Title: The design of an active learning strategy to promote collaborative and research-based learning in project management education

Authors: Chekfoung Tan; Isabel Huet

Addresses: School of Computing and Engineering, University of West London, St. Mary's Road, Ealing, London W5 5RF, UK ' School of Education, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL10 9AB, UK

Abstract: Project management (PM) is one of the most popular professions worldwide. Therefore, project management education (PME) has peaked due to its demand in industry. However, research shows that PME focuses too much on PM methodologies. Little has been done in training students in the critical thinking, research, and collaboration skills required by industry. Hence, this paper presents the design of an active learning intervention for PME, which aims at engaging students to learn collaboratively in a research-based learning environment. Following an action research methodology, the authors present the different stages of the study, which took place in a UK university with a group of PM postgraduate students with different levels of work experiences and backgrounds. The pedagogic intervention was evaluated in three stages: 1) non-participant observation; 2) informal feedback; 3) evaluation survey. Descriptive analysis was adopted for analysing the data collected in stage one. Data collected in stage two and three was analysed by thematic analysis. This research contributes to informing the future design of PME that emphasises on developing students' critical thinking, research and collaboration skills. These skills are crucial for any project management professional and highly sought by industry.

Keywords: active and collaborative learning; research-informed teaching and learning; project management education; PME.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIL.2021.116566

International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 2021 Vol.30 No.1, pp.19 - 47

Received: 08 Apr 2020
Accepted: 08 Jul 2020

Published online: 29 Jun 2021 *

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