October 12, 2021
The PBL Career/Major Exploration Course and the PBL Capstone Course
Dear CASL Faculty –

Due to time constraints, I did not have the opportunity to communicate as much about the PBL courses as I would have liked during the CASL Faculty meeting last week. To remedy this, I have recorded a short (around 9 minutes) presentation about the PBL Career/Major Exploration Course and the PBL Capstone Course. This presentation focuses on how these courses fit into the curriculum, as well as the course approval process.
Below are the course syllabi that are being reviewed by DECs, CWPs, and by faculty in the slack group. These are course shells within which I am attempting to capture commonalities across our diverse CASL courses (e.g., the examination and identification of a problem or phenomenon; the generation and evaluation of a variety of solutions or methods of inquiry; learning and problem solving as an iterative process; an emphasis on written and oral communication; plus, an examination and reflection of team functioning and DEI considerations). The course shells focus on the practice-based learning process. I am hoping to obtain approval of the PBL course shells through the regular course approval process.
However, faculty teaching the course will choose their own course materials, insert their own disciplinary content, and define their own course projects. This faculty-added content will be reviewed by a CASL PBL faculty advisory board through a streamlined application process. 
I am suggesting this two step approval process to prevent each faculty team from having to propose their own unique course and complete their own DDC applications.This protects faculty time and allows us to add course sections quickly to the schedule. In addition, the shell promotes some consistency across course sections. For more information on this approach:
  • The last few slides of the presentation contain specific information about the course proposals and the approval process.
  • Here is an example of what the PBL Career and Major Exploration course might look like in the course schedule.
 View the PBL Career/Major Exploration Course and the PBL Capstone Course presentation and course syllabi.
PBL Themes and CASL Level Courses
CASL PBL Career Exploration Course Syllabus
CASL PBL Capstone Course Syllabus
Faculty have been asking me how to get involved. (I love that question!) Below are some ways to contribute to the CASL PBL initiative:
  • Engage with faculty members from different disciplines or programs to develop ideas for team-taught CASL level PBL courses. An application for those interested in teaching these courses is coming soon.
  • Begin to think more broadly about your discipline or program. Consider where it may fit with other disciplines/programs within CASL and across units and how you might collaborate with others. These connections may serve us and the campus well.
  • Ask to be added to the slack groups. Currently, I’m using slack to keep track of those interested in PBL and the specific themes, and to send messages to the group. Email me to be added to a slack theme group or groups. 
  • Volunteer to serve on the PBL faculty advisory board. I’m still thinking about how this will work. I’ll be talking to Georgina and the FNDS folks to learn from them and to align efforts if/when possible. Expect information regarding the PBL advisory board soon.

Marty presented the Practice-Based Learning concept to CASL about a year ago as a way to distinguish ourselves from liberal arts units on other campuses, and he has steadily pushed this effort forward. Because we have been moving quickly there may be some bumps in the road, and at times we may need to re-think and re-group, but I am confident that PBL has the potential to be amazing for our students and for CASL. We hope to begin moving this initiative directly into faculty hands (e.g., affinity group faculty leads, a PBL faculty advisory board) very soon.
Thank you for your support of CASL PBL.
If you have any questions, please contact Marie Waung.
Practice Based Learning Web Page