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30 March 2021

Project-based learning with Microsoft Office 365 tools

Projects support student engagement and provide opportunities for deeper learning. As teaching is being increasingly carried out online and in a hybrid mode, it is more important than ever that we scaffold and support project-based learning appropriately to facilitate powerful collaborative online learning experiences for our students. Deakin educators ran a workshop to discuss how project-based learning and Microsoft Office 365 tools can be used to enhance students’ project work experience. 

We highlight some of the key takeaways from the workshop, hosted by Dr Isma Seetal from the Digital Learning Innovation team and Vivek Venkiteswaran from the Business and Law pod. We also share some resources that have been created and curated to support you in using Microsoft Office 365 tools in teaching and learning. 

Project-based learning defined 

Project-based learning is an instructional approach that can help academic staff provide quality collaborative learning opportunities to students as they engage in group projects. It helps learners construct knowledge, develop real-world products and cultivate a range of skills such as collaboration, communication and critical thinking skills, which are in high demand in the workplace. Integrating project-based learning in a physical or virtual setting requires careful and intentional planning so students can engage in important project activities such as brainstorming, project planning, discussions and reflections seamlessly using Deakin-endorsed tools. 

Tools for project-based learning 

Microsoft Office 365 tools can be used to support project-based learning in an integrated and seamless way, so that students can focus on their project, rather than mastering a set of disconnected tools. Microsoft whiteboard can be used for brainstorming and reflection whereas Microsoft Planner (named as ‘Tasks by planner and to do’ in Teams) and Microsoft Lists can help students organise, assign, and set deadlines for their tasks. These apps, available as part of Deakin’s enterprise-wide Microsoft Office 365 license can be added to Microsoft Teams sites to provide a robust collaborative environment for students to engage in project-based learning activities within one space. 

Resources for Deakin staff 

You can learn more about how Microsoft Office 365 tools can be used for projects and other learning activities through our extensive Training Resources. Read about Using Microsoft Whiteboard and Using Microsoft Planner and Lists. You can can also join the Demystifying Digital Community of Practice group on Yammer to learn about and share digital tips with colleagues. 

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