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Project and Problem-Based Learning (PBL)

PBL at VT

CETL supports faculty with programs and resources for both project-based learning and problem-based learning.

Project-Based learning is an educational approach that enables students to learn by engaging in authentic, relevant projects that necessitate the use of critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and communication abilities.

Problem-Based Learning is a teaching method in which complex real-world problems are used as the vehicle to promote student learning of concepts and principle. While historically based in clinical preparation and professional schools including medicine and business, problem-based learning has since been infused in many other fields of study with positive learning outcomes for students at all levels.

Outcomes of PBL

While both forms of PBL engage student in real-world problem solving, project-based requires the completion of a project while problem-based focuses on problem identification and proposes a solution. Both forms of PBL are significant educational strategies aiding in the development of students’ abilities and skills required for success in the classroom as well as future careers. Using a PBL approach has been connected to the following student goals and outcomes:

  1. Develop critical thinking abilities through analyzing data, using their imaginations, and working through difficult problems.
  2. Improve collaboration and communication through teamwork.
  3. Foster innovative and creative thinking.
  4. Increase student motivation and engagement by promoting relevance and connection of theory, concepts, and application.

Project-Based Learning Award

The Project-Based Learning Award is given to one individual implementing project-based learning at the course level OR a faculty team implementing across courses. This award is given every three years. Learn more about the award and nomination process.

Resources Supporting Project-Based Learning

There are various resources across campus to support faculty and student engagement in project-based learning. Please click on the buttons below to learn more about these resources.

PBL Institutes

Planning is underway for CETL Fall 2024 PBL institutes

Project-Based AND Problem-Based

Save the date for Fall 2024 PBL Institutes: October 17 and 24. Check back later this summer for registration and additional information!