"An excellent tool for any educator, administrator, or professional development coach who wants to dive deep into designing an effective and rigorous PBL. This book provides excellent details for the reader and step by step instructions on designing as well as implementing a PBL to enhance student cognition."
"If we believe that ALL students will succeed in school today, it will require all of us to let go some of the things that have been most essential to what we know about teaching and learning (our past practice and experience) and how we have let that define our profession. The level of engagement and connection to the world around them is the driver of learning for students today. PBL represents one of our best strategies to connect those essentials with the desired outcome of success for ALL.
"This book has the potential to truly improve PBLs impact on student learning."
"I’ve always advocated and often practiced problem-based learning in classrooms, but recently I’ve come up short with seeing the benefits of PBL that I expected. Rigorous PBL provided new direction and justification for why I need to change my practice. I can’t wait for school to start!"
"This book is very thorough in explaining the differences between PBL done more as a project and done with student self-monitoring and transfer of knowledge. The teacher’s role at each student’s level (surface, deep and transfer) is explained clearly."
"There are more than enough matrices and examples throughout the book to demonstrate the authors points. I particularly appreciate the extended examples provided via hyperlink. The book offers varied examples of grade levels and content to help teachers create a PBL project based on the author’s recommendations."
"A highly practical and informative guide to project/problem based learning."
"PBL, done well, helps students to develop the skills needed to be successful in a rapidly changing world. This book offers both a thought provoking and practical guide for educators looking to transform their classrooms through PBL. McDowell provides critical insights into common PBL pitfalls and identifies key design shifts that can deeply impact student learning. Novice and experienced PBL teachers alike will find this book helpful in improving their practice and delivering on the promise of PBL."
"Far too many people assume that problem based learning simply works. It doesn’t. It works when specific conditions are right. It works when the experience is designed in a way that build students’ confidence and competence. That is easier said than done, which is why we are so pleased with this book. It guides readers through specific design features that they can use to ensure deep learning, and transfer of that learning, for students. McDowell has solved the problem and is willing to share is findings with others."
"Hattie’s research showed that PBL has a low effect size. However, Hattie’s intention behind exposing the effect size was not to have teachers throw it out. Rather, he wanted teachers and leaders to use evidence to look at how they do it, and improve on the process. In Rigorous PBL By Design, Michael McDowell does exactly that. McDowell provides a practical, step-by-step process using Hattie’s research to help teachers improve PBL so it provides the effect on student learning that it should."
"PBL has finally reached the tipping point. As I meet with school superintendents around the country, most of them have already started or know they need to begin full-scale adoption of PBL in their districts. What has been missing is a clear set of next steps to improve PBL practice. Rigorous PBL by Design steps into this void and provides much needed help by busting PBL myths and designing PBL improvements around "clarity", "challenge" and "culture".
“We need a book that focuses directly on student learning rather than a superficial process of teaching PBL. This book gives teachers the practices and procedures to directly support students in transferring their learning. For practitioners, this book makes a whole lot of sense.”
"This is a must-read for any teacher wanting to understand how to thoughtfully plan, organize, and carry out in his or her own classroom the kinds of Problem and Project Based Learning (PBL) that will truly enable students to acquire and demonstrate “surface, deep, and transfer of” content knowledge and skills at the maximum possible levels. During my 24 years in the classroom teaching elementary and secondary students, I regularly engaged learners in what I thought were correctly timed, well-designed PBL experiences that were both “hands-on/minds-on” and authentic.
"Michael McDowells book provides powerful insights to ensure the conditions essential for PBL are present for increased impact on student learning. This magnificent book provides educators with practical ways to design authentic and 'ever-lasting' learning."
"Educators interested in Project- and Problem-Based Learning are advised to read this book and heed its message. Michael McDowell highlights a point that can easily be lost in the enthusiasm for PBL; i.e., that the focus must always be on targeted learning outcomes. In other words, the project or problem is a vehicle to engage students in meaningful learning, and we must always keep this end in mind."
"What a brilliant piece of literature that unravels and addresses the challenges of an educational concept that has familiarity to almost all educators! In his book, Dr. McDowell presents a do-able means to making a positive change in learning by describing three design shifts—clarity, challenge, and culture. In this age of accountability when application of knowledge is required by academic standards, teachers of all grade levels can and will benefit from his approach to effectively implementing problem-based learning.
"This book is spot-on in being both practical and deeply informative for educators working to implement strong and lasting conditions that support PBL. And further, provides a road map that can lead to significant improvement on student learning. It is a great example of just-in-time coaching!"
"For the Marine Mammal Center, mobilizing the next generation of marine scientists and conservationists is at the heart of our mission. We believe that well-designed PBL experiences are critical in preparing students to solve some of our planet’s most serious challenges. Rigorous PBL By Design is an outstanding resource to both formal and informal educators, providing a practical framework for creating effective and impactful PBL experiences. The Education team at The Marine Mammal Center is committed to strengthening our PBL practices and we look forward to adding this