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Project Based Learning

Project Based Learning (PBL)
Learning Through Engagement and Challenge

In the PBL Lab, we offer courses that engage students in collaborative approaches to solving common problems in our community and broader society.  Students sign up for a PBL Challenge just as they would for a course.  In these challenges, students learn to work together, in order to explore and develop solutions to contemporary challenges faced by youth and our community.

The components of the PBL Lab include:

The PBL Coordinator:  The Coordinator organizes program components, provides guidance in connecting teachers, students and community partners, develops resources, coordinates professional development and is the direct contact to the PBL advisory board.

The Advisory Board: Industry, education and research experts advise the Coordinator and RU administration on goals, vision, research methods, real world needs and challenge bank development. 

The Teacher as Lead Partner:  The Lead Partner assists in the development of challenges, facilitates and guides a student team, and assists through coordinating the team’s assessment panel. 

The Team:  Each collaborative team is made up of a group of students with a teacher as a lead partner.  The team works through a solution-seeking process to tackle a contemporary challenge.

The Lab Space: A space that mirrors a professional environment where hands-on, applied problem solving blends with technology and ideas-rich discussion. 

The PBL Solution-Seeking Process:

  • Interpret the challenge: begin to define the problem you are solving
  • Plan: determine research proposal, group roles and responsibilities, and a community engagement plan
  • Research: deepen your understanding of the challenge and its context
  • Reflect and Revise: refine your interpretation of the problem; revise the plans as needed
  • Collaborate: work as a team to seek a solution to the problem you have defined
  • Reflect and Revise: This should be ongoing
  • Synthesize and Apply:  test your solutions. 
  • Publicly demonstrate your learning.
  • Elicit feedback from community partners