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How problem-based projects can take learning to a new dimension

  • Published at 03:35 pm July 29th, 2019
Photo: Pixabay

A student’s perspective on how a project work at his/her university aspires to instill skills beyond the scope of the classroom

Imagine a world with no language, a world where we have to communicate with others using primitive gestures and using up that extra amount of energy for movement of limbs. Life would be hard and our ideas would not have been conveyed as elaborately as it would have been by the use of verbal language. Man is known for his ability to think and the best way for him to propagate his ideas is through verbal language. By the proper use and appropriate utilization of language elements, one can successfully express their thoughts and feelings to the next person. 

That is exactly what the English language course ENG102 of BRAC University has taught me and the problem-based project included in this course contributed the most in helping me learn how to communicate with another individual in a suitable manner. This project is planned in such a way that it helps a student learn how to carry out conversations and express their ideas properly with the intention of procuring the necessary information. 

The project, in brief, is a research task that has to be carried out by a group of students picked out in random. It is a research of a certain social problem prevalent in modern society. Prior to the task, the students are to select an individual, called a ‘Change Maker’, who is involved in social welfare, someone who provides any other aid other than financial in order to help a certain group of disadvantaged people in the society with a view to eradicating that social problem. After having selected the individual, students are required to carry out interviews of that person and also the disadvantaged victims. For this, they have to prepare a relevant and a suitable questionnaire beforehand. Then, the groups of students are to observe the Change Maker and volunteer to work with him/her in helping the victims in order to develop empathy. After this, students would read research papers relevant to the social problem. Finally, they put together all the data and information they have collected to prepare their own research paper. They are also to convey their experience and ideas through a formal presentation. 

The beneficial results of the problem-based project is the development of communication skills among students, help them ask the right questions whenever required and confidently express their thoughts. As the students are randomly picked out in order to make a group, they learn how to communicate and adapt with new people in a new environment and work together in order to achieve a common goal. This also teaches them teamwork and division of labour. When they work together in the field, carrying out interviews and volunteer work, they are more prone to growing feelings of empathy for the victims of our society and admiration for the Change Maker, giving rise to a newfound respect for the hard-working people in our society. Communicating with the Change Maker and victims help the students get a good grasp on the idea about the sort of questions they are required to ask in certain situations in order to extract and collect necessary information. It gives them experience which they will be able to relate to and utilize in real life. These skills are meant to give them a career-based edge, allowing them to confidently converse with professionals in the job sector. When the students present their experience in this project, they learn how to express their learning, information and their own ideas in an alluring and explanatory manner so that they are capable of entertaining any group of audience, anytime, anywhere.

Expertise in language and communication aids us a great extent in our life. That is what this project is designed to prioritize, to the development of proficiency in communication skills. It allows a person to exhibit confidence and professionalism as well as the exact expression of their ideas during conversations. The human mind is a place for thoughts and imaginations of unbelievable scales. A person who knows how to communicate properly can successfully make their exact thoughts knowledgeable to others. You may have a revolutionary idea in your mind but that is where it will reside unless you have the necessary skills to convey that idea to the world.