If you want to deeply engage your students in course content by shifting away from teacher-centered instruction and towards student-centered projects, try Project-Based Learning (PBL). This hi-impact curricular model makes learning relevant to students by establishing connections to life outside the classroom and by tackling real life issues. In PBL, faculty serve as facilitators and even co-learners as students engage in projects such as investigating community problems, analyzing complex social issues, creating new scientific tools, designing a new app, etc. Students are “coached” through hands-on experiences in real-world interdisciplinary settings that require critical thinking, teamwork, and problem-solving. Chico State already has several courses using PBL, some of which include service learning in collaboration with the Office of Civic Engagement.
Below are a few resources if you’re interested in learning more about PBL.
- Meta-analysis on the Effects on PBL on Student Learning
- Article on PBL with First-Year Students
- “Great Problems Seminar” at Worcester Polytechnic Institute using PBL
- PBL Workshops and Services
- One of many sample books on the topic