This week I finalized my PBL website, which essentially means that the project is ready to go. I could teach this with students in real life. It took a lot of careful, intentional planning but I believe it’s as complete as it can be. One of the final components I worked on when completing the website was the reflection piece and how it will be used with students throughout and at the conclusion of the project for them. This is obviously a vital piece of any good project, but it’s important to remember that it doesn’t only apply to the students. Once the project is over, the teacher needs to spend some dedicated time reflecting on the overall process as well.
For an effective debrief of the PBL experience, teachers should first reflect with students, taking in their feedback on the project. Then teachers should plan a time to debrief with the other adults who had been a part of the project – support teachers, the PTC, etc. A reflective conversation would be valuable for shaping the way that PBL projects in the future will look. Rarely is anything ever perfect no matter how carefully it was planned; there’s always going to be room to make improvements and tweak things to make the project even better next time. Though there may be one dedicated meeting time for this reflection, it will likely be an ongoing conversation as the teacher moves forward and tries out other PBL projects – we can continue to refer back to past PBL experiences when planning future ones.