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Criteria for Authentic
Project-Based Learning

Nancy Kraft
Formerly of RMC Research Corporation
Denver, Colorado


Students today are using online resources to create research reports. They are designing, critiquing, and presenting products using interactive technologies. Here are some guidelines and criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of problem- and project-based learning in your classroom.
  1. Allows for a variety of learning styles
  2. "Real" world oriented - learning has value beyond the demonstrated competence of the learner
  3. Risk-free environment - provides positive feedback and allow choice
  4. Encourages the use of higher order thinking skills and learning concepts as well as basic facts
  5. Utilizes hands-on approaches
  6. Provides for in-depth understanding
  7. Accessible for all learners
  8. Utilizes various modes of communication
  9. Assessment is congruent with instruction, i.e. performance-based
  10. Students are responsible for their own learning
  11. Students have ownership of their learning within the curriculum
  12. Projects promote meaningful learning, connecting new learning to students' past performances
  13. Learning utilizes real time data - investigating data and drawing conclusions
  14. The learning process is valued as well as the learning project
  15. Learning cuts across curricular areas - multidisciplinary in nature
  16. Teacher is a facilitator of learning
  17. Student self-assessment of learning is encouraged

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Project-based Learning
Updated August 25, 2005
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