The Making of Adult Learners through Project-Based Learning

The Making of Adult Learners through Project-Based Learning

Helen W. M. Yeh (Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HKCC), China)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4249-2.ch023
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Abstract

Different learning theories including action learning, experiential learning, and project-based learning have been used in adult learning, which usually takes place in community colleges. Since 2000, Hong Kong universities have established their own community college to provide a second chance for individuals to further studies in universities or gain work skills to facilitate their return to the society. Among all approaches, project-based learning is the most popular approach in English language learning in community colleges because the traditional teaching methods did not work well on passive and dependent Chinese students. This chapter discusses the features of project-based language learning and then examines the language students’ perceptions towards project-based learning so as to better the program design. The findings show that students have developed reading, writing, and research skills through group projects, and the language teacher, feedback, and collaboration are vital to the success of project-based learning.
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Literature Review

The literature review starts with meaning and purpose of project-based learning put forward by various educators. The next section examines the benefits of using project-based learning as an alternative learning approach. Lastly, an overview of research in project work internationally and in local universities is discussed to provide the research grounding and justification for this study.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Motivation: It refers to a psychological condition that stimulates a person to act toward a desired goal because of personal desire for various reasons.

Collaboration Learning: It means that learners work in groups to complete a task for a common goal.

Reflection: It means that a learner try to think about one’s own strength and weakness after doing a task and then make suggestions for future improvement.

Feedback: It refers to a constructive response given based on the completion of a task to a learner for improvement purpose.

Learning-by-Doing Activity: It refers to an activity in which learners learn new skills or knowledge through hands-on practice.

Life-Long Learning: It refers to an ongoing pursuit of knowledge which is essential for personal growth or professional development during the whole life.

Project-Based Learning: It is an instructional method to provide students with authentic tasks that require them to work together to gather information, integrate generic skills, think critical, make decisions and then finally build knowledge.

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