The students experienced how their learning process is inspired by the field, setting the field, and how learning is a process where students gradually break free from classroom thinking. They started to develop their own research process, inspired by the context in which they were situated. However, paving the way to deep learning processes is often challenging. In our PBL research some of our interesting findings are not only about taking ownership but also about providing meaning to the experiences for the students themselves. As stated by one of the students:
“I think people (us/students) are more attentive if they are actually doing stuff themselves and not only listening to the professor talk” (student A, June 2017) and “and coming back and talking about it (the fieldwork), feeling like you have at least some idea of what you are talking about. You can read as many texts as you want but there is such a huge difference” (student I, March 2017).
During the last year of their Master the students have used their knowledge in different context to enhance their employability skills:
- Students (now 9th semester) presented their methodological considerations and challenges to 7th semester Tourism students who were going to participate in Creative Learning Lab 2018 in Tulum Mexico.
- Students (now 9th semester) held a seminar to peers on 9th semester Mobility about Cuba and the results of their work there.
- One student presented a paper together with Helene and Vibeke at TEFI conference 2017.
- Students (now 10th semester) provided feedback to 8th semester students’ presentation Mexican Ambassador (April 2018).
- Students (now 10th semester) present graphic design of Creative Learning Lab 2017.
The study trip resulted in:
- A consultancy report to an American Non-governmental Organisation.
- A face-to-face presentation was made to the Cuban Ambassador and Consul, who afterwards presented two of the five innovation projects to UNESCO in Cuba (to be implemented there).
- All 17 students used their empirical material in their 8th semester projects We invited them to participate in several workshops, conferences to present their learning.
We seek to explore the existing PBL model at AAU with a dynamic learning model which we inscribe into the overall functional objective of higher education to prepare students to be conscientious citizens who make positive, productive contributions to the society.
(Helene Balslev Clausen & Vibeke Andersson)
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