3 Graduate-Level Continuing Education Units, Brandman University

Course Authors and Instructors: This course is co-authored by two teachers, Ruth Wise in elementary education and the Carol Song in secondary education, who are both passionate about finding and practicing best instructional approaches to put students in the “driver’s seat” of their education on the path to success. The course is taught by a team of instructors, including the course authors as well as other teachers who are knowledgeable about the best practices for successful PBL.

Course Objective & Learning Goals: Learn about and put into practice a proven effective instructional approach for preparing our students not just to face the real world, but to make it better! Project-Based Learning: Connecting Classrooms to the Real World offers teachers a convincing argument for implementing project-based learning (PBL) in their classrooms to promote success in academia, in future professions, and in life. Teachers will be equipped with practical tools and resources to take steps toward, or even fully dive into, a research-proven more satisfying and effective way to teach. Buck Institute for Education has graciously granted permission to share their cutting-edge resources with course participants.

Course Outline:

Unit I: The Research Behind Project-Based Learning

  • Lesson 1: What is Project-Based Learning?
  • Lesson 2: Why Project-Based Learning?
  • Lesson 3: Project-Based Learning, CCSS, and Standards for the Teaching Profession
  • Lesson 4: Project-Based Learning and Research-Based Effective Models of Education
  • Lesson 5: Project-Based Learning: Raising Rigor
  • Lesson 6: Project-Based Learning and Bloom’s Taxonomy
  • Lesson 7: Project-Based Learning: Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners
  • Lesson 8: What Project-Based Learning is NOT

Unit II: Essential Elements of Project-Based Learning

  • Lesson 9: Significant Content
  • Lesson 10: 21st Century Competencies
  • Lesson 11: In-Depth Inquiry
  • Lesson 12: The Driving Question
  • Lesson 13: Need to Know/Authenticity
  • Lesson 14: Student Voice/Choice
  • Lesson 15: Revision & Reflection
  • Lesson 16: Public Audience

Unit III: Project-Based Learning in and across Disciplines

  • Lesson 17: Designing Discipline-Specific Project Assignments: English Language Arts
  • Lesson 18: Designing Discipline-Specific Project Assignments: Social Studies/History
  • Lesson 19: Designing Discipline-Specific Project Assignments: Science
  • Lesson 20: Designing Discipline-Specific Project Assignments: Math
  • Lesson 21: Designing Integrated-Disciplinary Project Assignments

Unit IV: Practical Steps and Principles, with Technology Usage for Project-Based Learning Assignments

  • Lesson 22: Managing the Process
  • Lesson 23: Designing High-Quality Rubrics
  • Lesson 24: Technology and PBL
  • Lesson 25: Building New Knowledge
  • Lesson 26: Adding Special Touches: Dedication to Celebration
  • Lesson 27: Common Hurdles to PBL and Tips for Overcoming Them

Unit V: Course Wrap-Up

  • Lesson 28: Conclusion/Final Project
  • Final Forms/Course Evaluation