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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/81591
- You want me to do WHAT? Implementing project-based learning across disciplines
- Lee, Nicolette
- Constructivist educators and theorists have long argued that authentic experiences that are active, complex and self-directed are important to the process of engaging the learner in deep learning. The underlying principles of this approach to learning and teaching have, to varying degrees and with varying emphases, filtered into university policy, academic development programs and teaching practices. Together with problem, scenario and case-based learning, project-based learning has become one of the more common instructional frameworks in undergraduate education. However, in some discipline areas, traditional didactic methods remain the predominant delivery vehicle for undergraduate learning with little change occurring in method since their inception. In these areas, the prospect of transforming existing teaching programs and practices to accommodate new modes of delivery, and differing concepts of learning, is likely to be problematic. At an Australian metropolitan university, a small team is engaged delivering a funded 'Final Year Experience' project, which aims to support all disciplines in the development of project-based units of study for final year students. Delivery of these units is focussed on class-based activity that ultimately engages students in independent study to achieve defined goals. The units emphasise application of discipline knowledge, communication skills and project management, with preference being given to team and interdisciplinary work that facilitates greater complexity and scale of tasks. In many cases, the units will also involve community or industry partners. In discipline areas where project-based learning is well established, this process represents a welcome evolutionary opportunity. However, for teaching staff in disciplines without a tradition of project-based learning, the conceptual shift is significant. One year into the implementation process, this paper describes the nature of the change being undertaken, the rationale for the scale of implementation, and the key processes undertaken. This paper will discuss some of the challenges faced, such as difficulties with terminology, navigating discipline traditions and academic perspectives on learning, resourcing and institutional communications.
- Publication type
- Conference paper
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology
- Proceedings of the Higher Education Academy Annual Conference, Harrogate, United Kingdom, 03-04 July 2007
- Publication year
- Education; Project-based learning
- Higher Education Academy
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2007.
- Peer reviewed