Project-based learning (PBL) is an instructional approach that involves students working collaboratively to solve real-world problems or complete projects that are relevant to their interests and experiences.
PBL emphasizes student-centred learning, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, as well as the development of communication, collaboration, and creativity.
This is the learning method we use at Tallinn University's online Social Entrepreneurship MA program. Students apply for this program with a project plan, and once they got accepted and enrolled they immediately start to implement this plan.
The project is supposed to be a social enterprise (impact-driven business) or any activities (research, networking building, ecosystem building) related to social entrepreneurship. Over the two years of the program, students are developing their own projects and every single course aims at supporting them in this journey.
Course assignments, submissions, presentations, and demonstrations are all related to the project students are working on. We rarely require purely theoretical submissions. Tests and exams are based on students' real-life actions. It means that students not only ought to know the related theories, methods and intellectual content but they also need to prove that they are able to use it and implement it in practice.
There are several reasons why PBL is useful in higher education.
First, PBL promotes critical thinking and problem-solving skills. In traditional classroom settings, students are often expected to memorize and regurgitate information without necessarily understanding its practical application. However, PBL encourages students to engage with complex problems, analyze them from different angles, and develop creative solutions. This approach helps students to develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which are essential for success in the real world.
Second, PBL promotes collaboration and teamwork. In PBL, students work in groups to develop solutions to real-world problems. This approach allows them to learn how to work effectively with others, share ideas and resources, and develop communication and leadership skills. These are all essential skills that are required for success as entrepreneurs.
Third, PBL promotes student engagement and motivation. Because PBL involves students in real-world problems and allows them to develop solutions that are relevant to their lives, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated in their learning. When students feel invested in their work and see the practical application of their learning, they are more likely to take ownership of their education and be motivated to succeed.
Finally, PBL promotes the development of 21st-century skills. In today's rapidly changing world, it is essential for students to develop skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and communication. These skills are necessary for success in the workplace and in life in general. PBL provides an opportunity for students to develop these skills through real-world projects that are relevant to their lives.
Join our next info session to get more information about Tallinn University's Online Social Entrepreneurship MA program.