In project oriented learning, project proposals are derived from realistic problem situations; student teams work on the project from day 1 of classes, and the project chosen drives
contents, theories and methods required to finish the product that solves the problem. Students become responsible of learning whatever they need to finish their project, while
professors become facilitators of learning and team work.
This report describes the process and results of an online graduate course that combined the POL methodology combined with the learning by immersion method. Students assumed a
trimester-long role-playing exercise, where they became Authors contracted by a fictitious cyberspace publishing house in order to produce several digital products, including e-books, tutorials, web site designs and others, all related to the Learning Organization area. They were responsible for defining what problem was solved by their product; actually choosing the kind of product and its contents; researching needed material; and building the product following a strict project methodology that emphasized documentation and included
individual, team and plenary reflections on learning and process.
While this great amount of freedom and the unusualness of the publishing house web sitecourse created some episodes of uncertainty and anguish, these were mostly overcome as time passed and all 11 student teams finished worthwhile products while developing social, project management and metacognitive abilities. The course design and the research were done in the context of a collaborative agreement between Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico and Aalborg University in Denmark. Both Mexican and Danish students participated, although most of the later dropped out due to cultural and technological
problems discussed in the report.
An important outcome from this experiment is that the methods used for the POL process are to be recommended for open minded professors who can adapt to the facilitator role.