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Master the Art & Science of PBL Unit Design

Project-based learning is a powerful way to engage students in rigorous, authentic learning—but without a well-designed unit plan, it's virtually impossible to cover the standards, get students to actually complete high-quality projects, and still keep your sanity.

You know what good teaching looks like, but it's tough to find the time to develop a project-based unit you're proud of during the school year.

And if this is your first true foray into PBL, even taking the first step can be tough.

"I like the idea of PBL, but I don't even know where to start."

And even if you designed the perfect project, when would you teach it?

"I'd love to have my students do a project, but I can barely cover all of the standards as it is!"

The key is unit design, beginning with the end in mind. 

Imagine your students...

Understanding the content at a deeper level, and retaining it long-term (instead of forgetting it as soon as the unit is over)

Getting excited about learning—even the reluctant learners who always seem to be disengaged

Solving real-world problems for real audiences, not just turning in assignments for a grade

Exercising their creativity and working collaboratively, while mastering key learning targets

When you've planned a unit that addresses:

  • Your students' needs and interests
  • An authentic real-world problem
  • The standards and content objectives you need to teach

...you can find the kind of success with PBL that most teachers only dream of.

I'm Dr. Amy Baeder, and as a curriculum consultant, it's my full-time job to write PBL curriculum and help teachers design high-performance PBL units.

I've taken teachers through the process of fully "PBL-ifying" their entire curriculum, and I've helped countless teachers take the first steps.

And I've discovered that with the right process, tools, and support, every teacher can create the perfect PBL unit for their students. 

It's essential to begin with the end in mind, as you can see in my PBL Roadmap for Teachers.

When you build on the right foundation, teaching your new unit—even if it's your first attempt at PBL—becomes much easier. 

What I love about PBL is that it works in any setting, at any grade level, for any subject...even if you're in a unique teaching situation.

But perhaps you've tried PBL before and didn't get the results you wanted:

"We had to rush through the content, and the project just felt like an afterthought."

"I wanted to give students choice in how to show their learning, but assessing so many different kinds of projects was a nightmare!"

"I really wanted to get students doing their own projects, but they didn't seem to have the necessary skills."

"Students took so long on their projects that I couldn't cover everything I needed to teach!"

Every teacher navigating PBL alone faces these same challenges.

I've dedicated my career as a curriculum consultant to helping teachers work through these challenges to develop high-performance units.

By following this process that has helped hundreds of other teachers write amazing units, you can avoid the common pitfalls and create meaningful, engaging, and authentic learning experiences for your students.

Once you've written your first high-performance PBL unit, repeating the process—and even PBL-ifying your entire curriculum—becomes an attainable goal.

But how can you make PBL a reality in your classroom, without worrying that your plans will flop?

You've seen what happens when:

  • Students don't have the skills and the clarity they need to do high-quality work on their projects
  • Students' projects lack originality and don't reflect deep understanding of the content
  • Finishing the final product takes up 80% of your time, and it doesn't feel worth it
  • You have to spend so much time teaching the content that there's no time left for the project

These are solvable problems, if we begin with the end in mind.

It all starts with designing a high-quality unit, and that's exactly what I help teachers do in my work as a curriculum consultant.

5 Stages of Unit Design

Stage 1

Establish Project Foundations

Stage 2

Design an Authentic, Meaningful Project

Stage 3

Sketch Out Assessments & Activities


Stage 4

Plan Your Project "Bookends"

Stage 5

Resource and Plan
Your Unit

Over the past five years, I've worked with countless schools and districts, helping teachers build PBL units they're proud of. 

Based on this experience, I've created a process that any teacher can follow to write a high-performance PBL unit.


The Project-Based Learning Curriculum Developer Certification

The Certification is a self-paced online program that will help you master the entire process of developing a high-performance PBL unit. 

You'll walk away with a finished, classroom-ready unit, and you'll emerge with a skill set that'll stay with you for the rest of your career.

Start with just one PBL unit, and you'll notice that your students who have never seemed to care much about their work are coming alive with curiosity, and putting in more effort than you've ever seen before. 

You'll still get to teach all of the essential content in your unit, but you'll find yourself coaching and facilitating more as students take greater ownership of their work. 

Now, I know developing a high-quality PBL unit from scratch can be overwhelming...

And revising an existing unit to more fully "PBL-ify" it can also be a challenge...

So I've organized the Certification into 5 modules to take you, step by step, through the process I use to write curriculum for my clients. 

As you follow the process, you'll get intensive hands-on support so you can develop a high-quality PBL unit to use immediately in your classroom—as well as the skills you'll use over and over again to write new units. 

Here's what the program includes.


  • Module 1: What is High-Performance Project-Based Learning?
  • Module 2: Digging Deep to Inform & Inspire a Rich PBL Unit
  • Module 3: Planning Your Unit's Foundations & 4 Cornerstones
  • Module 4: Framing Your Unit from Start to Finish
  • Module 5: Peer Review, Publishing, and Celebrating

This is one of the best professional level programs I've done in my whole teaching career. No comparison.

Sandhya IB Physics Teacher, Thailand 

How It Works

I've designed the Curriculum Developer Certification Program to give you exactly the support you need, with check-ins at key points along the way, so you can craft the perfect unit.

Here's how each element of the program will support you:

  • The video modules will walk you through the entire PBL Roadmap, with step-by-step Action Tasks to bring you closer to your goal in each lesson
  • The PBL Unit Plan Book provides the prompts, templates, and tools you'll need to complete your unit
  • Live video "Fishbowl Coaching" sessions give you 1:1 support as well as peer feedback 
  • You'll also have access to our Project-Based Learning Network community, where you can share ideas, ask for feedback, and get connected with resources so you can polish your unit to perfection.
  • You'll be learning the same way your students will learn—by working on an authentic project from day 1, and sharing the final product with real audiences—first your peers in the program, and ultimately, your students!

Units Our Graduates Have Developed

Alexander in Shanghai, who wrote a 4th grade PBL unit on animal issues, where students debated pros/cons of animals in captivity, learned persuasive techniques, & learned the science of animal needs and habitats.. 

Larry in Idaho, who produced 4 college-level PBL scenarios for adult learners in an advanced welding program.

Janice in New Jersey, who wrote a 6th grade PBL unit on Invention, which had students answering the essential question, “How can the engineering process along with rhetorical speech be utilized to solve a real-world problem?”

Rachael and Rebecca in Shanghai, who designed a 3rd grade PBL unit in which their students created dual-language Ancient Egypt museum exhibits.

Satisfaction Guarantee

Money-Back Guarantee

The PBL Curriculum Developer Certification Program is backed by a 30-day, 100% money-back guarantee. We are confident that the knowledge and skills you gain from this program will exceed your expectations and make a lasting difference in student learning. If for any reason you are not satisfied with the program, contact us for a full refund.


Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the program?

What are the dates?

Can I work at my own pace?

Who should register?

How do I earn the Certification?

How can I get feedback and support as I develop my unit?

Can I go through the program again as I write additional units?

Do you offer group rates?

Do you offer onsite training and support?

© The Project-Based Learning Network