The Need To Adopt Project-Based Learning

The present time is not just a rat race but one of relentless competition and newer challenges every day.

In this challenging environment, the old-fashioned model of mugging up that result in negligible competence and skills is broadly becoming skimpy to prepare students for a new age world of intricate puzzles.

When we speak about building a generation that is flexible, ingenious, and future-ready, education is the fundamental requirement. The pandemic brought an ‘unexpected force majeure’ and triggered a new orbit for the digital revolution. Technology has been disrupting and revamping both personal and professional landscapes at a bizarre pace. In order to equip the students with the tools of present developments, the educational curriculum has to be moulded accordingly. 

What is Project-Based Learning (PBL)?

Against the conventional methods of teaching, project-based learning is a collective and application-driven concept. It uses real-world conditions as vehicles to expedite enriched learning and a spirit of research, while also blending academic subjects across the program and curriculum.

These projects are different from routine, short-term projects that are attempted after a particular subject or topic ends. These projects are used as a tool to revise topic segments. As a matter of fact, these projects drive the basic structure of the curriculum and program module. With PBL (Project based Learning), students can additionally use any available medium for the research – industry visits, presentations, exploring various materials, create working models, and many other experiments.

Students undertake such a project for a set period which may be extended, depending on the subject and the topic. It may even range up to an entire semester to work and find innovative solutions to complex or real-world problems. The skill learning is demonstrated through a report or presentation or a prototype at the end of the project cycle. 

Impact of project-based learning

This approach of learning is beneficial at both the knowledge level of the subject and skills. The stash of skills includes communication, creativity, team building, problem-solving, critical analysis.

The Project-based Learning approach inspires students to become independent workers, critical thinkers. It pushes students to form questions of their own while developing a sense of ownership of the process and its outcome.

Industry-academia integration

Associating real-world problems with academics is one of the substantial advantages of the Project-based learning method. It pushes students to learn from trial and error and accomplish their perception and logical reasoning. 

Connecting real-world situations to academics is one of the biggest benefits of project-based learning, pushing students to learn from trial and error and be successful based on their interpretations and logical conclusions. This prepares them for the professional world as these approaches are what will sooner or later be used by them at their workplaces in the future.

Moreover, since these projects are large and can be tricky, the students must work in groups or teams. This inspires even the quietest of the lot to speak up, work in tandem with other team members to be on the same page. This not only has a positive impact on their soft skills but also introduces them to the real world in real.  A project inherently brings design thinking approach and transdisciplinary learning and thereby contributes to the overall development of the student.

The modern-day jobs and their requirements for skilled workers pressed on the shift from old school methods of teaching. The project-based learning approach is what was required for the transition from old school methods of learning. It simulates real-world problems and prepares students for continuous progress by establishing a balanced and distinct approach, as an individual as well as a team player. PBL is a win-win proposition as while moving from campus to corporate the student is confident and the corporate while getting an industry-ready resource is delighted.

Inclusion of project-based learning in education

Project-based learning adequately fills the gap between abstract and factual or theoretical and practical education, developing true knowledge, initiatives, and improved knowledge of the subject.

With the growth of technology and its representation in all walks of life, the move to a more technologically sound and practical mode of education is not only gladly received but a need of the hour and should be well supported by educators across all levels.

The model is already being integrated at the graduate level, wherein, students must work on a Capstone Project at the end of the program, and then they have graded accordingly.

And the best part is that students eventually will graduate with a portfolio rather than a plain resume.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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