How to Learn From Academic Projects

How to Learn From Academic Projects

Pro Tip: Stop submitting low quality projects at college. “Companies will want to see the work you have done, other than what you did as a part of the curriculum”. These were the words of a “placement teacher” at my institution. This was his subtle way of letting us know that the projects done for the grades didn’t mean much to an employer. I do not know if this is how it is everywhere.

_“Companies will want to see the work you have done, other than what you did as a part of the curriculum”. _These were the words of a “placement teacher” at my institution. This was his subtle way of letting us know that the projects done for the grades didn’t mean much to an employer. I do not know if this is how it is everywhere.

But, the people I knew corroborated the above statement. They felt that recruiters did not care too much about academic projects. In fact, they wanted to see what else these candidates had done. Now wait, do not paint the employers as villains yet.

A significant amount of academic projects are completed by students because they must do so. There is no sense of passion or desire to learn of these endeavours. This results in work that lacks quality. Work that is boring, uninspiring and not very valuable to anybody.

And if we, the students ourselves undervalue our work, why should recruiters not? Besides, the perception of a recruiter with regards to our project must be secondary. The most important task is to acquire knowledge from these projects.

The competition is not between the candidates’ projects, it is between the ideas and implementations in those projects. It is about how much you have learnt and applied.

A significant amount of academic projects are completed by students because they MUST do so.

The foundations of Project-Based Learning advocate the importance of hands-on approaches. These are guided at providing students a paradigm to learn by exposure. However, like what is so traditional of the human race, this approach is frequently misused by us.


What is Project-based Learning(PBL)?

PBL integrates knowing and doing. Students learn knowledge and elements of the core curriculum, but also apply what they know to solve authentic problems and produce results that matter. PBL students take advantage of digital tools to produce high quality, collaborative products. PBL refocuses education on the student, not the curriculum — a shift mandated by the global world, which rewards intangible assets such as drive, passion, creativity, empathy, and resiliency. These cannot be taught out of a textbook, but must be activated through experience. — Thomas Markham(Source)

The above definition is arguably the greatest summaries of what PBL is at its core. For the sake of brevity, let’s compress PBL into one fundamental phrase —_ Learning By Doing._

Working on a project allows students to :

  • Understand a problem in the real world
  • Apply a theoretical concept in practice
  • Discuss with peers on the efficacy of proposed solutions
  • Organize ideas and project them through implementation
  • Sharpen communication skills

data-science computer-science self-improvement project-based-learning education

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