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Project and Service-Based Learning: FreeCodeCamp Example

Learning Scenario:
Learning to code responsive websites using HTML, CSS, responsive design etc. Use gamification elements to motivate learners and keep them engaged, then assess aptitude through the completion of real coding projects for a non-profit client. 


Build a responsive website page for a non-profit according to specified criteria in design, functionality, code, etc. Break down the learning with micro-learning objectives. Validate learning by having students edit the code according to the principles discussed in the lesson. This combination of assessments would ensure that students are learning the necessary building blocks and then able to synthesize and translate their learning to deliver a functioning product. 

Connections to Learning Theories:

  • Project and service-based learning: skills are evaluated by the completion of a comprehensive project that incorporates the various learning objectives. Project creates a meaningful result for an authentic client.

  • Gamification: learners focus on problem-solving with immediate feedback, scaffolded learning, and progress indicators. Learners can simply try again if they do not succeed the first time and they focus on mastering the task at hand.

  • Andragogy: lessons and work are problem-centered. Students can self-direct learning to focus on topics of interest and they self-enlist in the course, typically when there is intrinsic motivation and direct impact and relevance to their personal objectives.


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