Project-based Learning

Project-based learning (PBL) uses projects as a focus for inquiry-based learning. It is the learning process that is evaluated—not the project as an end product.

Powerful PBL fosters deeper learning. PBL connects and engages students to the adult world and authentic reasons for learning.

PBL requires students to be active participants in their learning and develop important skills such as creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication.

While projects are a staple in many classrooms, there are important differences between “project-oriented learning” and “project-based learning”. This chart describes the attributes that differentiate these easily confused terms.


PBL shifts the focus of instruction from teacher-driven to student-centred. Classroom activities could sometimes resemble traditional teaching strategies (such as direct instruction, teacher lecture, or conventional quizzes and tests), but PBL moves the learning paradigm to that of a process, not an end result.

PLP instructional design adheres to the Buck Institute for Education’s Gold Standard PBL Framework. For more information on project-based learning, visit the BIE website.

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