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Project-based Learning

Structured, increasingly difficult projects that resemble the real world and develop 21st-century skills.
In a world that's increasingly complex and collaborative, employers are looking for, and jobs are demanding, stronger 21st-century skills.
project based learning

What is project based learning?

21st-century skills are skills and abilities that have been identified as important for success in the 21st-century, particularly compared to previous centuries. They include:

  • Problem solving & critical thinking
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Communication
  • Collaboration

How Project Based Learning Works

Identify Problem

After starting the project, students have to identify what the problems are that need to be solved.

Research & Investigate

Tackling problems head on, students begin researching, learning, and investigating, using tools and resources available to them (such as Google).

Analyze & Evaluate Options

After processing information, they identify possible solutions to the problem and begin deciphering what’s important and what’s not in designing a solution. In light of constraints, projects requirements, and what a student considers important, they analyze and evaluate their options.

Code & Build Software

Once a solution option has been chosen, students build their solution in keeping with restrictions, norms, and best practices.

Design & Create Tests

All software needs to be tested, so once a solution has been created, students have to creatively find ways to break their software, then adjust their solution to make it stronger.

Debug and Finalize

Students keep working on their solution until it is “client-ready” and is a working solution. They learn how to debug and bring structure to solving problems in their software.

Project Progression

Our programs are structured such that projects start with basic concepts then become increasingly more difficult and more complex. This reflects a learner's zone of proximal development, and projects are designed to walk a learner from one zone to the next.

It's important for projects to gradually increase in difficulty as leaps that are too big will overwhelm and discourage learners, leading some of them to give up. There's a balance between challenging and growing a learner slightly outside their comfort zone and causing a learner to give up because the project is too hard.

project based learning zone of proximal development

Why Project-based Learning is Better for Today

project based learning - active vs passive

Project-based learning is active learning: learners must actively participate, engage, and respond. This is different from passive learning such as lectures, presentations, MOOCs, or watching online videos.

Project-based learning requires students to analyze, evaluate, and create. The majority of our curriculum is made up of projects which are essentially problems in the form of “build a solution for XYZ.” As learners research, analyze, build, test, and fix, their engagement is through the roof compared with passive learning and the retention rate is closer to 90% (compared to passive learning at 5-10%).

Future-proof Yourself: Learn How to Learn

At the core of both project-based learning and peer review is the skill of learning how
to learn. Whether it’s investigating and researching relevant topics for a new project or trying to understand the structure and reasoning for a reviewee’s work, students learn how to learn.

In an industry where change is constant and new programming languages come out on a regular basis, knowing how to learn is central to 21st-century skills and being prepared for the future.