Implementing Project-Based Learning in Your Course

  • Laura Poms George Mason University http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0129-7136
  • Corrie Paeglow George Mason University
  • Shani Ross George Mason University
  • Nathalia Peixoto George Mason University
  • Patrice Winter George Mason University
Keywords: active learning, critical thinking

Abstract

BRIEF SESSION DESCRIPTION:

This presentation focuses on problem-based learning (PBL) methodology and how a multi-disciplinary team is using it to create a new course combining global health and engineering.  Course design considerations and strategies for managing PBL are discussed. Attendees will work on materials that will help them decide if this methodology is appropriate for their course. Participants will be able to define PBL, determine whether PBL is appropriate for their course and will develop a PBL activity using principles of backward design.  Participants will also be able to apply strategies that facilitate PBL.

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FULL ABSTRACT:

Project-based learning (PBL) is a high impact teaching methodology that allows students to gain knowledge and skills by actively engaging in investigating and responding to real-world questions, problems or challenges. Courses of this type allows students to work on meaningful issues, meeting Mason’s goal of transforming the Mason Student into the Mason Graduate – an engaged citizen and well-round scholar who is prepared to act.  Knowledge of this methodology will be particular beneficial for faculty seeking to redesign courses as the University moves toward implementing M-Pact, Mason’s commitment to offering every student a transformative learning experience.   

 

The presenters, an interdisciplinary team of faculty members from Global and Community Health and Engineering attended the 2017 Institute on Project-Based Learning at Worcester Polytechnic Institute to learn about best practices regarding this methodology. The team will describe how they are using PBL methodology to create an undergraduate Engineering Global Health course. Team will then facilitate a workshop focused on implementation of PBL across a variety disciplines. 

Presenters will:

•Define project-based learning

•Discuss design approaches with an emphasis on using backward design principles

•Suggest strategies for managing PBL, including handling team dynamics

•Lead participants in small group discussion and activities to brainstorm ideas for implementing PBL

 

Participants will brainstorm challenges and potential solutions to implementing PBL through facilitated small group discussion. Participants will apply PBL methodology using backward design principles to begin to create a PBL experience for a course. 

 

Attendees will be able to define PBL, determine whether PBL is appropriate for their course and will develop a PBL activity using principles of backward design.  It is hoped that faculty engaged in this session will move on to form a community of practice around PBL at Mason.

Author Biographies

Laura Poms, George Mason University

Global and Community Health, Assistant Professor

**2018 Teaching Excellence Award**

Corrie Paeglow, George Mason University
Global and Community Health, Assistant Professor
Shani Ross, George Mason University
Bioengineering, Faculty
Nathalia Peixoto, George Mason University

Electrical and Computer Engineering/Bioengineering, Associate Professor

**2015 Teaching Excellence Award**

Patrice Winter, George Mason University
Global and Community Health, Assistant Professor, Practicum and Internship Coordinator
Published
2018-08-08