HAMK Universtity of Applied Sciences (FINLAND)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 425-432
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
In HAMK University of Applied Sciences the advanced special studies of 3rd and 4th year students of Industrial Management are mainly connected into project based learning. The learning is conducted through customer projects gained from working life so that the student can truly familiarize to an entrepreneur, entrepreneurship and the processes of working life.

Project topics come through the personnel working in customer interface. The supervisor acts as support and enhances learning. The projects are conducted within the courses so that in the implementation plan of the course the allocated time for the project work is defined precisely. The student should also forward the projects on own time. The rest of the course includes theory and practical work, expert panels, visits and visitors according to the situation.

In the beginning of the projects the entrepreneur or the company representative introduces the project to the group. This way the genuine connection with the corporate life is shared with all students and also with the supervisors. After this the group of students begins to forward their project according to the assignment and keep contact to the entrepreneur client.
The progress of the projects is monitored approximately at intervals of three weeks or in meetings taking place if necessary. Then the project team presents the accomplishments, future measures and possible challenges etc. to the whole group.

Based on the feedback received from the students the operations model improves the entrepreneurial working method and versatile development of the students. The students have felt that group work and social skills, self-direction, time management, sense of responsibility and networking have development since the project based learning begun. Some criticism has been given because everyone does not devote to the project work equally. Lecture based learning did not suite for all students, therefore it is necessary to accept that project based learning also has its own challenges. Some of the students’ felt that the awareness of entrepreneurship has increased, some experienced entrepreneurship as a new possibility and the attitudes of some students remained unchanged.

Project based learning enhances diversely the deepening of professional substance and the development of Meta skills required by the working life. Project based learning opens curtains to entrepreneurship and at the same time builds the internal entrepreneurship of the learner.
Entrepreneurship, project learning, learning methods, professional growth.