Real world projects
Applying design skills in project-based learning helps students to gain a range of other non-technical capabilities such as working in teams and with clients. By working on real live projects, students need to investigate real problems and design challenges in order to meet the client's goals. Listening well and asking good questions are essential to understand clients' needs and to take on board their feedback on the students' proposed solutions.
Denise Narciso, one of our Communication Design lecturers, interviewed students, lecturers and client organisations to gain a range of perspectives on project-based learning. She has developed a framework for students and lecturers to follow in project-based learning that will improve consistency. The framework will help ensure that all stakeholders' project expectations are clear and are met, and that the learners cover all aspects of project and course work.
Denise will implement her framework in her own teaching practice and share it with other lecturers interested in project-based learning at Otago Polytechnic and further afield. It is likely to be further developed with feedback and experience.