An Introduction to PBL

A discussion of Project Based Learning

Session Description

Project Based Learning is a hot topic in educational circles. A growing number of schools are implementing a PBL model and more classroom teachers are experimenting with PBL units. This session is for the educator with little to no experience in PBL. Perhaps you have thought about doing PBL but don’t know where to start. Or perhaps you have tried PBL once or twice and you would like to learn more. The session will share the New Tech Network model of PBL, as implemented by Kent Innovation High, a PBL school in Grand Rapids, MI. The session will share useful documents for understanding PBL as well as offer plenty of opportunity for questions and discussion.


1. Develop a big picture comprehension of Project Based Learning.

2. Identify resources and strategies which could help implement Project Based Learning.

3. Allow opportunity to process possible logistics for Project Based Learning implementation.

PBL Google Drive Folder

Session Agenda

Grounding Questions
  • My name is...
  • My relationship to the topic is...
  • My expectations are...
  • How I feel about being here is...

Knows, Needs to Know

What is PBL?

Exploration of "PBL Session Resources":

Revisit Knows, Needs to Know

  • What questions have been addressed?
  • Additional questions?

Affinity Mapping
  • Use index cards to brainstorm essential components of Project Based Learning.
  • Use "PBL Session Resources" above to guide brainstorming process.
  • Share common characteristics.
  • Sort the ideas into columns (or clusters) based on relationships.
  • Share idea clusters.
  • Materials needed: index cards, pen/pencil

Revisit Knows, Needs to Know

  • What questions have been addressed?
  • Additional questions?

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats

  • Materials needed: paper, markers

contact information

Jeff Bush

Facilitator, Kent Innovation High