Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Project-based learning often asks students to create a project plan for a real or imaginary client that is built upon what is learned in one or more courses. However, while the project-based learning pedagogical approach appears to be a useful candidate for providing students with hands-on experiences, how can we as educators create meaningful project planning activities that realistically reflect practices in the field? Successful plans are easily differentiated from deficient plans when input from subject matter experts is considered. Therefore, determining the scope of the project, creating a work breakdown structure, and identifying the critical path particularly with input from subject matter experts is crucial to facilitating learning-by-doing for real or pseudo projects in the planning stages.
In this paper, we present an innovative project-based learning approach for teaching project management. By incorporating the design thinking strategy in the curriculum, student teams identify and define problems (or needs) by empathizing the users, proposing design alternatives, and creating quick-and-dirty prototypes to gain quick feedback. Functional prototypes are built for benchmarking purposes while at the same time verifying whether the proposed solutions actually resolve the issue(s). Through the design-build-test process, it is expected that students would develop the knowledge and experience of the “subject matter experts”, and thus various activities at the project planning stage will become more meaningful. Using the test result(s) of functional prototypes, the team(s) will revise their solution(s) and develop a project plan to scale up their proposed solution(s), either with a product production line or a service model. The paper will conclude by discussing the outcome of this approach, identify possible limitations, and provide recommendations.
Chang, Y. I., & Yearwood, D. (2020, June), An Innovative Project-based Learning Approach to Teach Project Management Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34129
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