Michael Ievers Brian Cummins Mark Ballentine


The aim of this study is to contribute to the ongoing discourse relating to the value and assessment of Project-Based Learning (PBL) and transversal skills, with relevance to regional and national education policy-making and practice. In September 2021, 1670 students and 150 tutors participated in an evaluation of a PBL experience at South Eastern Regional College (SERC), Northern Ireland. The impact of the PBL experience was measured by the development of transversal skills. Research instruments comprised three focus groups for students, two focus groups for staff, and surveys of all participants. Results indicate very strong progression of transversal skills across all defined categories, and that this progression is specifically attributable to the PBL experience. Student survey results showed that as a direct result of the PBL experience, 19% of students intended to start a business, which compares to the average rate for total early-stage entrepreneurship of 6.5% in Northern Ireland. Staff survey results showed significantly increased enjoyment of teaching and improved efficacy of student learning. Further conclusions and recommendations are additionally identified.