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WPI Project Based Learning for Diaspora University
Started 1970, WPI Project Based Learning is part of WPI’s undergraduate degree program. It constitutes a major component of the WPI Plan. The project based learning is a process of learning that leads to students working closely with faculty and each other to develop solutions to real-world problems in their own communities and in communities around the globe. Professor Richard Vaz met with Diaspora University developers—Prof. Philliph Mutisya, Dr. Wilson Endege and Dan Kamau—as they discussed how this system will be implemented in the new university.
WPI has 47 project based learning centers across the world,” said Prof. Vaz as he talked about the project based learning center that he is a director off. The Diaspora University that will be developed based on WPI will have this approach.
The discussion noted that one area that the Diaspora University will look to apply project based learning could become part of is the 14 functions of the county governments with relation to food, housing, clean water and a clean environment.
Through a survey of 2,532 former students of WPI who went through the project based learning the following professional positive impacts were noted by a majority: Taking responsibility of their learning; developing ideas; solving problems; having effective professional interactions; functioning effectively in a team; writing clearly and effectively; succeeding in business and industry; being an effective leader; and speaking clearly and effectively.
On personal impact of project based learning to one’s life majority of the respondents said the approach of learning had led to: Stronger personal character; feeling one’s own ideas are important; feeling able to make a difference; having an enriched personal life; feeling connected to WPI; and achieving work/life balance.
Onworld views majority of respondents stated the project based learning had an impact on: viewing issues from different perspectives; understanding connections between technology and society; understanding global issues; and understanding people from other culture.