Higher Education

, Volume 51, Issue 2, pp 287–314

Project-Based Learning in Post-Secondary Education – Theory, Practice and Rubber Sling Shots


DOI: 10.1007/s10734-004-6386-5

Cite this article as:
Helle, L., Tynjälä, P. & Olkinuora, E. High Educ (2006) 51: 287. doi:10.1007/s10734-004-6386-5


The purpose of the study was to explore what project-based learning is, what are the pedagogical or psychological motives supporting it, how it has been implemented and what impact it has had on learning in post-secondary education. The study is based on a qualitative review of published articles. The work revealed that the majority of articles on project-based learning are course descriptions focusing on the implementation of individual courses, whereas serious research on the topic is virtually non-existent. In addition, the term project-based learning subsumes different activities with varying purposes. Therefore, practitioners and curriculum developers are encouraged to reflect upon the purpose and possibilities of project-based learning along with students and to set realistic, clear goals. Practitioners and researchers are urged to document courses even more carefully. Several issues for further research are identified.


higher education impact implementation project-based learning project method project studies review 

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Helle
    • 1
    • 2
  • Päivi Tynjälä
    • 1
  • Erkki Olkinuora
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Educational ResearchUniversity of JyväskyläFinland
  2. 2.Department of EducationUniversity of TurkuTurunFinland

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