News & Announcements
News & Announcements
Nominations needed for PBL and PjBL SIG awards

Dear Problem-based and Project-based Learning SIG members

We are pleased to announce the call for the 2023 AERA Problem-based and Project-based Learning SIG Awards for Best Paper and Outstanding Graduate Student Paper.

Professor Krista Glazewski, Editor of the Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning (IJPBL) has agreed to be the chair of the SIG Awards Committee.

Below we provide a summary of the two awards and the nomination process. Self-nominations are accepted for these awards.

The deadline for receiving nominations is on or before December 21, 2022. Please send your nominations by filling out a google form.




The Best Paper Award is given to one exemplary paper presented in a Problem-based and Project-based Learning SIG session at an AERA annual meeting within the past 3 years (i.e., AERA 2021–AERA 2023). The purpose of this award is to cultivate and support outstanding scholars in the field of problem-based and project-based learning and to recognize their achievements. This award will provide institutional recognition for exemplary scholarship while also encouraging the development of the field itself. The paper will provide empirical or theoretical gains in problem-based or project-based learning in the field of education broadly conceived. Through this award, the SIG aims to attract, retain, and recognize high-caliber scholars in the field.

Nominees for the Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award must be graduate students enrolled in an institution of higher education who have either not been awarded a doctoral degree or are within one year of post-degree. Students on official leave with an enrollment gap of no more than 2 semesters are also eligible. The nominee should be either the single author or the first author (in the case of a jointly authored paper). Only papers presented by a current graduate student at the 2021–2023 AERA annual meetings are eligible for nomination; the award will not be given for an entire dissertation. The papers that are put forward for consideration must address a topic or problem in the field of education related to problem-based or project-based learning. 


Nomination Process: Self-nominations and/ or nominations by others are acceptable for this award. A (self-)nomination consists of filling out a google form:

In the form, you are asked to provide the following information:

  • Type of award: Best Paper or Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award
  • Name of the author
  • Institutional/organizational affiliation of the author
  • Author’s email address
  • 3 reasons why this paper is deserving of the award
  • 2 questions this paper can help address
  • 1 implication for the field of this paper
  • Upload the final version of the paper with complete bibliographic information (i.e., unblinded)

Selection criteria: The paper being nominated will be judged according to the following criteria:

  • significance of research to the field of problem-based or project-based learning;
  • relevance and timeliness of research question/s; and
  • quality and rigor of research.

Recognition: Awardees will:

  • receive an official award plaque from AERA that includes the winner’s name and the title of the winning paper, and
  • be invited to submit their full paper for consideration for publication in the Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning (IJPBL). 

For questions about the award, you can contact the chair of the SIG, Liz Bergeron (

We look forward to receiving your nominations!



Keynote for Problem-Based Learning Business Meeting at AERA 2020

Dear SIG Members,

We welcome you to join us for our Problem-Based Learning Business Meeting at AERA 2020. We are honoured to have Professor Diana HJM Dolmans as our business meeting keynote speaker, and we enclose below the keynote abstract and biographical statement for your reference. More information about AERA 2020 can be found here (AERA 2020 website link).

Kind regards,
Lesette Wijnia, Ph.D.
Chair of the PBE SIG, AERA

Meeting Details

AERA 2020
April 17 – 21, 2020
San Francisco, CA, USA
Keynote Speaker: Professor Diana HJM Dolmans
Problem-Based Education, Special Interest Group SIG 78

Keynote Abstract

How can we look at PBL practice and research differently?

PBL has been implemented worldwide in various institutions and disciplines. Despite this worldwide implementation, PBL nowadays appears in many different forms. Many institutions no longer stick to a one-size-fits-all or copy-paste approach to PBL. Instead, they have adapted and redesigned their PBL practices to better fit their context and to stimulate students to take a deep approach to learning. Today, we consider PBL to be part of a family of related student- and task-centered approaches to learning. Some wonder if these variations indeed represent hybrid solutions or rather a move away from the original principles and underlying philosophy. Others wonder how we should investigate these diversified practices. In addition to explaining the underlying principles of PBL, in this keynote I will present educational design research that combines redesigning theory-based PBL practices with investigating these practices in close collaboration with various stakeholders to advance our understanding.

Biographical Statement

Diana H.J.M. Dolmans, School of Health Professions Education (SHE), Department of Educational Development and Research, Faculty of Health Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, the Netherlands,

Diana HJM Dolmans is a full professor in the field of innovative learning arrangements and a staff member of the School of Health Professions Education (SHE) at Maastricht University. Her research focuses on key success factors of innovative curricula within higher education. She holds an MSc degree in Educational Sciences and a PhD degree in problem-based learning. She takes a special interest in understanding how to optimize the learning environment. Her topics of interest are problem-based learning, faculty development, and quality assurance. Her line of research within problem-based learning is internationally well acknowledged. She is the scientific director of the Interuniversity Center for Educational Research (ICO), a research school in which 15 Dutch and Flemish universities collaborate in offering a training program to their PhD candidates in educational sciences. Finally, she is an editorial board member of several international journals, has published over 150 peer reviewed manuscripts in many refereed international journals, and she has supervised 17 PhD candidates through to completion.

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