Project-based learning (PBL) is a modern tool for education. It is a standard part of bachelor’s and master’s degree programs at excellent universities. The Faculty of Transportation Sciences, CTU in Prague is no exception and is one of the trailblazers of the PBL teaching method in the Czech Republic as it has been in use since the establishment of the FTS in 1993.
PBL aims to focus university studies on solving practical questions and issues. Students get acquainted with various tools used to solve those issues during individual subjects of their studies. The PBL creates long-term knowledge, the ability of critical thinking, and innovative problem solving, all within a project team. The PBL helps to acquire soft skills and competencies that grow in importance every day. Graduates of 21st-century universities can no longer be expected to know everything and be fully prepared candidates for a specific job in today’s dynamic world after graduation. However, tomorrow’s society will certainly require people with innovative thinking, adaptability, and skills that computers cannot be taught. These people are independent, want and can learn during their lives, and will not be surprised by new technologies or related societal changes in the future.
As with building a team, the idea itself is far more simple than the implementation. Although the PBL at the Department of Air Transport is a standard part of studies, its implementation has taken and still has various forms. In this regard, the Department strives to take over the latest knowledge in educational methods, which means there is a gradual process of innovation of the PBL form. The cooperation of the Department with external subjects (aviation organizations) was established and expanded to share problems from practice to teaching. The projects are more interconnected and thus enable the now common interdisciplinarity. More and more students are working on real or ill-structured issues in the broader teams, and greater demands are being placed on their work and independence of thinking. The result is a further increase in the effectiveness of the PBL and the adjustment of the syllabi of fundamental subjects in individual study programs to meet its needs better.