Effectiveness of Project-Based Learning as a Strategy for Property Education

Author/s: Lee Hong Sharon Yam, Peter Rossini

Date Published: 1/01/2010

Published in: Volume 16 - 2010 Issue 3 (pages 291 - 313)


Project-based learning (PBL) is a student-centred instructional approach used to promote active and deep learning by involving students in investigating real-world issues in a collaborative environment. In this paper, we discuss how PBL was implemented in an introductory property course running in semester one, year one, which is offered in multiple modes of study. Two qualitative student surveys were conducted during the study period to solicit feedback from students on their learning experience. Comments from students suggested that PBL provides beneficial insight into the valuation process, and the field work and group exercises help motivate students and make the subject matter more interesting. University conducted, end of study period evaluations were used to compare the outcomes of the new course to other courses in the property program and the University. Finally, we identify a number of challenges in implementing PBL; these include workload issues, teachers ‘ content knowledge, lack of experience from both teachers and students, and the need to develop specialised material for off-campus study.

Download Full Article

Download the Full Article PDF

14445921.2010.11104306.pdf 14445921.2010.11104306.pdf (178kB)


Active Learning - Constructive Alignment - Deep Learning - Project-Based Learning


  • Adderley, K, Ashwin, C, Bradbury, P, Freeman, J, Goodland, S, Greene, J. Jenkins, D, Rae, J & Wren, O 1975, Project methods in higher education, Society for Research in Higher Education, Working Party on Teaching Methods: techniques group.
  • Anderson, RI, Loviscek, AL & Webb, JR 2000, ‘Problem-based learning in Real Estate Education,’ Journal of Real Estate Practice and Education, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 35–41.
  • Barron, BJS, Schwartz, DL, Vye, NJ, Moore, A, Petrosino, A, Zech, L, Bransford, JD & The Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt 1998, ‘Doing with understanding: lessons from research on problem- and project-based learning’, The Journal of the Learning Science, vol. 7, no. 3 & 4, pp. 271–311.
  • Biggs, J 2003, ‘Aligning teaching and assessing to course objectives’, in Proceedings of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: New Trends and Innovations Conference, Univeristy of Aveiro, 13–17 April.
  • Biggs, J & Tang, C 2007, Teaching for quality learning at university: what the student does, 3 edn, Society for Research into Higher Education & Open University Press, Maidenhead.
  • Blumenfeld, PC, Soloway, E, Marx, RW, Krajcik, JS, Guzdial, M & Palincsar, A 1991, ‘Motivating project-based learning: sustaining the doing, supporting the learning’, Educational Psychologist, vol. 26, no. 3 & 4, pp. 369–398.
  • Brown, S 2004, 500 Tips on assessment, Taylor & Francis Routledge, London. Brown, S 2008, ‘Fit-for-purpose assessment’, paper presented at ATN Assessment Conference: Engaging Students in Assessment, Univeristy of South Australia, Adelaide, 20–21 November.
  • Callanan, J & McCarthy, I 2003, ‘Property education in New Zealand: Industry requirements and student perception,’ Journal of Real Estate Practice and Education, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 23–32.
  • Cornish, S, Reed, R & Wilkinson, S 2009, ‘Incorporating new technology into the delivery of property education’, Pacific Rim Property Research Journal, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 303–320.
  • Felder, RM, Woods, DR, Stice, JE & Rugarcia, A 2000, ‘The future of engineering education II: teaching methods that work’, Chem. Engr. Education, vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 26–39.
  • Frank, M, Lavy, & Elata, D 2003, ‘Implementing the project-based learning approach in an academic engineering course’, International Journal of Technology and Design Education, vol. 13, pp. 273–288.
  • Grant, MM n.d., Getting a grip on project-based learning: theory, cases and recommendations, Meridian, A Middle School Computer Technologies Journal, viewed 5 September 2009, <http://www.ncsu.edu/meridian/win2002/514/>.
  • Green, AM 1998, ‘Project-based learning; moving students towards meaningful learning’, ERIC Database, ED422466.
  • in Proceedings of the 32 ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference
  • Havnes, A 2004, ‘Examination and learning: an activity-theoretical analysis of the relationship between assessment and educational practice’, Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 159–177.
  • Helle, L, Tynjala, P & Olkinuora, E 2006, ‘Project-based learning in post-secondary education - theory, practice and rubber sling shots’, Higher Education, vol. 51, pp. 287–314.
  • Houghton Mifflin n.d., Project-based learning space, viewed 5 September 2009, <http://college.cengage.com/education/pbl/index.html>.
  • Johnson, DW & Johnson, RT 1989, Cooperation and competition, theory and research, Interaction Book Company, Edina, MN.
  • Krajcik, JS, Czerniak, CM & Berger, CF 1999, Teaching science: a project-based approach, McGraw-Hill College, New York.
  • Krajcik, JS, Czerniak, CM & Berger, CF 2003, Teaching science in elementary and middle school classrooms - a project-based approach’, 2 edn, McGraw-Hill, New York.
  • Morgan, A 1983, ‘Theoretical aspects of project-based learning in higher education’, British Journal of Educational Technology, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 66–78.
  • Orrell, J 2008, ‘Assessment: Achieving improved efficiency, effectiveness, educational integrity, equity and ethical practice’, a paper presented at University of South Australia, Adelaide, 9 December.
  • Ramsden, P 2003, Learning to teach in higher education, 2 edn, RoutledgeFalmer, London.
  • Rowntree, D 1977, Assessing students: how shall we know them? Harper & Row, London.
  • Rust, C 2002, ‘The impact of assessment on student learning’, Active Learning in Higher Education’, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 145–158.
  • Shuell, T.J 1986, ‘Cognitive conceptions of learning’, Review of Educational Research, vol. 56, no. 4, pp. 411–436.
  • Silverman, D 2000, Doing qualitative research: a practical handbook, Sage Publications, California.
  • Struyven, K, Dochy, F & Janssens, S 2005, ‘Students’ perceptions about evaluation and assessment in higher education: a review’, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 325–341.
  • Tyler, RW 1949, Basic principles of curriculum and instruction, Univeristy of Chicago, Chicago.
  • Winn, S 1995, ‘Learning by doing: teaching research methods through student participation in a commissioned research project’, Studies in Higher Education, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 203–214.
  • Worthy, J 2000, ‘Conducting research on topics of student interest’, Reading Teacher, vol. 54, no. 3, pp. 298–299.
  • Yin, RK 2003, Case study research: design and methods, 3 edn, Sage Publications, London.
  • Yu, SM 2001, ‘New paradigms in real estate education’, Pacific Rim Property Research Journal, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 79–88.