1st Edition

Project-Based Learning in the First Year Beyond All Expectations

Edited By Kristin K. Wobbe, Elisabeth A. Stoddard Copyright 2019
    348 Pages
    by Routledge

    348 Pages
    by Routledge

    Published in association with This book has two goals: First, to show the value of significant project-based work for first-year undergraduate students; and Second, to share how to introduce this work into first year programs. The authors spend the bulk of the book sharing what they have learned about this practice, including details about the administrative support and logistics required. They have also included sample syllabi, assignments and assessments, and classroom activities.The projects are applicable in a liberal arts education, in engineering programs, in two and four year colleges, in public and private universities--any institution with first year undergraduate students that wants to actively engage them in understanding and solving real-world problems through project work. Evidence shows that project-based learning, with real world, team-based educational experiences, increases the engagement and retention rate of underserved students. Introducing project-based learning in the first year can set the stage for incorporating the culture and practice of inclusive excellence as foundation for learning on college and university campuses.

    Foreword. Do Project-Based Learning—Save the World—Randy Bass Acknowledgements Introduction. A Little Bit of History. The Worcester Polytechnic Institute Plan and the Great Problems Seminars—Arthur Heinricher Part One. Making the Case for Project-Based Learning in the First Year 1. An Introduction to Project-Based Learning in the First Year—Kristin Boudreau and Kristin Wobbe 2. The Value of a Transdisciplinary Approach—Kristin Boudreau and Derren Rosbach 3. Institutional Support—Jill Rulfs and Kristin Wobbe Part Two. Preparing for Project-Based Learning 4. Reenvisioning the Role of Faculty—Geoff Pfeifer and David Spanagel 5. Team Teaching. Dialogic Duets—Svetlana Nikitina and Diran Apelian 6. Assessment of Project-Based Learning in the First Year—Rob Traver and Rebecca Ziino Plotke 7. Supporting Project-Based Learning with Librarians and Information Literacy—Marja Bakermans and Rebecca Ziino Plotke 8. Sponsored Projects. Learning With a Sense of Urgency and Agency—Svetlana Nikitina and Diran Apelian Part Three. Making Project-Based Learning Work in the Classroom 9. Setting First Year Students Up for Success in a Project—Elisabeth A. Stoddard and David Spanagel 10. Teaching Course Content through Skill Building—Elisabeth A. Stoddard and Jill Rulfs 11. Equitable and Effective Student Teams. Creating and Managing Team Dynamics for Equitable Learning Outcomes—Geoff Pfeifer and Elisabeth A. Stoddard 12. Managing Student Dynamics and Team Conflict on Student Project Teams—Charlie Morse References Contributors Index


    Kristin Wobbe is the associate dean of undergraduate studies and an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Elisabeth A. Stoddard is an assistant teaching professor of environmnetal and sustainability studies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Randall Bass is Vice Provost for Education and Professor of English at Georgetown University, where he leads the Designing the Future(s) initiative and the Red House incubator for curricular transformation. For 13 years he was the Founding Executive Director of Georgetown’s Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS). He has been working at the intersections of new media technologies and the scholarship of teaching and learning for nearly thirty years, including serving as Director and Principal Investigator of the Visible Knowledge Project, a five-year scholarship of teaching and learning project involving 70 faculty on 21 university and college campuses. In January 2009, he published a collection of essays and synthesis of findings from the Visible Knowledge Project under the title, “The Difference that Inquiry Makes,” (co-edited with Bret Eynon) in the digital journal Academic Commons (January 2009: http://academiccommons.org). Bass is the author and editor of numerous books, articles, and electronic projects, including recently, Disrupting Ourselves: the Problem of Learning in Higher Education (Educause Review, March/April 2012). He is currently a Senior Scholar with the American Association for Colleges and Universities.

    “This book offers a powerful rationale and supportive evidence for using project-based learning in the first year rather than in the traditional place as a capstone project, where students demonstrate their mastery of knowledge and skills developed earlier. Projects in the first year can offer a richer early college experience and the development of important professional skills like communication, persistence, and emotional intelligence. They also can lead to early opportunities for internships and more professional-level summer work, motivation for subsequent coursework, and the building of confidence and academic community through deep relationships with faculty and peers. I really like that each chapter ends with “Try this!” prompts, which guides readers to the next steps needed for the adoption of particular tools and approaches in their own classroom, program, or university.”

    Ken Bain, President

    Best Teachers Institute