Tuesday, July 6
9:30 AM-11:00 AM
Room 7

Creating Authentic Learning Experiences Through Project-Based Learning

Workshop (Live Presentation) ID: 58933
  1. aaa
    Alicia Johnson
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  2. aaa
    Miguel (Miko) Nino
    University of North Carolina Pembroke

Abstract: Although teachers and faculty are encouraged to use active learning strategies in instruction, the reality of providing authentic experiences to students can seem daunting. There are time constraints in planning, assessment questions, and project management issues if the project is to be completed in one semester. This active learning session will introduce attendees to Project-Based Learning (PBL) strategies and facilitate the design and development of a PBL project for future course implementation. Project-Based Learning is more than planning a semester around a project. It is “a systematic teaching method that engages students in learning knowledge and skills through an extended inquiry process structured around complex, authentic (real-life) questions and carefully designed products and tasks" (Markham, et al., 2003, p. 4). PBL can be implemented in online or in-person courses (or a combination of both) in K12 and higher education classrooms. Through collaborative problem solving, expert feedback, and reflective practices, students can gain and practice the types of authentic problem-solving and creative skills used in most fields.


Through both direct instruction and collaborative efforts of session participants, each faculty member will leave the session having achieved the following objectives: * Develop an authentic project for a PBL plan for a current course * Implement the 7 Key PBL strategies into a current course design * Create a realistic timeline and project management plan that ensures project completion

Topical Outline

30 Minutes Introductions What is Project-Based Learning (PBL)? (5 min.) • Describe Project-Based Learning’s 7 key elements Why use it? (5-7 min.) • Describe the student-centered practices that promote authentic learning experiences • Discuss how PBL does not automatically enhance student learning and motivation. Other learning and instructional practices are at play simultaneously and will not “naturally occur” – they must be a purposeful part of the course design. How we have used it (5 min.) • Describe how we partner as instructor and expert in graduate level design course How have YOU incorporated any of the PBL elements in your course? (5 min.) • Review of the key elements and take comments from the participants Faculty Action Points (2 min) • Faculty considerations when planning a PBL course Expert Involvement (2 min) • Expert considerations when planning to be an expert in a PBL course Q&A 30 Minutes Let's walk through a small process to get some direction for you with your PBL project. Before we start any planning - let's consider our learners and the problem we are trying to solve with PBL. Empathy (5 min.) Define the Problem (5 min.) Your Course: Your Turn (10 min.) • Share Examples • Attendees jot down ideas for their PBL course using provided template that includes 1) Course Name, 2) Learning Objective(s), 3) Project Idea (Deliverable), 4) Experts, 5) Timeline, 6) Showcase Ideas Q&A 30 Minutes Using a Project-Based Learning Rubric shared via chat – attendees will review their PBL ideas (15 min). Q & A


There are no prerequisites. Any participant interested in learning more about PBL and how to implement the practice into a course can participate.

Experience Level



Both instructors hold their Ph.D. in Instructional Design and Technology. Both have designed, developed, and implemented PBL courses for graduate-level IDT students for the past 4+ years. One is now the Director of Online Learning at a University and implements faculty training to include PBL training. One is a Visiting Assistant Professor at a University and teaches at least 2 out of three courses using PBL strategies every semester for the past 4+ years.


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