Professional Development

A group of faculty participate in a professional development workshop

Faculty Development Workshops for Higher Education

The Center for Project-Based Learning develops and delivers custom, online and on-site workshops for colleges and universities. These professional development programs are offered for faculty and staff groups of different sizes and compositions and tailored to each institution’s interests, goals, and level of experience with project-based learning.

Workshop Goals

Colleges and universities looking to advance PBL can have a wide range of needs and objectives. Possible goals for a custom workshop include:

  • Bringing together “early adopters” of PBL from around campus to begin to make connections and share ideas
  • Raising awareness of the principles and benefits of PBL among faculty and staff
  • Considering how PBL can be used to meet your goals for improving equity and inclusion
  • Spurring curriculum reform for the first year, general education, or a specific program or department
  • Learning from examples of PBL assignments, tools, and teaching strategies in different disciplines
  • Exploring PBL as a potential vehicle for high-impact practices in courses and programs
  • Assessing the value proposition of PBL for your historically marginalized students
  • Connecting faculty with support staff from across campus to promote partnerships that support PBL
  • Building a PBL community of practice on your campus

Workshop Formats

PBL workshops are structured based on institutional needs:

  • PBL workshops can be designed for up to 60 faculty and staff participants.
  • The Center for PBL provides one or more experienced facilitators, depending on the number of participants.
  • Online workshops are delivered in 60-90 minute segments, and can be stackable.
  • On-site workshops typically have a minimum of one day; two-day workshops are a common format.
  • Participants receive PBL materials and examples to adapt to their purposes.

Workshop Content

Workshops are designed to be engaging and highly interactive. Common topics include:

  • Frameworks and models for PBL
  • Examples of PBL across the disciplines and curriculum
  • Scaffolding PBL experiences
  • Evidence of PBL’s effectiveness
  • PBL with community partners
  • PBL in the first year
  • PBL as a general education strategy
  • PBL in specific disciplines
  • Interdisciplinary PBL
  • Curriculum development for specific courses
  • Promoting more equitable and inclusive student teams
  • Assessment and evaluation of student project work

Contact Us for More Information

Contact us if you would like to explore whether a workshop is right for your institution. Through a series of conversations, we will identify your needs, suggest goals, and propose a workshop structure suited to your institution. Inquiries will receive a reply within two working days.
Looking for PK-12 resources? See this page.

Laura Hahn
Director of Academy for Excellence in Engineering Education
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

“The two-day project-based learning workshop delivered by WPI on our campus was an important catalyst for discussions, collaborations, and forward motion for our college. The opportunities for focused, productive discussions both within and across departmental teams were invaluable.”

Beverly Kahn, PhD
Former Provost and Academic Vice President
Current Title III and FITW Project Director
Professor of Political Science
Farmingdale State College, State University of New York

“WPI conducted an intensive workshop on project-based learning on our campus that served as a very effective catalyst, providing the information, guidance, and encouragement that we needed. The result is that we now have an ongoing discussion and working group that aims to add project-based learning experiences to our course offerings.”