Project Based Learning

Project Based Learning is trendy at the moment, but when you step back and look at the history of humankind it is really the default way to learn. When young children followed their parents into the field to plant seedlings or harvest, they were taking on a project that is fundamental to their lives. 

Today, what can be considered a project in many cases has been waters down to irrelevance. Students can be found making posters of regurgitated information and consider those projects, follow a prescribed set of instructions to a definite outcomes and call that a project. So what criteria would we describe as important in defining a project?  Here are our 3 critical elements:

Projects Should have Authentic Impact

A project should have a real impact on our world, and be something that people from both outside and inside the organisation can see a a valuable addition to what we already do. 

Projects shouldn’t have pre-determined steps

A big part of working on a project is figuring out the steps, and those which have the greatest learning potential are those which provide the greatest freedom for the student to learn how to arrange the project

Projects may lead to failure

 We have to accept that a lot of what we do in life will not work out, and so whatever projects we take on run the risk of failure. More likely, we will learn through failure along the way and the project may be modified so we can create a minimum viable product. 

If you abide by these, chances are you are working on what Mira would classify as a ‘project’. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes when it comes to learning though, and that is where we are here to help. Below, you will find resources, suggestions, and examples of projects we have undertaken. 

The Resources

Unified Design Process - Plan on a Page

This is a document that we have tried to work with in a number of forms, settling finally on a single page layout where students use it to plan out their process, and then reflect after they have done some work on the project. A longer project could have multiple copies of this, and the brevity has been helpful in keeping it adopted. It is, afterall, something we wanted to be universal.