Student and teacher as well as client of the project benefits from learning projects.
Student learns many kinds of knowledge and skills in learning projects. These include skills in combining theoretical knowledge with the practice and skills related to one’s own actions and self-regulation. Also, project activity itself becomes familiar to people through practice.
Team work has the effect of developing the participants’ interaction and cooperation skills. Thinking, deduction and problem-solving skills also develop. The changing of thinking into an external and visible form, which takes place in a project, is the other half of learning. Writing ”compels” the student to draw conclusions and to develop his thinking.
When participating in projects, the student also learns things such as the following:
- Ability to resolve problems
- Computer skills
- Skills in acquiring information
- Ability to come up with ideas
- Presentation skills
- Ability to endure uncertainty
- Self-steering, and
Learning projects provide the student with the following:
- Development as personal expertise in the supported environment
- More in-depth view of working life and work
- Contacts with experts and networks in his own field
- Contacts assisting in finding a job, and
- Hints connected to planning of studies.
Students' thoughts concerning learning projects:
”It brings flexibility and freedom into studies – although the responsibility for actions and quality of what is done remains with oneself.”
”This ensures that theory is dealt with more broadly and it gets to be applied into practice as well.”
”I learn better this way.”
”I’m able to mirror theory into practice and especially in regard to my own job.”
”You learn to plan and implement design when you are involved in a projects, and you learn to assess your own actions. Someone can benefit from it in the future.”
”Team work will become better than before.”
”The theory we learned in the classroom got new significance through practical work.”
”Participation in the project taught me things like keen team work (as well as self-reliant work), bearing responsibility and sharing it, performing one’s own tasks by the agreed point in time.”
”Project studies enable one to learn to be vigilant and to understand that you need to have contacts in many directions.”
Teacher also benefits from learning projects. Among these benefits are the following:
- New contacts and networks
- New experiences
- Interaction with the working life
- Ideas for developing their own work
- Motivation for coping with work
The client of the project can benefit from the learning projects from a number aspects:
- Recruitment channel. The employer is able later on to recruit a project group member to become a member of his staff.
- Non-commitment. The employer does not commit itself to a longer employment relationship than the duration of the project.
- Image. Enterprises improve their own image by offering projects.
- Economic benefit. Project students are cheap labour.
- Saving of time. Student projects provide employers with labour and know-how, and often quickly and flexibly as well.
- Combating ageing of workforce. Labourforce can be rejuvenated by recruiting students.
- Awareness of enterprise’s existence. Offering a project “blank” can serve as a marketing means.
- Societal viewpoint. Offering of vocational development via projects.
- Networking. Trainee placements reinforce networks in the direction of polytechnics and students.
- Dissemination of vocational culture. Dissemination of enterprise’s own vocational culture.
- Conveying of new ideas and latest knowledge. The trainees may be in possession of newer knowledge than the other members of the workplace community. Students can be of help in reforming old-fashioned or otherwise inadequately handled matters.
- Spark for launching development. Learning projects can spark off new ways of looking at things, reflection and development efforts. Moreover, the learning culture at workplaces, a work approach leading to development, and cooperation develop at the same time as students are supervised, inducted and guided.