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Today’s employers want to hire graduates who do not only possess technical knowledge and skills, but can also be entrepreneurial and lead innovation in the 21st century. For example, IBM states that it is looking for entrepreneurial people with depth of knowledge in at least one discipline but also with the breadth of knowledge that would allow the individuals to innovate and to acquire new in-depth knowledge as needed. As educators of the future workforce, Higher Education institutions are facing increasing demand to prepares students with new competencies suitable for the changing labor force. Project based learning (PBL) is a pedagogical approach that can support development of student competencies that prepare them to function in highly unstructured environments where tasks are not clearly defined and evolve as the work progresses.
During the workshop, participants explored the potential benefits of project based learning. Dr. Oleg Pavlov presented some features of the project based education at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), a leading university of this approach in the U.S. In Russia, WPI has been working closely with the Financial University since 2014.
Dr. Oleg Pavlov is an associate professor of economics and system dynamics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts, USA. He has been teaching at WPI while utilizing the project based learning for the past 15 years and he is currently an associate director of the WPI’s Moscow Project Center. His research expertise is in multi-sector computational analysis that accounts for feedback and resistance to change often exhibited by complex systems. He published on such topics as electronic marketplace, medical education, computational finance, political economy and economic growth. Dr. Pavlov is past president of the Economics Chapter of the System Dynamics Society and a Coleman Foundation Faculty Entrepreneurship Fellow. He holds a B.S. in Physics/Computer Science as well as M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from University of Southern California and an M.B.A. from Cornell University.