7 Essential Elements for Project Based Learning
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7 Essential Elements for Project-Based Learning

This article is made possible by Tract Learning, Inc. Tract offers on-demand, project-based classes and lesson plans designed to spark creativity and empower learners to develop the critical thinking skills they need to be successful young adults. Learn more and set up your FREE Tract classroom today using the code LITINFOCUS. 

Project-Based Learning (PBL) provides students with the opportunity to engage in meaningful real-word projects. The goal of each student project is to answer an engaging question, solve a problem, or complete a challenge. Ultimately, students demonstrate their acquired knowledge by creating a public presentation or product for a real audience. 

To effectively harness the magic that comes with Project-Based Learning, PBLWorks has outlined seven critical components that must be included. All seven components are described below. As you will see, some components are easier to implement than others, which can lead to reluctance for many teachers. This is exactly why the Tract is so helpful. Everything students need to be successful with PBL is included and free!  

Challenging Problem or Question

A PBL project is always based on a meaningful problem to be solved, question to be answered, or challenge to be addressed. A well-designed question, problem, or challenge gives students room to elaborate and explore throughout the learning process. Additionally, a compelling project is more likely to increase motivation and engagement. Using Tract, students are given the opportunity to identify a relevant topic of interest and create a dynamic learning experience based on their chosen content.  

Sustained Inquiry

Students completing a PBL project engage in an extended and rigorous research process that includes inquiry, research, and application. A high-quality project requires students to think critically about the driving question, problem, or challenge. Most PBL projects take longer than a few days to complete. Students need enough time to find quality resources, apply learning, synthesize results, and develop a solution. Tract provides the structure and support to keep students on track and engaged throughout the research process. Students follow a specific learning path that guides them through each step of the project.  


An authentic project involves real-world context, addresses 21st century skills, and speaks to relevant concerns, interests, and issues in the students’ lives. An authentic PBL also connects students to other people and communities, creating a unique learning experience. Completing a project with Tract transports students beyond the boundaries of a traditional classroom. Students are empowered to explore new interests and deepen existing passions in a YouTube/TikTok format that kids love.     

Use code “LITINFOCUS” to set up your class on TRACT for FREE!

Student Voice and Choice

Project-Based Learning gives students the opportunity to make decisions about what they create and how to express their ideas. This inherent autonomy creates a strong sense of ownership in students, pushing them to work harder and care more about their chosen project. With Tract, students are the creators, and they have a dedicated space to make decisions and share their learning.


A well-designed project includes structured time for reflection. Time set aside for reflection gives students a chance to make necessary project adjustments and grow from the learning experience. Tract uses a step-by-step process that provides students with the time and space for effective self-assessment and reflection.  

Critique and Revision

PBL encourages students to give, receive, and apply feedback to revise and improve their final product. The critique and revision process creates opportunities for collaboration that might not otherwise take place. The peer-to-peer interaction built into the Tract platform gives students the opportunity to receive constructive and quality feedback from their peers. This is done through likes, comments, and awards, which adds a gaming element to the PBL experience.  

7 Key Elements for Project Based Learning
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Public Product

The final step of the project is for to students make their work public by sharing, explaining, or presenting it to an audience outside of the classroom. A public product encourages high-quality work and makes learning tangible. It also allows for increased communication with parents and the outside community. Students using Tract are able to create and share their projects right from Tract’s secure platform, eliminating the need for alternative applications or websites.


Project-Based Learning arms students with the tools and resources they need to be successful, both academically and in the real-world by teaching them how to solve complex problems, work collaboratively, think critically, and communicate effectively.

Setting up your classroom with Tract is easy and free! Click here to visit teach.tract.app and use code LITINFOCUS to get started today! 

7 Key Elements for Project Based Learning
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