Active pedagogy and project-based learning: what are we talking about? What are the benefits for our students?


A word from the General Manager of Gaming Campus, Valérie Dmitrovic

Valérie Dmitrovic

Valérie Dmitrovic ran a Business School Campus in Lyon, and then served as National Director of Educational Innovation and Development for 7 campuses within a large higher education group. A woman of conviction and substance, she defends and active project-based and interdisciplinarity pedagogies.

Companies need the most creative people, capable of initiative, capable of learning and having relational skills such as "knowing how to work in a team". However, changes in the world of education are not fast enough and suffer from the inertia of systems and behaviors, but also from gaps in the acquisition of new collective skills. In this context, what educational approaches can stimulate creativity, initiative and risk taking to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century? How can we best train younger generations and prepare them to become creative and collaborative? What is the model for the school of the future? Which pedagogical approaches should we favor? How can we develop the talents and skills of students?

Our deep conviction is that we must implement a pedagogy adapted to the new reality, according to which a student will co-construct his career with us. His studies should provide him with a high value learning experience. The search for acquisition of skills allowing him to develop a sustainable employability and a permanent adaptability.

For almost half a century, we have undergone an paradigm shift in education that has gradually shifted from a logic of knowledge transmission by a professor / expert of his subject to a logic centered on the learning of skills aimed at professionalization. Knowledge is readily available at any time and the development of MOOCs further facilitates this access. The challenge is no longer to acquire knowledge but skills.

Project-based learning is an active pedagogy that allows learning through the realization of a concrete production. The project can be individual or collective.

QWhat are the benefits for our students?

More autonomy, motivation, ability to move to a job and find a job and the acquisition of skills and competencies.

Why and how?

Since the projects are very close to the situations students will encounter in a company, they will be better prepared for the world of work. In addition, group work has three main advantages: it arouses motivation, supports effort in the case of obstacles; it confronts students in a complex situation or task; it develops collaborative, communication skills, specific to problem solving. Many researches show the benefits of project-based pedagogy: better integration of course content with the bonus of know-how and methodological and relational skills to solve complex problems, improved motivation to learn and better cooperation between professors.

All elements converge today to change pedagogical approaches: students need to be accompanied in the construction of their career and to make them experience rich learning experiences, teachers want to find pleasure in working and collaborating, companies and organizations need competent, creative and capable employees. The search for pedagogical excellence is a major issue. Project-based learning is a promising and ambitious answer.


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