBL) at Vernon Malone College & Career Academy in Raleigh, NC. It was our vision when we started the school in 2013 to use PBL as a framework for instruction. As the PBL coach it was my responsibility to design a program that supported this work. For four years the teaches and I focused on project design and implementation through rapid prototyping and reflection. Its through this process that I developed a PBL Roadmap that takes the user through five phases of project development, implementation and reflection. What makes this roadmap unique are the processes included in each phase. For example, Phase 2 includes protocols inspired by the Critical Friends Group to allow the user to choose a path for project idea development for either an individual or interdisciplinary groups. Another unique aspect of the roadmap can be found in Phase 3 Community Connections and Research. This phase uses Human Centered Design to connect the project idea to real world issues that gives student an opportunity to have an impact on their local or global community.
It’s important to remember that this roadmap is a guide and can be used as a step-by-step process or as a resource for the development and/or implementation of High Quality PBL. The roadmap is a comprehensive look at designing and implementing PBL; however, not all phases are required or possible with every PBL project. It is my vision that by using this roadmap teachers have a comprehensive support for designing and implementing High Quality PBL.
Assumptions About the User:
Before using this document we are making the following assumptions about the user.
How To Use
The first step in using this document is to ask “What area(s) of PBL design or implementation do I need to understand or improve?” or “What supports do I need to implement High Quality PBL?” (You may want to consider using the Pre/Post Project Teacher Reflections Document to determine your needs.) Next, review the Decision Matrix below to determine the appropriate entry point to the roadmap. Remember, not everyone’s entry point will be the same, however, the goal is to improve implementation and find support where needed. Keep in mind that all phases have an expectation that Phase 1 is complete and Content Alignment Map has been created for the unit in development.
For more information on each Phase and the activities that go along with it, please jump over to the Project Based Learning Tab.
Teacher, leader, curious observer, explorer of the world and everything in it, passionate about new experiences, and making connections with people.