Implementing Project-Based Learning in Your Course

Laura Poms, Corrie Paeglow, Shani Ross, Nathalia Peixoto, Patrice Winter

Session Information

Year: 2018 | Time: 1:00pm-1:40pm | Location: MINI WORKSHOP: Johnson Center (Room D)

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.

Keywords

active learning; critical thinking

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