Collaborative for Project-Based Learning

WPI students collaborate on a project in the Innovation Studio
The Collaborative for Project-Based Learning (PBL) is a year-long virtual community of practice to support faculty exploring PBL implementation in their courses and programs. The Collaborative will kick-off with two half-days of learning and planning in workshop sessions and time in teams and in clusters of peer institutions with dedicated coaching (May). Two half-day sessions over the academic year (October  and January) will allow teams to come together for additional workshops, dedicated coaching, and peer learning as faculty encounter problems of practice and adjust their plans. At the close of the academic year (May), faculty will present learnings from their PBL journey in a showcase and work with coaches and colleagues in clustered institutions to construct sustainability plans.

Why Attend

The Collaborative for PBL draws on over 50 years of experience integrating project-based initiatives into undergraduate education including classroom projects in a wide range of disciplines, projects in the first year, major capstone projects, and community-based projects. Project-based learning offers students real-world opportunities to research issues, think critically, gain new perspectives, solve problems, and develop written and oral communication skills all within the framework of a team environment and guided by engaged and involved faculty. After the year comes to a close, participants in the Collaborative for PBL will join the Center’s extensive alumni network, with opportunities to highlight their PBL successes in our newsletter, to co-author conference presentations and grant proposals, and to connect with other alumni to seek partners for a range of future collaborations.

Collaborative Teams

Each team will consist of a minimum of five members (including a designated leader). We encourage inclusion of key staff—an instructional designer, a librarian, service learning or community engagement staff—as appropriate.  A team’s institutional diversity helps facilitate implementing a comprehensive change in the curriculum and sustains the foundations of initiatives arising from work at the Collaborative.

What Should Participants Expect

Faculty, professional staff, and administrators who participate in the Collaborative for PBL will explore the potential of project-based learning to bring deeply meaningful learning experiences to their students. The Collaborative’s activities are designed to address a set of professional learning objectives so that after participating, educators will be able to:
  • Redesign courses to use PBL pedagogy
  • Be empowered to make changes in their courses to inspire students to take charge of their learning
  • Value the professional skills that students develop through PBL
  • Examine the implications of adopting PBL for justice and equity
  • Value PBL’s ability to promote an asset-based learning environment
  • Identify support staff critical to PBL implementation and faculty development

Collaborative Faculty

The Collaborative for PBL is led by the same diverse team of faculty as the Institute on PBL, representing disciplines in the humanities, engineering, sciences, and business, all with extensive experience in varied facets of project work. View a complete listing of Collaborative faculty here.