Columbus , Ohio
June 28, 2017
June 28, 2017
June 28, 2017
Modern Russia is challenged with serious needs for highly qualified engineering personnel as a necessary resource of its economic development. The growing education quality and increasing competitiveness of Russian higher educational establishments are, inter alia, achieved in Russia’s innovation universities due to their integration into the global educational environment and to the use of actual teaching methods. Inviting internationally recognized experts into Russian universities allows them to apply the world’s best practices to teaching their students and training their faculty members. In recent times, the project-based teaching method is increasingly used at Kazan National Research Technological University (KNRTU), Russia, as a method that enhances the studying motivation of its students. Implementation of the method into the teaching/learning processes in the University is largely determined by inviting a professor from the USA, who has been successfully implementing this method globally for very different audiences for many years. A special feature of his work at KNRTU is the use of the project-based method for differing academic purposes in different groups of trainees, such as bachelor-level students, master-level students, postgraduates, and teaching personnel. The project-based method means that students must attack a problem and propose some ways of solving it. This approach requires from each participant to work proactively, everyone makes his or her own contribution to and is responsible for the outcomes. As compared to conventional methods, this method ensures the high level of all participants’ involvement into educational process. In the course of working on the project, students and trainees were proposed to fulfill independently or in teams some tasks within a strictly limited time span, which were aimed at describing and analyzing of a problem-based situation, assessing the state/level/depth of the problem, estimating the evidence and indicators of the problem status, reviewing the problem status according to actual data, and identifying the challenges and approaches to solving the problem. As a result of the activities completed, nine projects have been implemented in the groups of bachelor-level and master-level students on the topics interesting to both the University and the Republic in general. The bachelor-level students chose the following topics for their projects: Career Guidance for Students; Teaching Children to Love Nature and Animals; Communication without Borders; Living with Everyone; and Student Slang Dictionary. Master-level students developed the following projects: Water-Jet Cutting Fire-Control Unit; Naushochketka (A Safety Hat Based on a Protective Cap); Website Adapted for Foreign Students www.cityguest.help; Waste Compactor; and A Heated Scraping Brush for Snow/Ice Car Clearing. Upon completing the lessons with the invited professor, a poll was taken among students that showed that 80 % of the respondents had liked to work on their project. 74 % pointed to their keen interest to working inn a team. 78 % of students are sure that they will further use the knowledge they have gained when working on their project. Everyone pointed to the usefulness of lessons given by a native English speaker. Certain problems occurred in mastering the problem-based method by faculty members, since they had preferred a systematic real-life communication with a native English speaker to the hard work on projects. The professor also used the project-based teaching method for one-time “exchange” lessons with students studying law in English. Questioning these students demonstrated the usefulness of this method even when applied in such a manner. Using project-based teaching/learning implements the principles of interactivity, performance, independence, and students’ involvement in the educational process, contributes to training the key competences of future professionals, and essentially activates the students’ mental activities regardless of the levels of their preceding preparation or motivation.
Ivanov, V. G., & Barabanova, S., & Sanger, P. A., & Suntsova, M., & Pavlova, I. (2017, June), Special Aspects in Implementing the Project-Based Learning in Russian Universities Paper presented at 2017 ASEE International Forum, Columbus , Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/29300
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