2015 Fundamentals of PBLL: Badge Criteria

2014-2018 online-learning pbl

Fundamentals of Project-based Language learning is an introductory online institute for world language instructors and world language curriculum and professional development specialist. Participants who complete the institute gain basic familiarity with theoretical and practical aspects of designing projects for the context of world language teaching and learning. The Online Institute progresses through five modules.

Participants who received a badge completed a Project Blueprint that specifies basic aspects of project design and interacted with colleagues in activities or discussions on this topic. Participation in the institute and completion of the Project Blueprint provide evidence that the badge recipient:

  1. Learned about fundamental aspects of Project-based Language Learning (PBLL) and some of the commonalities and differences between PBL and PBLL;
  2. Developed a world language project for a specific context and described it in a Project Blueprint document;
  3. Designed sample standards-based tasks that target specific areas of language learning and 21st Century Skills;
  4. Described an articulated sequence of project tasks and corresponding assessment;
  5. Participated in a collegial discussion on topics related to language learning project planning, design and implementation either by posting responses to prompts related to PBLL in the majority of the “Get Involved” sections or by soliciting and receiving feedback from colleagues on their Project Blueprint based on an adaptation of the Critical Friends Protocol.






From PBL to PBLL

Lesson 1

What is PBL? What are the constituent parts of a PBL unit/lesson plan? What is rigorous PBL?

Lesson 2

From PBL to PBLL: What do language teachers need to know about adapting PBL to the language education context?

Lesson 3

Developing a project idea.
Crafting an effective Driving Question.



Beginning Your Project Planning

Lesson 4

Starting with the end in mind: Defining outcomes. Addressing standards and 21st Century Skills.

Lesson 5

Working with Open Educational Resources (OERs).
Locating and using OERs.

Lesson 6

Infusing culture. Assessing cultural knowledge.
Project Showcase: Focus on culture.



Language, Content & Technology

Lesson 7

Using language to learn, learning to use language: Intersections with content-based instruction (CBI) and CLIL (content and language integrated instruction).
Task designs for CBI.

Lesson 8

Scaffolding for language proficiency levels.
Using technology to scaffold language learning.

Lesson 9

Scaffolding technology.
Scaffolding content knowledge.



Designing Rich Learning Experiences

Lesson 10

Task designs for authentic language use.
Task designs for collaboration.
Assessing collaboration.

Lesson 11

Task designs for creativity

Lesson 12

Connecting learners with communities.
Task designs for intercultural collaborations



Designing Tasks and Assessment

Lesson 13

Planning interaction. Assessing interaction.
Project Showcase: Focus on interaction and collaboration.

Lesson 14

Assessing projects.
Deconstructing products: language, need, authenticity, real audience
Assessing products.
Project Showcase: Focus on products.

Lesson 15

Finalizing your project blueprint.
Critical Friends Protocol.


Project Blueprint

The following are the main components of the template provided to participants to design their projects:

Project Title

Project Idea (100-200 word description)

Driving Question (50 words max!)

The Context (about 200 words)

What is your institutional context (what is your school like? what is your classroom like?)

What are the opportunities and constraints for PBLL in your context?

learners (what are your students like? what is their native language?)

What is the time frame for this project?

With regard to this project, how would you describe and assess your students’ baseline in terms of language knowledge?


Project Overview (minimum 3 rows)

Content Knowledge

Students will learn about...

Language Knowledge

Students will be able to...

Performance Assessment

Students will do X to demonstrate they know/can do Y.


...past and current experiences of people in the community celebrating the Mexican Day of the Dead.


… ask questions about a past event, ask for rephrasing or repetition, ask for clarification


… write a set of interview questions on the Day of the Dead using target vocabulary and grammatical form.

… conduct and record the interview with a native speaker.

The Content

What content will students need to learn?  
What open educational resources will be used in this project?   
What content resources will be used (readings, media, invited speakers, etc.)  
How will the project be scaffolded in terms of…?

  • project process
  • content  
  • language
  • final product   

What opportunities does the project create to connect with other disciplines?

The Language

What standards will this project address?  
How will this project improve the learners’ interpersonal, interpretive and presentational communicative ability?
What opportunities does the project create to further develop the learners’ understanding of the culture?
What opportunities does the project create for learners to investigate, explain, and reflect on the nature of language or the concept of culture through comparisons of the target culture and their own?
What opportunities does the project create for learners to use the language beyond the classroom?
How does the project foster interaction with communities beyond the classroom?


What technologies will be used to support language learning?
What technologies will be used to support the project (e.g., communication, construction of final product, dissemination of final product)?
How will knowledge of technology be scaffolded?

Project Implementation

Preparing for the project

What task/s will be used in preparation for the project?  

Launching the project

What will be the entry event?

Task sequence

Briefly describe essential signpost tasks needed for project completion

Describe at least one supporting task

Project Evaluation

What are the expected project outcomes?  
How will content be assessed?
How will language be assessed?
How will 21st Century skills be assessed?  
How will knowledge of the culture be assessed?
How will the final product be assessed?



Instructional Materials

Please include a list of handouts and worksheets. If available in text format, you may paste those materials here or provide links if they are available online.

Time for Feedback


Before you submit your project, we would like you to interact with your fellow participants. You can do this by either posting responses to prompts related to PBLL in the majority of the “Get Involved” sections in the Online Modules OR request feedback from at least one of your group members and make corresponding revisions. After you complete one of these, you may submit your project at http://www.nflrc.hawaii.edu/pbll-modules/.

Critical Friends Protocol

Please use this adaptation of the Critical Friends Protocol to request and give feedback.

  1. Identify one or two specific aspects of your project for which you would like to receive feedback. Explain in a brief paragraph your specific need or concern making sure to your colleagues will have enough information in the Blueprint or question.

  2. Ask your group members to read your Project Blueprint and give you feedback below. Keep in mind that a public version of this Project Rubric will constitute evidence of the quantity and quality of the feedback you received and will be permanently linked to your achievement badge. It is in your best interest to receive and give useful feedback.

  3. If you have questions about the feedback written by your colleagues below, make a comment in the text they wrote by highlighting the text and then selecting “Insert → Comment” in the Google Doc menu above. Do not modify their text.

  4. If you are giving feedback and your colleague asks you to clarify, do not modify the original feedback text you wrote, but rather answer to your colleague’s comment by typing a response under the comment they inserted in your feedback.


Now tell us the story of your journey to create this project...

Your story here


Tagged as 2014-2018 online-learning pbl