Creating a Dynamic Classroom Through Project-Based Learning

(Grades K-5) / Flex Course

PDI Course Number: 116T02 / UCSD Course Number: EDUC40298

Course Description

Does the phrase project-based learning seem entirely foreign to you? Perhaps you’ve heard about it but it seems much too complicated to incorporate into your current teaching practices? The good news is that it doesn’t need to be. Also known as PBL, project-based learning is a great way to engage students so that they are challenged to use their higher-order 21st century skills as they collaborate to learn content in a fun and exciting way. This online course is designed for K-5 teachers who are looking to explore how PBL can fit into their current curriculum. In doing so, students become immersed in the guided inquiry process. As they work through a variety of projects, they become critical and creative thinkers and communicators who are able to work collaboratively while embracing what has become known as Gold Standard PBL. This course begins by discussing the role that PBL plays in 21st century learning. As teachers progress through the course, they will take a deep dive into each of PBL’s essential components. Teachers will learn how to effectively implement each of the components throughout several content areas, including reading, math, science, engineering, and social studies. Teachers will learn strategies for establishing a PBL mindset in their classrooms and they will learn how to “marry” some “out of the box” strategies within the PBL framework. By the end of this course, teachers will feel more confident and successful in their quest to implement project-based learning into their own teaching practices. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units (50 hours of training) from University of California San Diego (UCSD) Division of Extended Studies. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"I enjoyed this course, its content, and the instructor. The resources were relevant, useful, and helpful. The content was up-to-date and rich." - Lindsey Lienau

Enrollment Options

Course Only

$120 with the 20% discount tier

Course with Credit from UCSD

$304 with the 20% discount tier

This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units or 5 quarter units of graduate-level credit from UCSD.

You have up to one year from the date you are enrolled to complete a flex course.

Click here to view the course syllabus.

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UCSD Course Number: EDUC40298
Unit One
  • The Role of Project-Based Learning in 21st Century Learning
  • Setting the Stage for Project-Based Learning
  • Breaking Down Project-Based Learning
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1
Unit Two
  • Establishing a Culture of Inquiry and Creativity
  • The Basics of Guided Inquiry
  • How to Create a PBL Project from the Ground Up
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2
Unit Three
  • Establishing a PBL Mindset in the Reading Classroom
  • Stimulating 21st Century Skills
  • The Power of Pen Pals as a PBL Project
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise
  • Test #3
Unit Four
  • Reasoning Mathematically
  • The Art of Solving Problems
  • Project-Based Learning in the Math Classroom
  • Test #4
Unit Five
  • Thinking Like a Scientist or Engineer
  • Integrating STEM into Project-Based Learning
  • Project-Based Learning in Science and Engineering
  • Test #5
Unit Six
  • Making Projects Authentic through Simulations
  • Incorporating Technology into Social Studies Projects
  • Project-Based Learning in the Social Studies Classroom
  • Assignment #4: Create project-based learning projects for each content area
  • Assignment #5: Course Reflection

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