PBL Debriefing

One of the great attributes of the project-based learning model is the opportunity educators have to “live” PBL in front of their students. This is particularly true as the project comes to an end in the classroom. Now it’s time to reflect upon the project itself!  How did it go? Did you and your students enjoy it? What worked and what took an adjustment? What needs to happen before I use it again next year?


Who should be involved in the process?

Definitely the students, as well as anyone that served as an expert or audience member during the process. Students should be allowed to be honest in the process; however, teaching them to be constructive critical friend to their peers AND educators yields better results all around.  “Don’t just tell me you liked it or hated it.  Tell me why.  Tell me what I could do to fix it or improve it for next time!”  This is true for your colleagues, other teachers, audience and experts as well.  Many of them will have a different perspective or will notice things that you may have missed while you were in the middle of the process.


What will your process look like?

Using rubrics and reflection or critical friends protocols is another way that educators can demonstrate the PBL process. Fortunately at my school, we are to use the critical friends and looking at student work protocols regularly. This assures the quality of our practice in the classroom.

Critical Friends Protocol Overview

Essential Project Design Elements Checklist

Project Design Rubric


Is it just a one-time assessment?

How a project is used, reused, changed, or abandoned should be influenced by the reflective process. The life of a project could very well be extended due to the feedback you receive from the process!


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