Published: 27 April 2015
Project Based Learning
We want our students to be globally competent, problem solvers, critical thinkers, collaborative, good presenters along technology literates. But those characteristics cannot be provided through traditional instruction alone.
The project-based learning approach aims at encouraging students to become more confident in problem solving, improving their management and communication skills, encouraging them to find information on their own, increasing their awareness of the importance of integration concept and enabling them to integrate different principles and skills.
WHY PROJECT BASED LEARNING:
Just as in the real world, the challenges involved in the projects require students to use a spectrum of skills, which helps them fine tune their critical thinking ability, gets their creativity, and involves using knowledge from a learnt concepts of curriculum.
This subject consists of principles of Quality Analysis, Business domain knowledge and Software tools together.
"If the subject is taught in a traditional way each component IT concepts, technical skills and Business domain separately the contents are easy to get loose.
However, if you use a project to integrate these components altogether,the contents are bonded closely together and remembered forever.”
Before using this approach, based on trainer provides ideas on what preparation work should be done beforehand.As for the resources, our cloud based software lab supplies all required tools to complete project tasks.
The course in the first few weeks is structured and guided. Each week will cover a different topic and then students have to do exercises, which are related to the topic covered every week. The knowledge covered in these few weeks is highly related to what students should have learned before doing their projects. In short, students are expected to acquire the basic skills within this period.
In the meantime, each group has to submit a proposal of the project design including the plan, approach and the project schedule. Once the trainer has received the proposals from different groups, he would challenge the design and judge the feasibility of the project. The trainer will also give each group suggestions on the design in order to make the project more manageable.
In the mid-term, each group is required to do a presentation on the work progress of the project.During the presentation, besides briefing the class on the project design, each group has to explain the functions of the main modules to be used in the product.Students are required to use PowerPoint to present their projects and all presentations. This mid-term presentation helps each group and the trainer to monitor the progress of the project. This also helps maintain the quality of the whole project.
Throughout the whole process, students encounter many problems that they need to identify the causes of the problems and explain how these problems can be solved.
At the end, each group has to present their project. They are required to demonstrate the final products. Besides, they need to use PowerPoint to explain the structure of their products and share their experience with each other.
In the final presentation, each group member has to present at least one part so as to allow the trainer to evaluate the presentation skills of individual student.
4.ROLE OF FACULTY
ROLE OF MAIN TRAINER
Throughout the whole process, the main faculty acts as a facilitator to monitor the progress of the project to make sure all projects are running at the appropriate pace and guide or work with the students to find information from different sources instead of passing the information to the students directly.
ROLE OF MENTOR
Mentor role is very crucial in project based learning, works closely with students and explain them when challenges faced. Since mostly students work on their projects outside classroom hours, the mentor would be happy to help the students to solve any problem related to their projects.
Besides a number of presentations, each group has to submit a project role based deliverables and a written report to pass the subject.
In the very beginning, each group has to present their proposed project ideas, plan and ideas.Later, all groups have to present once again as a mid-term oral report on the progress of their projects. At the end of the course, each group member in the final presentation has to take up at least one part so as to allow the trainer to evaluate the presentation skills of individual student. Therefore, the final grade of the members of the same group may vary.
5.2 PROJECT REPORT
Each group has to submit a 10-page final report to layout the structure of the project and to give detailed explanations about the project design. Guidelines are provided to the students to help them write up the report.
6 .STUDENT FEEDBACK
- Students are willing to spend extra time on their projects.
- The Student Feedback Questionnaire shows that students favour the project-based learning approach.
- Students commented that they gained a sense of success from the project in which they had to create on their own.
- The experience gained from the project also makes the students become confident handling their job in software industry.