Project Based Learning: Deeper Content Knowledge Through Ask an Expert

An important element in Project Based Learning or PBL is to develop deeper learning of the content. In doing this, I provide students with many types of resources. One of the most important resources is connecting with an expert in the field. When students ask an expert they learn more about the world around them and gain valuable life experience.

Help your students deepen their knowledge of various topics by participating in Ask an Expert. This project based learning experience is a great learning tool! This post gives students seven manageable steps to conduct interviews, helping them develop a deeper learning of a real-life problem or challenge. The ideas presented at this post will work for your elementary, middle school, or high school classroom or homeschool students. {2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th grade}

I have had experts speak to my students as a whole group and have encouraged students to conduct personal interviews. Interviews take lots of preparation so the interviews will be successful. I have a few suggestions for your students so they will feel confident when speaking to adults.

1. Do your research! 

Never go into an interview without knowing about the subject. Doing research helps the interviewer come up with good questions to learn even more.

Help your students deepen their knowledge of various topics by participating in Ask an Expert. This project based learning experience is a great learning tool! This post gives students seven manageable steps to conduct interviews, helping them develop a deeper learning of a real-life problem or challenge. The ideas presented at this post will work for your elementary, middle school, or high school classroom or homeschool students. {2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th grade}

2. Contact the person ahead of time

Whether you are going to a business or someone's home, contact the person first. Set up a good time for the interview. If the person cannot be interviewed in person, you may need to do a phone interview or even Skype, FaceTime or Google Hangout.

3. Prepare questions ahead of time

After researching, write down between 10-15 good questions. Don't ask yes or no questions. Ask questions that are open-ended so the person has an opportunity to elaborate. Practice asking questions with a friend or your parents.

Help your students deepen their knowledge of various topics by participating in Ask an Expert. This project based learning experience is a great learning tool! This post gives students seven manageable steps to conduct interviews, helping them develop a deeper learning of a real-life problem or challenge. The ideas presented at this post will work for your elementary, middle school, or high school classroom or homeschool students. {2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th grade}


4. Be prepared and on time for the interview


Bring your notebook, pencil and questions. If you are recording the interview, bring the device. Always make sure to get permission if you want to record or video. And, make sure to be on time.


5. Be courteous and professional during the interview

  • Be friendly and relax during the interview.
  • Dress nicely to show that you are serious about the interview.
  • Give the person a chance to answer the questions without going on to the next question.
  • Listen carefully as you take notes. Feel free to ask follow-up questions.
  • Sometimes one of your questions may already be answered during the interview, so don't ask it again.
  • Ask the person if there's anything else she/he would like to add.
  • Thank the person for taking time to be interviewed.


Help your students deepen their knowledge of various topics by participating in Ask an Expert. This project based learning experience is a great learning tool! This post gives students seven manageable steps to conduct interviews, helping them develop a deeper learning of a real-life problem or challenge. The ideas presented at this post will work for your elementary, middle school, or high school classroom or homeschool students. {2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th grade}

6. Review your notes

Review your notes right after your interview. You may remember some information that you didn't write down.

7. Write a thank-you note

Follow-up the interview with a thank-you note.

If you enjoyed this post about ask an expert, you'll also enjoy the other PBL ideas at my Teachers Pay Teachers store. You can view all of my Project Based Learning resources here.

Help your students deepen their knowledge of various topics by participating in Ask an Expert. This project based learning experience is a great learning tool! This post gives students seven manageable steps to conduct interviews, helping them develop a deeper learning of a real-life problem or challenge. The ideas presented at this post will work for your elementary, middle school, or high school classroom or homeschool students. {2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th grade}



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