The purpose of the study was to explore what project-based learning is, what are the pedagogical or psychological motives supporting it, how it has been implemented and what impact it has had on learning in post-secondary education. The study is based on a qualitative review of published articles. The work revealed that the majority of articles on project-based learning are course descriptions focusing on the implementation of individual courses, whereas serious research on the topic is virtually non-existent. In addition, the term project-based learning subsumes different activities with varying purposes. Therefore, practitioners and curriculum developers are encouraged to reflect upon the purpose and possibilities of project-based learning along with students and to set realistic, clear goals. Practitioners and researchers are urged to document courses even more carefully. Several issues for further research are identified.
Although generic skills have received widespread attention from both policymakers and educationalists, little is known regarding how students acquire these skills, or how they should best be taught. Hence, the aim of this study was to identify what kinds of pedagogical practices are behind the learning of eight particular generic skills. The data were collected from university students (N = 163, n = 123) via Internet questionnaires. The findings from regression analyses showed that teaching practices involving collaboration and interaction as well as features of a constructivist learning environment and integrative pedagogy predicted the learning of generic skillssuch as decision-making skills, different forms of creativity, and problem-solving skills. In contrast, the traditional forms of university teachingsuch as reading, lecturing, and working alonewere negatively associated to learning generic skills. Overall, this study offers detailed information about the pedagogical practices that nurture learning generic skills in university contexts.
This introductory chapter begins with a brief historical account of the writing-to-learn movement, emphasising especially the significance of the cognitive revolution for the development of both learning research and writing research. The next section considers those theories of the writing process which have had the most profound impact on writing-to-learn, theories of writing as problem solving. Further on, theories and views of learning are discussed as essential detenninants of approaches to writing as a learning tool. It is emphasised that current constructivist and social constructivist views imply the use of writing activities requiring transformations of knowledge, social interaction, and collaboration, as well as the integration of writing with other forms of learning and studying.
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