Instructional Design for PBL

Big Idea: Learning Design comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes, including Project-Based Learning. There are ties that bind all good Learning Design. Today we’ll explore those ties and build common language around an approach to PBL that honours our individual styles and perspectives.


  • Be Fully Present
  • Bring a Creative Commons Mindset
  • Adopt a beginner’s mindset
  • W.A.I.T. Why am I talking?
  • Take Risks and Fail Forward
  • Make Learning Visible

Driving Questions

How might we use PBL to enhance our current and future practices as designers of powerful learning opportunities for students?
What aspects of PBL should be commonly held amongst our school community?


Explore themes of instructional design and build common knowledge around what constitutes project-based learning.
Collaboratively design pitches for student projects.


Partially crowd-sourced project pitch.
Instructional inventory for design.
Next steps!


8:30am Introduction: What learning Looks Like in RVS

8:40am Instructional design exploration. What are some common themes among the design frameworks that pervade education?

8:50am Reflection: Synonyms for PBL arcs/Design Thinking

9:00am Instructional Improv: Finding the intersections of curriculum, current events, and our own interests. Where do we get our PBL ideas?

9:15am Pitch Tool. What’s your idea? Empathy interview with a colleague.

9:45am Flesh out the pitch. What could students explore? Create?

10:00am Break

10:15am P3 crowd sourcing. What people, places, or programs could help inform this pitch?

10:30am Instructional Inventory. What else belongs in the instructional design? Ask critical questions.

11:00am Critical Friends Protocol. Share your aims & ideas.
What are you excited about?
What’s tricky?
What’s unknow
Provide critical feedback.
What do you like?
What do you wonder?
What could you offer their design?

11:30 am Next steps: Experiences vs. reflections.
Scope & Sequence.
PL offerings from the Learning Department.
What does this work look like between now and our next School-Based PL Day?

12:00pm TNT (‘Til Next Time): Exit Pass