Project-Based Learning in the College Composition Classroom: A Case Study
Many college composition instructors are facing lower levels of student engagement in their classes, and it is not entirely clear why this disengagement is happening or what we can do to stop it. As a composition instructor here at UD, I see this disengagement firsthand and want to experiment with different way of teaching composition to help students better engage with the material while still meeting all the learning outcomes. For this project, I build and teach two sections of ENG 200 using the structure of Project-Based Learning (PBL), a student-focused teaching method in which students develop real-world solutions (“projects”) for real-world problems. I then perform a qualitative summative evaluation of each section, using interviews with students and personal notes on my experience. From these data, I find that students prefer the PBL classes to traditional English classes for a variety of reasons, including the wider range of choice and control afforded to them by projects and the real-world impact of their creations, but that PBL can make it more challenging for instructors to meet all learning outcomes. PBL may not be the perfect answer to college composition’s engagement problem, but it is worth considering as a possible model for composition instructors and an exciting new area of study for composition scholars. In this presentation, I will discuss my experience of building and teaching a PBL class, my findings regarding my students’ experiences of taking the class, and my suggestions for further research and experimentation with PBL in the college composition classroom.
Bryan A. Bardine
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
"Project-Based Learning in the College Composition Classroom: A Case Study" (2020). Stander Symposium Projects. 1927.