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Problem-oriented Project Learning PPL: The 7 principles

Problem-oriented Project Learning (PPL) is the pedagogical model at Roskilde University. PPL is based on 7 principles, that form the common benchmarks for an education at RUC. PPL is primarily associated with project work, but is also relevant in courses.

Project work. In project work, you will develop and formulate a relevant problem, which you will investigate by utilising what you learn in your courses. In project learning, you work on a problem over an extended period of time, arriving at a deeper, more complex understanding. You also develop important competencies in terms of entering into and managing long-term investigations

Participant control. All participants – you, your fellow students, your teacher/supervisor and your study regulations –play a role in the definition of relevant topics, issues, methods and learning goals. The principle of participant control makes academic and professional dialogue and negotiation central to the definition of problems and the creation of knowledge.

Problem orientation. The projects at RUC are oriented towards understanding and solving real world issues through the use of theory and scientific methods. In this way, PPL uses scientific research as its role model. The hallmark of PPL at Roskilde University is that you help to define problems, rather than simply answering questions or responding to assignments given by others. This develops your ability to define and assess problems.

Exemplarity. Exemplarity means that you should be able to explore an issue in depth without losing the broader perspective. You must understand, and be able to explain how a specific issue relates to more general questions within the field.

International insight and vision. The principle of international insight and vision develops your ability to identify, analyse and reflect on global, national and regional challenges. The knowledge and insight you gain will develop your global awareness and citizenship, intercultural understanding and communication, critical engagement, tolerance and respect.

Interdisciplinarity. Real problems often challenge us to think beyond academic subjects. Interdisciplinarity enables you to explore your problem in a new way, so that new and better approaches can be incorporated into the answers. Interdisciplinarity is a principle that ensures that traditional academic fields become a resource rather than an end in themselves.

Group Work. The PPL principle of group work is based on the belief that you can explore a problem in greater depth with others than you can on your own. In group work each student contributes his or her own perspective. The ensuing diversity generates important academic discussions about the project, reinforcing both individual reflective skills and mutual learning. Your experience of getting group work to function optimally will prepare you for cooperation in other contexts, for example the labour market.