Thinking back at some of our most powerful learning experiences, it is likely that at least one of these experiences involved a project. 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 learning experiences for our students as they work on their projects online.
Isma Seetal from the DLI team and Vivek Venkiteswaran from the Business and Law pod recently organised a workshop to discuss how project-based learning and Microsoft Office 365 tools can be used to enhance students’ project work experience. In this article, we share some key takeaways from our workshop and launch some resources that we have created and curated to support you in using Microsoft Office 365 tools in teaching and learning.
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 resources, which are currently hosted on our Microsoft Whiteboard SharePoint page and Microsoft Planner page.
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