In Project Based Learning, students learn the curriculum by exploring a meaningful question, solving an engaging real-world problem, or taking on a challenge to design or create something. Before they can accomplish this, students need to inquire into the topic by asking questions and developing their own answers. To demonstrate what they learn, students create high-quality products and present their work to other people. Students often do project work collaboratively in small teams, guided by the teacher.
Although it is easier to define what PBL is not (e.g., worksheets disconnected from larger intellectual inquiry), it is more difficult to define what it is… and in one sentence. Here is an attempt:
Project Based Learning is a systematic teaching method that engages students in learning important knowledge and 21st century skills through an extended, student-influenced inquiry process structured around complex, authentic questions and carefully designed products and learning tasks.