This year’s Institute on Project-Based Learning, the flagship offering of the Center for Project-Based Learning, welcomed 144 attendees from 26 colleges and universities around the world. While the majority were attending the Institute for the first time, a handful of returning institutions sent new teams—here’s a glimpse at how they’re planning on bringing project-based learning back to their own campuses.
Last year, Bellevue College, one of two community colleges at this year’s Institute, sent two teams to the Institute—for 2018, they decided to cut to the chase and sent a team of 10, with team leader Sapan Parekh, associate director of Service Learning and Community Engagement at the RISE Learning Institute within Bellevue that supports faculty with high-impact practices.
After determining what to do with the action plan devised by last year’s teams that detailed what needed to be done on Bellevue’s campus—going up to 20 years in the future—Parekh and his team worked together to relate to what the teams had created last year while building upon it and making it better.
Bellevue’s team included instructors from departments including biology, chemistry, computer science, English, healthcare management, psychology, and the Autism Spectrum Navigators Program because, Parekh explained, “While people are going to work on their own things in their own classes, it’s always about coming up with something that represents the college as a whole that we could then take forward. If we want to implement something larger, we need to have as many different voices as possible.”
The Institute was a new experience for Parekh, who facilitates service learning for the college but hasn’t experienced many conferences devoted solely to project-based learning. “Team dynamics, creation, and project assessment are all things this conference does well, and it was really important … to come to it.”