Getting Started with Project Based Learning (PBL)

PBL Introductory Video

For a concise introduction to PBL, watch Project Based Learning: Explained, by the Buck Institute for Education.

Read and Learn More

The Buck Institute for Education (BIE)

The Buck Institute is widely known as a provider of professional development resources for teachers interested in implementing PBL. There is also a searchable database of usable projects to peruse. Registration on the site is free if further access to resources is desired.

The Buck Institute's Project Design and Student Learning Guide

Use these planning forms to assist you as you design your project.

Buck Institute's Project Search

Search for project examples on the BIE website. Searches can be filtered by source, subject, and/or standard.

INFOhio's IMatrix

IMatrix is a lesson and curriculum planning tool for educators, schools, and districts to use as they make the shift to inquiry-based learning. With IMatrix, users can search for the critical inquiry skills that are embedded throughout the content standards for each of the core subject areas. There is an excellent explanation of inquiry using the "Dimensions of Inquiry", which is a scaffolding of six key skills students should master in order to be career and college-ready by the time they leave high school. There is an extensive explanation of each dimension of inquiry, as well as a searchable database of inquiry-aligned standards. Numerous helpful tools and planning templates are available for teachers as well as school and district administrators through the search interface.

K20 LEARN (beta): Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

K20 LEARN, developed by the University of Oklahoma, is a free resource for educators who want to implement authentic, 21st-Century lessons into their teaching practice. There is a searchable database of lessons on a wide variety of topics at all grade levels. Logging in with a Google account enables the user to develop and publish a lesson on the K20 LEARN site. A how-to manual provides step-by-step instructions for new users (see below).

The PBL Super Highway...Over 45 Links to Great Project Based Learning (21st Century Ed Tech Blog Post)

This is a fantastic compilation of PBL resources by Michael Gorman, a well-known and respected expert in the field of technology integration and 21st-Century Learning.


PBLU is the Buck Institute's PBL learning site. Users can register for access to BIE-created projects and classes. Projects and rubrics are free to use and/or modify - the idea is to have some projects that have already been designed so that the teacher can get used to PBL implementation without the stress of design. Projects can be adapted to grade-level and need.

Teacher's Guide to Project-based Learning

This comprehensive guide is a collaborative effort between the High Tech High Schools in San Diego, California, and the Learning Futures Project in England. Both are innovators in the area of Project Based Learning.

What are Essential Questions?

Essential Questions are an important element of planning for PBL. This helpful document was published by the Hamilton County Educational Services Center (HCESC).

WNET Education - Concept to Classroom: Inquiry-based Learning

Part of WNET's Concept to Classroom series, this workshop on Inquiry-based Learning provides extensive information, demonstration, and ideas for the implementation of this important teaching/learning model.