Preparing Graduates for Professional Practice

Journal article

Authors / Editors

Research Areas

No matching items found.

Publication Details

Subtitle: Findings from a Case Study of Project-based Learning (PBL)
Author list: Fernandes SRG
Publisher: Elsevier: Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No-Derivatives License
Publication year: 2014
Journal: Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences (1877-0428)
Volume number: 139
Start page: 219
End page: 226
Number of pages: 8
ISSN: 1877-0428
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


This paper reports on a case study based on the use of Project-based
Learning (PBL) in higher education to improve student learning and
prepare graduates for professional practice. The theoretical background
is based on the principles of active learning and the demands of the
Bologna process for European Higher Education Institutions. These ideas
are also aligned with the educational philosophy advocated by John
Dewey, supporting the main goals of project-based learning approaches:
linking theory to practice by solving real life problems related to
learners’ future professional contexts. The paper will present findings
based on students’ and teachers’ perceptions in regard to the
effectiveness of PBL in preparing graduates for professional practice.
Data collection was based on a qualitative approach, using
questionnaires and focus groups for students, and was semi-structured
for teachers. Findings are presented according to the three main
categories emerging from the data: linking theory to practice,
developing skills for professional practice, and difficulties and
challenges of PBL. Based on students’ and teachers’ perceptions, it can
be concluded that PBL fosters deep-level learning and important skills
for professional practice, as the development of the project provides a
real life context for linking theory to practice. Students are able to
relate their work to broader professional situations outside the
academic world. The difficulties and challenges of PBL are mainly
related to the heavy workload which it entails and the assessment
method. These issues require further reflection and improvement.
Implications for teaching and learning in higher education are


No matching items found.


No matching items found.

Last updated on 2019-13-08 at 00:16