Project-Based Learning - Readings, Videos, & Resources

Karin’s Planning Tools (Excerpts from Local Assessment Toolkit and Deeper CB Learning) - See also posts on Karin's Blog, Assessment (Rubric development), and Resources (Hess CRMs) Pages

  1. GRASPS Use to develop simulations

  2. Hess PLC Tool 9A - Use to analyze elements of a performance task

  3. Hess LP Tool 26 - Use to analyze teacher-student roles, plan for how learning will occur, conduct walkthroughs looking for evidence of rigor

  4. CBE Tool 6 - Use to design performance scales for performance tasks and PBL activities

  5. Hess Tool 20 - Use to design performance tasks and rubrics



Free PBL Resources to Support Planning & Implementation

Where to find Media Sources

PBL – 5 keys to Rigorous PBL - video (6:30 min

PBL Tips for Implementing - Teachers Pay Teachers Blog (July 2019)

PBL Guide (Defined STEM)


Buck Institute for Education (BIE) Resources

  1. Essential Project Design Elements Checklist Use for a quick evaluation of a project's design

  2. Project Design: Overview and Student Learning Guide Two-part form for a project's design & scaffolding

  3. Sample Projects

  4. Performance assessment planning example - mapping project assessments

April Smith’s Free PBL Professional Development 

  1. PBL Planning Guide

  2. PBL Video: How to Write  Driving Questions (15 min)

  3. PBL Video: Project-Based Learning Basics (12:40 min)

Todd Stanley – Gifted and PBL resources, blogs, and books

John Spencer – Podcasts and bogs about PBL and distance learning at

Michael Kaechele Bogs about PBL at 


Sample PBL Projects

PBL project ideas in different content areas/grade levels at 


Sample Distance Learning/End of Year Projects/Capstones (Blog post) 


Sample Case Study Assessments (University of Buffalo)

---New Ways to Breathe- Cystic Fibrosis and Gene Therapy 

---Antibiotic Resistance in a Russian Prison - Playing with the Spread of Tuberculosis 


Sample Expeditionary Learning Projects (EL Education)

Vernal Pools (gr 7)

Farms & Food (gr 1)

Human Face of Human Rights (gr 10)

Karin Hess, Ed.D, is a recognized international leader in developing practical approaches for using cognitive rigor and learning progressions as the foundation for formative, interim, and performance assessments.



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© since July 2014 Karin Hess, Ed.D.