Project-based Business Classes


Experiential learning business classes, with client projects (action learning/learn by doing), have proven to be very appealing to students and the most effective life-long learning approach. This is a comprehensive faculty development training program on action learning education. It was developed for participants to learn the process and content/curriculum from validated best practices. Teaching techniques and class management insights lead to the ability to immediately launch and teach project-based courses.


Program Description

The objective of this program is to on-board professors utilizing an online educational, motivational, and experiential learning experience. Various delivery methods are employed: live, webinar program overview (on-site delivery option); reference library of all course materials including a recording of the webinar; and three hours of one-on-one, individualized coaching/mentoring provided by the training developer. The program can be completed in less than 4 weeks. The end results for professors are two-fold: (a) a completed, detailed syllabus that adds a project-based course to a professor's teaching portfolio and (b) a motivated professor excited to move forward.

The program presents the following three, proven course models in an easy to implement, learn by doing format:

  1. Real-world business situation, integrated into an existing class, as the foundation for a group project:
    1. Students identify a company and solve a business issue
    2. Faculty/school assist student teams identifying company/organization
  2. Client-based group project integrated into an existing class:
    1. Faculty/school/alumni identify client and scope project for the course
    2. Students may identify a client and, with faculty support, scope the project
  3. Creating a new course that has a client-based group project as the central focus of the class
    1. Projects are provided by a partner (e.g., alumni, donors, sponsors) of the university

There are three goals defining the successful completion of this program:

      1. Provide all participants with exposure to and training on each course model;
      2. Participants envision and develop their own project-based course; and
      3. Instill confidence for delivering the course because of the knowledge, skills, SME coaching/mentoring and tools provided.

To accomplish the goals, there are five tool kits with resources:

Five Tool Kits


Tool Kit Learning Objectives and Resources

      • Learning Objectives:
        • Understand the conceptual framework defining the learn by doing philosophy
      • Resources:
          • Experiential Learning Continuum
          • Skills Outcome Taxonomy



      • Learning Objectives:
        • Develop a project-based course and its syllabus
          • Determine the type of course to maximize learning outcomes
            • Real-world business situation or client-based group project (integrated into the existing course)
            • Client-based group project (new course)
          • Convert an existing or create a new course to the learn by doing approach
          • Enhance project-based course experience with student assignments/in-class engagement
        • Understand the student team development process
          • Advantages and disadvantages of three student team configurations
            • Student perspectives and faculty rationale
          • A timetable for creating and announcing teams to the class
      • Resources:
        • Course Calendars
        • Illustrative Syllabi
        • Team Configuration Options



      • Learning Objectives:
        • Understand the project acquisition process
          • Identifying, recruiting, timing, defining and managing sponsors’ expectations (including funding options, non-disclosure agreement)
          • Implement the project acquisition phase
            • Develop a plan
              • Calendar for the project acquisition and definition/scoping phases
              • Schedule contacts and an initial list of participating organizations/sponsors with follow-up recruitment script
              • Project definition/scoping process
            • Understand the project mentor (coach) role and how it is clearly delineated from the faculty
              • Learn a process for recruiting, screening and selecting mentors
                • Resources to identify and successful profiles to determine fit
              • Decision criteria for mentors as volunteers or paid an honorarium/stipend with funding source recommendations
      • Resources:
        • Illustrative NDA
        • Project Acquisition Process
        • Project Charter Template
        • Project Scoping Process
        • Project Mentor/Coach Role, Recruitment, Screening, Selection and Funding



      • Learning Objectives:
        • Maximize student’s integration of the course experience into a broader context by providing project management tools
        • Apply the reflection and insight process for leadership skill building and personal growth/development into the course’s life-long learnings
      • Resources:
        • Project Management Process
          • Workstream Templates
          • Kickoff Meeting Agenda Template
          • Student In-class Project Presentation Template
        • Internal and External Project Resources
        • Reflections/Insights Process Guide



      • Learning Objective:
        • Provide participants with relevant materials and publications to support their ongoing, experiential learning endeavors
      • Resources
        • ELFT program materials (toolkits, resources, program overview webinar) in a secure, online platform
        • PowerPoint Presentations
        • Frameworks
        • Bibliography





Proprietary Content Developed and Delivered by: Terri C. Albert, Ph.D., C.E.O., Fresh Set of Eyes.