Project-Based Learning (PBL) at Middlebury

Welcome to Project-Based Learning (PBL) at Middlebury. This site is intended to support faculty inquiry into PBL pedagogy and promote exchange and a community of practice among faculty as you build PBL into your courses – whether in-person or on-line – and as we grow PBL as an increasingly prominent feature of a Middlebury education.

Project-Based Learning (PBL)1 is an instructional methodology that encourages students to develop deeper knowledge and skills through engaging in meaningful, real-world projects. PBL presents opportunities for deeper learning in-context, whether local or international, and for the development of skills important for life, work, and citizenship.

The PBL Gold Standard below represents the most comprehensive, research-informed model for best practice. However, you can incorporate PBL into your courses without including each element to its fullest. We feature it to facilitate conversation about practice and pedagogy. Within each Design Element below, you can find definitions and examples, resources to help you implement it, and links to more resources and information.

Where and How to Start  This site is designed to meet you where you are.

New to PBL and want to learn more about what it is and how it will enhance your learning goals?  Check out the Intro to PBL and FAQs, and the evidence on its effectiveness on a variety of success indicators.  Familiarize yourself with the seven PBL Gold Standard Design Elements that represent best practice.

Want to get ideas for how to introduce a project into your course, or what kind of project you might develop in your discipline?  Explore the syllabi section for some ideas.  Then dig into the Challenging Problem or Question section, or reach out to other faculty

Do you want help with course (re)design?  Check out the syllabi section for examples, and then, start with the tools within Design and Plan, and work your way through each section of the seven PBL Gold Standard Teaching Practices.  You can also seek assistance by posing a question on the blog or submitting a request for technical assistance.

Perhaps you have been practising PBL for some years, and are looking for tools to help you deepen or refresh your PBL practice.  Explore the tools and examples within the PBL Gold Standard Design Elements.

Do you simply want to connect with other faculty who use PBL to get feedback or share your excitement for some of your ideas?

This site provides all of these things and more.  Please do keep in mind, however, that it is in progress and new resources and links are being added daily.