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Project Based Learning (PBL) is a classroom approach where students collaboratively work on a project that solves a real-life problem, culminating in a product or presentation for an audience.

With over 14 years of incorporating PBL into my classrooms, I look forward to learning with you, answering all of your questions and supporting you throughout your PBL journey!


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Using technology in the classroom can help students learn new life skills, such as collaboration and critical thinking. These skills, often called "soft skills" or "21st century skills", are also prevalent throughout Project Based Learning. Drafted by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21), the Framework for 21st Century Learning defines the skills that students are projected to need to be positive contributors to the future workforce, emphasizing a need for competence in areas of life skills.


Learning and innovation skills are what separate students who are prepared for increasingly complex life and work environments in today’s world and those who are not. These skills include:

  • Creativity and Innovation

  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

  • Communication

  • Collaboration


Today, we live in a technology and media-driven environment, marked by access to an abundance of information, rapid changes in technology tools, and the ability to collaborate and make individual contributions on an unprecedented scale. Effective citizens and workers must be able to exhibit a range of functional and critical thinking skills, such as:

  • Information Literacy

  • Media Literacy

  • ICT (Information, Communications, and Technology) Literacy



Today’s students need to develop thinking skills, content knowledge, and social and emotional competencies to navigate complex life and work environments. P21’s essential Life and Career Skills include:

  • Flexibility and Adaptability

  • Initiative and Self-Direction

  • Social and Cross-Cultural Skills

  • Productivity and Accountability

  • Leadership and Responsibility




I created these hyperdocs and posted them for the students on Google Classroom. It contains everything the students needed for multi-week 8th grade Science projects. 

Note that these are just a video examples. The actual hyperdocs were interactive with links that the students could use. Instead of using a hyperdoc to distribute information, rubrics and resources, you could just print out everything the kids need on paper. 


Project based learning engages students.

  • In this study, project-based learning (PBL) was selected as a means of enhancing student engagement. The activities of the partnership focused on the co-design and enactment of and co-reflection on PBL units. Teachers participated in the design of the data collection process and the interpretation of initial findings. The students’ experiences of scientific practices and engagement in actual learning situations were measured in the first and second years of the teachers’ implementation of the teaching units. An analysis of the students’ responses showed that the students were 20% more engaged in the second year than in the first year (Juuti et al., 2021, 625).


Project based learning improves student engagement by enabling knowledge and information sharing and discussion

  • This study aims to develop on using the effectiveness of the PBL approach, as a way to engage students in learning as well as to incorporate literature on the PBL method for educational purposes. The research hypotheses therefore measure the influence of the PBL method on collaborative learning, disciplinary subject learning, iterative learning, and authentic learning, which, in turn, engage students in learning. The results show that the PBL technique improves student engagement by enabling knowledge and information sharing and discussion. Thus, the PBL approach is highly recommended for educational use by students and should be encouraged in universities (Almulla, 2020, 1). 


As compared to direct instruction, project based learning motivates students. 

  • This quantitative study sought to compare the levels of motivation and engagement for middle school students before and after the implementation of both project- based learning and direct instruction. Surveys were used to collect data from a sample of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students in a rural southwestern Tennessee school district in the United States of America before and after project-based learning and direct instruction lessons. Data analyses revealed significant differences in motivation and engagement levels before and after (a) project-based learning and (b) direct instruction. Significant differences in motivation and engagement of students were also found between groups of students who had experienced project-based learning as compared to direct instruction (Carrabba & Farmer, 2018, 163).


Project based learning has a positive influence on student motivation and is able to enhance their cooperation skills.

  • The study aims to investigate the effect of project-based learning on students’ motivation and their self-efficacy. Project-based learning is an instructional technique which has been proven to be effective because it allows students to play an active role in their own learning process. By participating in a project-based learning model, students are able to construct their own knowledge and reflect upon their learning projects, resulting in increased motivation and self-efficacy. The results of this study support the idea that project-based learning has a positive influence in students’ motivation and is able to enhance their cooperation skills as well. Furthermore, student responses in the survey taken after the project shows that the students’ perceptions toward project-based learning are very positive. Further research is suggested to find the effects of project-based learning on students’ motivation and self-efficacy in different levels, grades, or age groups (Myeong-Hee, 2018, 95).


STEM Project based learning can enhance students’ creativity.

  • The study used qualitative research with narrative design. The population consisted of  eighth grade students. Based on the result, STEM project-based learning gives a good impact on students' creativity. STEM project-based learning can be used as alternative teaching strategies in Junior Secondary School (Hanif et al., 2019, 50).


Project based learning can improve students’ creativity.

