The MSEL program is built around participants delivering a project to a Community Partner. They do this within the learning context of university. By putting these two elements together, the MSEL program provides participants with a fully-realised project-based learning experience.
The University of Queensland outlines a compelling case for why project-based learning is so beneficial. We quote it verbatim below, but you can dig deeper by accessing the original here.
“Project-based learning … gives students the opportunity to gain a deep understanding of concepts and potentially allows them to solve the society’s problems.” (Moalosi et al, 2012)
Project based learning (also known as PBL) involves deep learning, as it focuses on real world problems and challenges and relies on problem solving, decision making and investigative skills.
Among the activities that contribute to the success of project based learning are:
- Effective goal setting
- Teaching student project management skills
- Effective project consultation and monitoring
- Effective feedback (Garrison, 1999)
Project based learning begins with the end product or presentation in mind that requires learning specific knowledge and concepts, thus creating a context and reason to learn and understand the information and concepts.
- Characteristics of project based learning include:
- Organised around an open-ended question or challenge.
- Creates a need to know essential content and skills.
- Requires inquiry to learn and/or create something new.
- Requires critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration and various forms of communication.
- Allows some degree of student voice and choice.
- Incorporates feedback and revision.
- Results in a publicly presented product or performance.