Common Sense Review
Updated March 2014

Project Foundry

Helpful, yet complex, management tool for project-based learning
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Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating
Not Yet Rated
  • The student self-assessment provides guiding questions.
  • Teachers and students can send each other notifications and messages.
  • Students can propose projects; advisors can give feedback.
  • Kids can view their calendar, tasks, and current projects all in one place.
  • Both advisors and students can create their own custom calendar events.
Supports a student-centered, project-based classroom with a number of multifaceted tools to help both teachers and students.
The learning curve can be steep when setting up and managing students' PBL experience.
Bottom Line
A powerful, though sometimes complex, tool for providing inquiry-based, student-centered learning.
Mary Beth Hertz
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

The interface is clean and simple, but doesn't have the visual appeal to draw students in -- student-centered design would make the tool more engaging. Tracking projects here might not be as fun as students' actual work.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 4

Teachers and students can connect around student-centered projects. As "guides on the side," teachers can help students ask research questions, explore ideas, and learn project-management and follow-through skills.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

A "Help" tab takes students and teachers to a support page. They can also contact Project Foundry for help, but there aren't user forums or a support community.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

Setup for Project Foundry requires a fair amount of training, practice, and support. Because it's so multifaceted, the learning goals, learning plans, and assessments should be carefully aligned and set up ahead of time to ease assigning and assessing students' work and progress. The built-in assessment (and self-assessment) tools are handy for encouraging collaboration and critical thinking.

After you start by assigning projects, work toward eventually scaffolding students to the point that they can take ownership of their own projects and deadlines. At the beginning of the year, go ahead and assign research projects and deadlines to your kids. But by the end of the year, your students should be generating their own research questions and proposing their own project plans and deadlines for approval.

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What's It Like?

Project Foundry is designed specifically for schools or classrooms that are using a project-based curricular model. Through the website, teachers and students can manage and organize every step of the PBL (Project Based Learning) experience. Teachers can assign projects, or students can propose their own projects and timelines -- they'll also track their progress toward project goals and complete assessments and reflections assigned by the teacher.

On the site, teachers can see a list of students, as well as a list of every project being worked on in their class. Teachers can also view projects that students have proposed for approval, as well as journals, tasks, and other assessments that they've assigned to students. Journals and checkpoints can be dictated by either the teacher or the student, depending how projects are set up or assigned. Students can develop a mission statement and project plan, set goals, and report their accomplishments as they work.

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Is It Good For Learning?

Project Foundry is a good platform for managing truly individualized, student-driven work in a dedicated PBL classroom or school. Teachers can support every student throughout the experience, from project-planning through assessment -- a challenging task without this type of organizational tool. Further, it can teach students self-sufficiency and valuable project-management skills.

However, while teachers can track individual students' learning plans, it doesn't appear that there's a way to see a snapshot of an entire class' progress in one place. This is unfortunate for those attempting to incorporate some tenets of project-based learning into a more traditional classroom setting. While there's great support for mastery-based skills and goals, this may require some translation for those more used to traditional scores and letter grades. Nevertheless, Project Foundry has the ability to support student choice, and students can create portfolios of their work for assessment and reflection. All of this creates the potential for excellent, self-motivated, and independent learning.

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See how teachers are using Project Foundry