As part of the EBEC Challenge, BEST Skopje organized a panel discussion on the topic of Project Based Learning (PBL): Macedonia vs Europe at the FINKI Amphitheatre back on Monday, February 19. Present were representatives from the student lobby, the academic and business circles. Our Founder & CEO, Hajan Selmani was cordially invited to take part in it, elaborating his points of standing on the topic.
WHAT IS A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING? PBL is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge, as defined by the bie.org.
The panel moderator had several questions inciting the discussion - among which asking the panelists for any examples of PBL experiences throughout their studies; if they think its concept is being used in Macedonia, and how deeply; if they knew countries in Europe where the PBL is being practiced and how do they manage the same, etc. The audience was involved in the Q'n'A session by the end of the event.
Some of Hajan's thoughts included his experience as a student, and the positive outcome of the PBL classrooms; how much the self-initiative presented by the students can be crucial in their own professional development: they are better prepared for work on real industry projects; how could the country involve itself in the whole process by stimulating the academic institutions to take the necessary measures in order to encourage this learning concept.
Generally, the difference between the opinions based on each of the panelists' experiences and standings was noticeable (depending on their background), however - everyone involved agreed there is a lot to be done in order to better the approach, and take advantage of the benefits offered by the project-based learning as a method to improve the industries' pool of skillful workforce.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT? The project-based learning helps the students develop skills for living in a knowledge-based, highly technological society , according to Edutopia - a conclusion our panelists agreed upon.
Following this, it is worth mentioning how much HASELT invests in this method. Namely, our Summer Internship Program is already popular among the students, mostly because of the positive experiences which include their involvement and work on real-industry projects, as well as having the opportunity to work with highly-skilled mentors and a team of professionals who give their best to make the interns feel welcomed at any point of the program duration, which is mainly based on PBL practices. Naturally, given the circumstances, some of them even end up signing full-time employment contracts with our company.
The 2018 HASELT Summer Internship Program is just around the corner! To stay fully and timely informed of any additional info, make sure to closely follow our Social Media feeds. Until then, see you at the upcoming job fairs!