What Is Real Project Learning?

Real project learning, or project-based learning, is becoming an increasingly popular choice when it comes to effective and transformative modes of learning in the modern world.

Real project learning, or project-based learning, is becoming an increasingly popular choice when it comes to effective and transformative modes of learning in the modern world.

In this post, we’ll delve into the specifics of real project learning, uncovering project-based learning objectives, strategies and benefits, as well as discussing why this learning method is a viable alternative to traditional, and often outdated, learning models. But first up, let’s start with the basics — what is project-based learning?

Project-based learning (PBL) is a method of teaching designed to allow learners the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge through taking part in engaging, real-world projects. The problems and challenges set in the project are similar to, or the same as, those that may be encountered in a real working environment.

Project-based learning providers, such as Harness Projects, partner with leading industries and brands to enable their learners to work on real company projects, in real-time. Learners receive insights and feedback on their work during the project, before presenting their solution to the client at the conclusion of the project.

What are the objectives of project-based learning?

The main project-based learning objective is to improve learners’ overall learning experiences. With this in mind, here are some of the common objectives of PBL:

  • Autonomous learning — Learners are encouraged to undertake independent research, and come up with individual solutions for problems.
  • Self-evaluation — Learners are encouraged to look beyond their own knowledge and ideas.
  • Team-work — Along with working autonomously, learners collaborate and share insights with other learners to drive better outcomes.
  • Skills and knowledge integration — Through multidisciplinary projects and complex investigations, learners are able to integrate skills and knowledge from various areas.

What is the PBL framework?

A PBL framework has been created by top experts in the PBL field to outline what high-quality project-based learning should look like for learners. The framework includes six criteria, all aimed at helping more learners gain better and deeper learning outcomes.

The framework criteria include:

  • Intellectual challenge and accomplishment
  • Authenticity
  • Public product
  • Collaboration
  • Project management
  • Reflection

The framework contains a description explaining the research and theory behind each of the criteria, and the full framework is available for viewing online.

What are common PBL strategies?

As an innovative learning model, project-based learning invites a variety of instructional or teaching strategies, all with the aim of helping learners gain the best possible learning outcomes.

Some common PBL strategies include:

  • Interactive learning — An interactive learning environment — rather than participants simply copying words from a board — encourages learners to think innovatively, retain information and actively learn new skills.
  • Boosting collaboration — Sharing insights with others who are pursuing the same goals helps create a more meaningful and productive classroom.

At Harness Projects, our learners are encouraged to work both individually and in groups to learn new skills in digital projects for real companies, aided by experienced mentors and a world-class curriculum.

Who is PBL suited for?

As a flexible, engaging and innovative teaching approach, project-based learning can be incorporated into just about any learning environment and is suitable for anyone wanting an interactive and hands-on approach to learning.

When you consider that we inhabit a project-based world, with all of us embarking on projects on a regular basis — whether simple weekend chores, organising an event, or preparing for a presentation — the idea of learning new skills via real projects makes sense.

With project-based learning, learners are prepared for the real world via authentic experiences. PBL equips its participants with such real-world skills as critical thinking, self-sufficiency and creative problem solving, and is therefore suited to just about everyone!

What are the benefits of project-based learning?

When it comes to effective, modern modes of learning, there are a myriad of benefits of PBL. In a nutshell, project-based learning:

  • Presents learners with deeper learning opportunities when compared with traditional learning methods, which often do not go beyond the purely academic realm.
  • Effectively engages learners with the content, enabling better long-term knowledge retention.
  • Allows learners to meet and solve real-world challenges, helping for future career preparation.
  • Provides ample opportunity for learner feedback, including areas for improvement.
  • Allows learners to develop real-world skills, including communication, critical thinking and collaboration.
  • Gives learners choice in their learning journeys, thereby helping to improve attitudes toward education.
  • Allows learners to graduate with a portfolio of real project work, helping prove their industry experience level to land jobs in the field.

What are the challenges of project-based learning?

Along with the many benefits of PBL, there are some challenges to this mode of learning, though most challenges are encountered by instructors — not learners — and can be overcome with some simple modifications.

Some instructors can have difficulty adjusting to the concept of project-based learning, as it is a contrast to more traditional methods, and involves more coaching and less instruction, as well as the need to adopt interdisciplinary learning methods.

Instructors who are generally willing to embrace PBL and take inspiration from its concepts usually find it to be a freeing educational experience — for both educators and learners alike!

Harness Projects — your project-based learning specialists

At Harness projects, we truly are your project-based learning experts. Whether you’re looking to embark on a new career in digital marketing, product management or UX design, or are simply looking to gain new knowledge and upskill, you’re bound to find the perfect course for your unique needs with us.

Our real project learning approach unites and empowers both learners and industry, and ensures that you develop the experience and digital skills you’ll need to excel — all in a single course. With us, you’ll work for a real company on a live digital project, and have access to an experienced mentor and top collaboration tools along the way

Ready to learn more? Read about our approach to real project learning, browse our digital marketing, UX design and product management projects, or take a look at our educational blog.

If you have any questions about PBL or our courses, simply get in touch with our team today. We would love to be of assistance, and will get back to you within one day!