From Engagement to Empowerment: Project-Based Learning in Python Coding Courses
Document Type Article
Project-based learning (PBL) engages students deeply with course concepts and empowers them to drive their own learning through the development of solutions to real-world challenges. By taking ownership of and completing a project that they designed, students develop and demonstrate creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration skills. This paper describes two different software development projects, designed with a PBL approach, in Python coding courses at two business universities in the United States, in which students queried real-world data to answer their own questions and interpret the results. The authors contend that projects based on a PBL approach motivate students for selfexploration and allow for the measure of student learning. The authors present their respective projects, share examples of student work, and offer suggestions and lessons learned from implementing PBL assignments in their classrooms. Finally, the authors reflect, through sharing student comments, on how key aspects of PBL are manifest in this project and discuss challenges in offering and managing PBL assignments. With Python's popularity on the rise, these two class examples serve as a model for how instructors can incorporate autonomy in PBL assignments, offering a valuable learning opportunity for students to create software applications that meaningfully demonstrate their coding skills.