Podcasts and Webinars

2022 SXSW Edu Conference Session – Educating Changemakers for Global Impact

How do we prepare tomorrow’s global change makers? Research shows that project-based learning and other high-impact practices elevate students’ ability to communicate, think critically, and perform on a team to co-create solutions to local/global challenges. Hear from leaders at Agnes Scott College, Bellevue College and Miami Dade College that teamed up with WPI to examine how to apply PBL in any kind of higher ed setting at the 2022 SXSW Edu Conference. Listen to Audio Recording


PBL Podcast Series on The Academic Minute, a WAMC National Production

Five WPI faculty members were featured on The Academic Minute, a two-and-a-half minute higher ed podcast hosted by the President of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), highlighting what’s new and exciting in the academy. In this five-part series, WPI faculty talked about research and scholarly work focused on the impact of project-based learning (PBL), as well as the dynamics of team-based high impact practices. Hear what they had to say in these 150 second audio segments.
PBL Podcast Series

In this first segment on the cost of higher education, Arthur Heinricher, professor of mathematical sciences, discussed the value of project-based learning. “Project-based learning works because it’s more than a pedagogical approach, more than a way to teach better. It’s a fundamental survival skill for the future our graduates must build.”
Rick Vaz, professor of interdisciplinary and global studies, discusses the impact of PBL on women in STEM fields in this podcast segment sharing “Project-based learning could be a powerful strategy to attract and retain more talented women into science and technology fields.”
This segment features Kristin Wobbe, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, who explains how project-based learning provides benefits from the beginning, starting with the first-year.
This featured podcast segment by Geoffrey Pfeifer, associate teaching professor, focused on inclusion and equity in student project teams. Pfiefer discusses tools to address implicit bias that exists in project teams—a recurrent problem in education and the work force.
Kent Rissmiller, associate professor of social science, discusses how project-based learning can set students up for success outside school, citing skillsets that graduates develop that bring benefits to employers, in this segment of the podcast series.




Project-Based Learning as a Vehicle for High-Impact Practices
A Three-Part PBL Webinar Series with the Chronicle of Higher Education

Creating a valuable educational experience for undergraduates in the 21st century is complicated. Students need to learn how to solve problems, think critically, work effectively with others on teams, and communicate well; higher education institutions need to keep students engaged and help them persist through graduation. Delivering on all these outcomes presents big challenges to traditional classrooms. Moderated by the Chronicle of Higher Education, this webinar series explores how senior campus leaders and professors can reinvent opportunities for creating successful students using project-based learning in service of high-impact practices.

Key questions by faculty and leaders were answered during these webinars. For faculty, how do they balance the need to teach disciplinary content while embracing more open-ended, problem-focused work? How can team projects address learning outcomes, and how can faculty grade teamwork fairly? For leaders, how do they best support faculty who take new risks in their teaching? What staffing models, approaches to faculty evaluation, or shifts in course schedules can help? How can projects provide institutions with a distinctive difference while retaining a core identity? Through conversations moderated by the Chronicle of Higher Education with experts and leaders in higher education, these webinars examined such questions and more to give participants opportunities for reflection, ideas to share, and motivation to tackle the challenge of educating students for an ever-changing world.
PBL Webinar Series

PBL Webinar Part 1 of 3: Reinventing Courses

Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Project-based learning is a powerful and versatile tool to support student learning and engagement. However, it is sometimes viewed as being too difficult to implement compared to traditional approaches. In a world that has too much information to cover, how can using valuable time for projects do anything but reduce the amount of learning? But is this true? Is project-based learning too tough to use? Do you have to abandon content to adopt projects?
In this webinar, panelists representing a large public college and a private research university will share approaches they have used to strengthen project-based learning at the pedagogical level, and the benefits they have seen from doing so. The experiences of these faculty members and administrators from institutions that differ so greatly in size and mission can serve as a resource to participants as they reflect on their own contexts and the challenges and opportunities for project-based learning.  

PBL Webinar Part 2 of 3: Reinventing Programs

Tuesday, February 4, 2020 
This second installment in the webinar series features panelists from institutions who have incorporated project-based learning into programs as specific as humanitarian engineering and as broad as a gen ed curriculum spanning four years. Panelists will discuss how project-based learning not only helped them make their programs more distinctive, but how it helped them create more cohesive integrative learning experiences. Audience takeaways from the webinar will include fresh ideas on how to use project-based learning to help both faculty and students think more critically, creatively, and innovatively, and, ultimately, learn more deeply.  

PBL Webinar Part 3 of 3:
Reinventing Institutions

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 
In this third and final installment of the three-part webinar series, panelists will include higher ed experts whose colleges and universities have embraced project-based learning at the institutional level. They will share insights into approaches and practices that helped their institutions build a culture of project-based-learning — and how their PBL work is playing out in online environments—offering strategies that can assist others in advancing their PBL initiatives.


In a final wrap up report of the three-part PBL webinar series, Michael Anft—Chronicle of Higher Education contributor and moderator for the webinars—highlights the key takeaways from all the panelists, representing institutions of all types, and how they are reinventing courses, programs and their institutions through project-based learning. Don’t miss the opportunity to download the report.