  • The purpose of this study is describing the implementation of project-based learning model and analyzing the student’s creativity improvement in the subject of learning media. We describe the implementation of project- based learning based on our note of the learning syntax during one semester. Then, compared the students’ product to measure their creativity improvement in the aspects of originality, novelty, and flexibility. This study used descriptive-qualitative method and involved the students who took the learning media course as its subjects. The results showed that there was an improvement of the students’ creativity in the project-based learning implementation. The improvement was measured in the making of the manipulatives. The students’ flexibility and novelty were good, while their originality was fair (Ummah et al., 2019, 93).


Students learn 21st century skills through project based learning.

  • Project-Based Learning (PBL) is an innovative approach to learning that teaches a multitude of strategies critical for success in the twenty-first century. Students drive their own learning through inquiry, as well as work collaboratively to research and create projects that reflect their knowledge. From gleaning new, viable technology skills, to becoming proficient communicators and advanced problem solvers, students benefit from this approach to instruction (Bell, 2010, 39). 


Project based learning can improve students’ social emotional learning, and also have a positive impact on teachers.

  • This study attempted to better understand how PBL was implemented in schools and to explore the impact of PBL on schools, teachers, and students. Data collection included classroom observations, educator surveys, student surveys, and an analysis of academic and behavioral outcomes and a subset of social-emotional skills. PBL students performed better on inventories of social-emotional skills. In addition, while PBL implementation challenges are apparent, perceptions of students and educators of the impact and possibilities of PBL are quite positive (Culclasure et al., 2019).


Project based learning not only could enhance vocational school students’ learning motivation, but facilitate their problem-solving ability.

  • This study developed a project-based curriculum for the vocational high school students and examined the effect of the curriculum on students’ learning motivation and ability of problem solving by means of quasi-experimental method and qualitative analysis. The research results showed project-based learning not only could enhance vocational school students’ learning motivation, but facilitate their problem-solving ability. The contribution of the research is to the vocational education, especially to give the teachers a real exemplar of PBL (Chiang & Lee, 2016, 709).

Students with teachers who participated in project based learning professional learning demonstrated statistically significant growth in reading, math, and history.

  • This research brief examines learning facilitators’ participation in two professional learning opportunities offered in partnership with external providers BetterLesson and PBLWorks in Grant Year 1 (2017-2018) and Grant Year 2 (2018-2019). Referred to in-district as professional learning opportunities to foster “motivating learning opportunities” for learners, these opt-in, months-long Micro-Credentials developed specific research-based instructional design skills in learning facilitators. While both professional learning opportunities shared several characteristics, one distinguishing feature was the BetterLesson program offered personalized instructional coaching across several months and utilized a coaching dashboard while the PBLWorks program offered a more uniform coaching experience over fewer months. (Price et al., 2019, 4).


Project based learning may improve student self-efficacy, engagement, and motivation. 

  • The working paper suggests that the evidence for PBL’s effectiveness in improving students’ outcomes is “promising but not proven.” Many studies, too, have used evaluation designs that leave open the possibility that factors other than PBL were responsible for the outcomes that were found. This said, some studies have found positive effects associated with the use of PBL curricula in science and social studies classes. Evidence for its effectiveness in math and literacy classes is more limited. Some studies in schools that follow PBL approaches have pointed to positive effects on students’ engagement, motivation, and beliefs in their own efficacy, although the specific PBL model and the intensity of its use have varied across these schools. The working paper concludes with recommendations for advancing research and knowledge about PBL (Condliffe et al., 2017, iii).


Project Based Learning is effective in improving the oral communicative competence of English language learners.

  • The quasi-experimental study investigated the effectiveness of using project-based learning (PjBL) activities as a teaching strategy in improving the oral communicative competence of Malaysian English language learners. The findings revealed a significant improvement in the learners’ overall oral communicative competence and a high perception of PjBL by the learners. It is concluded that PjBL teaching strategy is effective in improving the oral communicative competence of the English language learners. The study recommends the use of PjBL as a suitable English language teaching strategy for technical students who are generally low proficient English language learners (Bakar et al., 2019, 73).

The PBL group showed statistically significantly higher growth in social studies. 

  • Four PBL units focused on economics, geography, history & civics and government, designed to address nearly all state social studies standards and all literacy standards. Projects were done over an extended period of time and focused on a real problem or opportunity in the world. Projects had embedded opportunities for student voice and choice about the project and how they would collaborate to accomplish it (Duke & Halvorsen, 2017).


Students in PBL statistics class showed significant gains in knowledge of statistical literacy as compared to students in the control group (no PBL).

  • This study examines the effect of project based learning on 8th grade students’ statistical literacy levels. A performance test was developed for this aim. Quasi-experimental research model was used in this article. According to gained results in pre-processing application there isn’t substantial difference between the achievements of intervention group and control group; but after processing between the achievements of intervention group and control group there is a substantial difference statistically in favor of intervention group. The results of the study revealed that the project based learning increased students’ statistical literacy levels in the intervention group (Koparan & Güven, 2014, 145).

PBL Research
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