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Recent innovations in technology which enable people to connect socially can now be used successfully to create experiential learning experiences online. Here are three examples how NovoEd is using these innovations in technology to transform project-based learning:

1. Learners Form Global Teams

The NovoEd learning environment transforms a traditionally localized project-based learning experience into a global one, with students participating from over 150 different countries. In this global community, learners have the opportunity to exchange ideas and develop new understandings, share their global experiences and expertise, and solve real-world problems, all in a team-based and collaborative setting.  NovoEd makes it easy for students to join teams with others with multiple team formation options. Furthermore, student and team profiles help learners identify potential teammates and teams.

For example, in the course Creativity: Music to My Ears, a NovoEd learner leveraged the course’s multinational community by creating a group with the purpose of learning different music and cultures from around the world. In the team summary, the team leader stated: “This team is different from other teams. Each member is from a different country. The reason why I decided to have a team like this is so that we can know the different music cultures that exist.” The team comprised of learners from South Korea, Costa Rica, Australia, the Philippines, Bolivia, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.

2. Learners Develop 21st Century Skills

The ability to collaborate and communicate in an online environment is a critical 21st century skill that is central in today’s workforce (read more about Chuck Eesley’s perspective on online learning). Participants in a NovoEd course learn to lead and work in a team, developing a skill which is transferable to any work environment.  In the NovoEd workspace, learners can use the workspace to brainstorm new ideas, record minutes, schedule meetings, start discussions, work on presentations, and more.  By doing so, participants learn to organize teams, manage assignments, and engage with each other across different cultures, languages, and time-zones.

For example, in Lean for Social Change, a course offered through Acumen, members of the team Amigofy joined the course from the U.S., Germany, Mexico, and United Arab Emirates. They collaborated on a project towards a same vision, to develop a startup (http://www.amigofy.com/) aimed to help nonprofits activate, engage, and retain volunteers through the motivational techniques of gamification. They coordinated different timezones using the NovoEd scheduler. By using working tools such as Google Docs and Google Hangouts on their NovoEd workpage, the team created a successful business plan as their final project assignment whose venture is still ongoing today.

3. Projects are Student-Centered

Research shows that student engagement, achievement, and motivation is highest when their learning experience is personalized. When learners participate in projects that excite them, their intrinsic motivation to learn increases.  On NovoEd, learners can easily start their own projects or choose to join one that excites them most, enhancing the project-based learning experience. They can further customize and individualize their learning experience by connecting prior knowledge towards their project assignment while building new knowledge from the NovoEd course. By encouraging student-centered learning, NovoEd fosters an enthusiastic and passionate learning community where learners uncover creative solutions to interesting problems.

In the course Designing a New Learning Environment, learners formed teams around their educational interest. Children and Languages created a team around their interest in early childhood education. This global team from the U.S., Algeria, Russia, Pakistan, and Portugal designed “a unique learning environment for kids that will enable easier start for the languages learning.”  In another team called, Education in Healthcare, team-members joined to work towards a goal, “to facilitate building an ideal future where all healthcare professionals always strive towards the most effective patient-centered medical care by working collaboratively as a multi-professional team, remaining current in their field and educating all stakeholders including patients, their families and the public.”  Both teams had the opportunity to pursue their passions by meeting like-minded individuals on NovoEd and collaboratively solving real-world problems.

These are just some examples of project-based learning on NovoEd. If you have an example of how NovoEd transformed your project-based learning experience, we would love to hear about it. Please let us know by submitting your story to the NovoEd Student Stories Form!