George Watson opens the annual Winter Faculty Institute to a packed audience of educators from all over the globe, including a delegation from the Shanghai Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Winter Faculty Institute

UD's Winter Faculty Institute 2016 workshop on PBL a success


4:06 p.m., Jan. 15, 2016--Over 130 participants came to the University of Delaware from Jan. 6-8 to take part in this year’s three-day Winter Faculty Institute series titled “PBL Classic. PBL New.” 

The series was designed to help faculty implement problem-based learning (PBL) approaches that best match their teaching goals and subject areas.

FYI Stories

June 6: UDid It! Picnic

All UD faculty and staff members are invited to attend the annual UDid It! employee appreciation picnic, set from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Monday, June 6, on The Green.

2FA protects you

If you are using two-factor authentication (2FA), even if a hacker has your password, your information is probably safe.

Participants said they enjoyed this combination of the annual Winter Faculty Institute and UD’s problem-based learning workshops, which have been delivered around the country and globe. These workshops are representative of UD’s foundational work that started in the 1990s in the area of problem-based learning.

This institute was divided into two tracks — PBL Classic and PBL New — and participants attended whichever track matched their PBL experience. 

PBL Classic provided an overview of introductory PBL techniques for those who were unfamiliar with problem-based learning. Teachers with experience implementing PBL in their classrooms benefited from the discussion of advanced techniques in the PBL New track.

The institute participants were from a variety of disciplines and several different institutions including international universities and local K-12 schools. This ensured that attendees were exposed to a variety of viewpoints from individuals who were interested in PBL.

“I loved learning new ideas and being surrounded by other enthusiastic, persistently curious educators,” said one participant.

Each day began with a plenary presentation that inspired conversation on different topics ranging from building institutional support for PBL, mapping PBL techniques to how people learn, and considering learning space design in PBL implementation.

“Coming out of the institute, I am more positive about PBL as an active learning tool. As a fairly new faculty member, the workshops have given me a new perspective on teaching and student learning as I build my pedagogy. I look forward to applying some of the strategies of PBL in my classroom in the future,” said Ashwini Gangadharan, associate professor of business administration at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.

Breakout sessions focused on different aspects of PBL, including turning participants into students who had to solve a real-world problem — just as they would in an actual PBL classroom. 

Over 40 session facilitators brought valuable perspectives and advice throughout the event. Participants were encouraged to ask questions about PBL and often worked in groups to make connections to their own teaching needs.

“I enjoyed hearing what people are doing with their classes, including the demonstration sessions on the music-related PBL and concept mapping. I also really enjoyed hearing about the new way math is being taught at University of Delaware,” a participant said.

“Thanks to the team for inviting us to UD and sharing how we can help our students learn without feeling overwhelmed and how we can create learning spaces that are more productive and valuable. The seminar/workshop was very informative. I am really happy I was able to participate,” said June Clarke, associate professor in hospitality and tourism at Delaware State University.

The workshop was sponsored by the Institute for Transforming Undergraduate Education (ITUE) and other partners of Faculty Commons.

Those who are interested in sharing their PBL techniques are encouraged contact Faculty Commons to lead a session for Summer Faculty Institute, May 31-June 3.

Photos by Kathy F. Atkinson and Evan Krape

News Media Contact

University of Delaware
Communications and Public Affairs

UDaily is produced by
Communications and Public Affairs

The Academy Building
105 East Main Street
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716 | USA
Phone: (302) 831-2792