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September, 2020

tue22Sep10:00 AM11:00 AMVirtual EventProject Based Learning (PBL) in Online Higher EducationDr. Debby Espinor and Gloria Doherty, George Fox University10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Pacific Time


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Tuesday 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Pacific Time


Online via Zoom



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Session Description

Join us for an overview of the Project Based Learning (PBL) conceptual design and integration into online course design at the university level. Seven design elements will be discussed with appropriate handouts and will focus on how PBL builds toward future competency-based education (CBE). In addition, there will be discussion on Portfolios use as a tool in Project Based Learning.

Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge. This session will address content curation and essential questions that are major components of Project Based Learning. PBL has been popular in K-12 classrooms for over 30 years, yet has still not gained traction in higher education.

Session Objectives:

  • Participants will identify the 7 design elements that make up Project Based Learning.
  • Participants will apply elements of PBL into their own course design.
  • Participants will discuss content curation for university students.
  • Participants will collaborate with colleagues in attendance to create potential essential questions for courses using Project Based Learning concepts.


Dr. Debby Espinor, George Fox University

Debby Espinor joined George Fox in 2010. She is an associate professor of education and teaches courses in both the College of Education and the College of Business. She has been Chair of the Elementary Education program and Director of the ELED program. Debby currently is Co-Director of the Digital Fluency Institute and teaches hybrid and online courses throughout both colleges.

Gloria Doherty, George Fox University

Gloria Doherty, Director of Digital Learning and Assistant Professor, has partnered with faculty and administrators in Higher Education throughout her career with the goal of collaboratively developing digital fluency and innovative course design. Gloria has worked within institutions and across consortia to design online learning programs and practices. Gloria works under the co-directors of the Digital Fluency Institute (DFI) to train new faculty in exploring pedagogies, authoring effective learning outcomes, and selecting technologies that can transform learning. Her work in directing Digital Learning supports faculty in reviewing learning theories and models and developing frameworks that adopt constructivist theory that uses backward design and project-based learning to strengthen both online and traditional delivery systems as they evolve toward the emerging lifelong learning landscape.