NextLesson Project Key Components

Learn more about how NextLesson Projects are developed

All NextLesson Projects are written to incorporate certain Key Components that we consider crucial to an authentic and high quality project experience. These Key Components have been carefully developed to ensure our NextLesson Projects are compatible with project-based learning (PBL) by working with teachers and a Buck Institute of Education Faculty Member.

For more information on how you can use NextLesson Projects to develop an authentic PBL classroom experience, take a look through our PBL Teacher Guide.

1. Driving Question

Projects are focused on a clear, central problem, phrased as a driving question.

2. Key Learnings: Understanding & Skills

  • Key knowledge and understanding will be learned through the students’ work on their projects.
  • 21st century skills will be required: critical thinking/problem solving, creative thinking, collaboration and communication, and/or self-management.
Students will be assessed on these two project aspects, as well as the final product itself.

3. Final Product

Projects will always end with the production of a final product.

The final product will be an authentic application of the context, key learnings and the driving question. Where possible, the final product should be shared beyond the classroom with another class, parents, the community or the public.

4. Authenticity

Authenticity involves a seamless application of an authentic theme or context through the course of a project.

The authenticity of a project could be:
  • an authentic (real-world) context for the project, (a simulation);
  • a final product that someone would actually produce in the real world;
  • a real impact on the world or community;
  • personal relevance- speaking to a student’s interests, culture or identity;
  • inspired by the real world, using real world events or other connections.

5. Inquiry

Some form of inquiry will be required across the project. This might come from students posing their own questions, gathering their own information or developing solutions to a problem.

6. Student Driven

The project will, for the most part, be student driven.
Opportunities will be provided for students to express voice and choice in various ways.

7. Critique

An opportunity to give and receive feedback through critique will be incorporated.

8. Reflection

Thoughtful, comprehensive reflection will take place at the end of the project on both what students have learned and their process.
All NextLesson Projects are carefully reviewed to meet as many of these criteria as are appropriate in the particular project.

These components use certain parts of the PBL Design Elements from the Buck Institute of Education.