|Projects . . .||Project Based Learning . . .|
|Can be done at home without teacher guidance or team collaboration.||Requires teacher guidance and team collaboration.|
|Can be outlined in detail on one piece of paper by the teacher.||Includes many “Need to Knows” on the part of the students and teachers.|
|Are used year after year and usually focus on product (make a mobile, a poster, a diorama, etc.).||Is timely, complex, covers many TEKS, and takes a team of highly trained professionals significant time to plan and implement.|
|The teacher work occurs mainly after the project is complete.||The teacher work occurs mainly before the project starts.|
|The students do not have many opportunities to make choices at any point in the project.||The students make most of the choices during the project within the pre-approved guidelines. The teacher is often surprised and even delighted with the students’ choices.|
|Are based upon directions and are done “like last year.”||Is based upon Driving Questions that encompass every aspect of the learning that will occur and establishes the need to know.|
|Are often graded based teacher perceptions that may or may not be explicitly shared with students, like neatness.||Is graded based on a clearly defined rubric made or modified specifically for the project.|
|Are closed: every project has the same goal. (As in the example above, the end result is always The Alamo.)||Is open: students make choices that determine the outcome and path of the research.|
|Cannot be used in the real world to solve real problems.||Could provide solutions in the real world to real problems even though they may not be implemented.|
|Are not particularly relevant to students’ lives.||Is relevant to students’ lives or future lives.|
|Do not resemble work done in the real world.||Is just like or closely resembles work done in the real world.|
|Do not include scenarios and background information or are based on events that have already been resolved.||The scenario or simulation is real or if it is fictitious, is realistic, entertaining, and timely.|
|Are sometimes based around a tool for the sake of the tool rather than of an authentic question. (Make a Prezi.)||Use technology, tools, and practices of the real world work environment purposefully. Students choose tools according to purposes.|
|Happen after the “real” learning has already occurred and are just the “dessert.”||Is how students do the real learning.|
|Are turned in.||Is presented to a public audience encompassing people from outside the classroom.|
|Are all the same.||Is different.|
|Make a model (or diorama or mobile . . . ) of the Alamo.||Design a fortification that would take your community through a bio or other non-traditional attack and make a recommendation to the city council for future planning.|
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