Community-based learning is a relative new field of learning. It is a form of experiential learning with the aim at accomplishment of tasks, which meets genuine human needs, as well as the execution of the tasks that serve as an educational and learning tool aimed at the acquisition of a number of important life skills by the students.
The Faculty of Engineering at the University of Pretoria implemented as from 2005 a new compulsory module, Community-Based Project , for all undergraduates . The eight-credit module is offered on an open-ended and project-orientated basis . The students attended compulsory orientation sessions and then submitted their projects in the form of a proposal for evaluation and approval. Only then students started with their fieldwork. After the students have done their fieldwork they reported on their experiences and lessons learnt via a presentation and webpage report. A mini-conference on the outcomes of this module took place on the October 2007.
The main objective with this module is the execution of a community service related project aimed at achieving a beneficial impact on a chosen section of society, preferably but not exclusively, by engagement with a section of society which is different from the student's own social background. This module also aims to develop an awareness of personal, social and cultural values as well as multidisciplinary and life skills, such as communication, interpersonal and leadership skills.