Bridging Learning Value Gaps in a New Project Economy

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Katrenia Reed Hughes
Khushboo Kapadia
Brandon Sorge


Abstract: The current study used Blomquist’s Project Management Self-Efficacy assessment to collect data about student’s perceived project management competence before taking a graduate level project management course. The research utilized the PMSE assessment to measure actual and retrospective pre-course project management self-efficacy. No industry is immune to the need for skilled project managers. Our question is “how do you know…they know…what they say they know?” In recent years, PMI’s focus was The Project Economy. In the new project economy individuals need to transform ideas into reality and deliver value to stakeholders by collaborating in teams to successfully complete projects and support organizational value streams. Findings showed that individuals with previous project management experience were more likely to overestimate their skillset before taking the class than those without previous project management experience. This gap in project management skill insight puts employers at risk for missed opportunities and unrealized cost savings. Through the application of project management tools and templates, the students learn project life-cycle approaches used in industry today and demonstrate application through completion of actual projects in a team-based setting. The real-world application of ideas allows students to bridge the gap between their conceptual knowledge and their ability to effectively manage a project.  


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How to Cite
Reed Hughes, K., Kapadia, K., & Sorge, B. (2024). Bridging Learning Value Gaps in a New Project Economy. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 24(2). Retrieved from
Author Biographies

Katrenia Reed Hughes, IUPUI

Dr. Katrenia Reed Hughes, known by her students and clients as “Dr. K,” has a doctor of psychology (Psy.D) from Indiana State University, and a master’s in business administration from Butler University. She is an assistant professor of organizational leadership in Purdue's School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI. Her life mission is to help others put their passion to purpose. Her consulting firm, Passion2Purpose, LLC, provides STEM program evaluation, project management consulting, executive coaching, team development, performance assessment and strategic planning offerings. Dr. Reed Hughes is also available as a keynote speaker.


Whether functioning in the role of teacher, therapist, consultant, facilitator, change agent, trusted advisor, project manager, performance coach or colleague, her primary motivation remains constant. She meets people where they are to help them articulate and realize their goals. Dr. Reed Hughes' view of learning to successfully address life's challenges is inspired by Nelson Mandela’s words, "It always seems impossible until it’s done.”


In her most recent corporate role, she was an enterprise learning and development partner at OneAmerica in Indianapolis, Indiana. She has over a decade of experience teaching college students and 10 years working in corporate organizational development. While at Indiana State University, she had an opportunity to teach undergraduate psychology courses including abnormal psychology and human sexuality. Serving as the human sexuality course coordinator, she led a team of graduate teaching fellows. Her passion for teaching was recognized with an Educational Excellence Award in the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana State University. Dr. Reed Hughes enjoys being in the classroom and engaging with students outside of the classroom to advise and build confidence through the application of learning. Her background in psychology has served her well when it comes to building rapport with students from diverse backgrounds.

Khushboo Kapadia, IUPUI

Khushboo Kapadia is an experienced Graduate Assistant with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education. She is currently one of the Graduate Assistants for the department of Organization, Leadership, and Communication with experience in analyzing quantitative as well as qualitative data. Prior to starting her current position, she gained experience working as a recruitment coordinator in healthcare sector. She will be graduating in December 2019 with her MS in Technology degree as well as a certificate in Human Resources Development. ​Khushboo has traveled internationally since she was quite young and speaks 4 different languages (Urdu, Hindi, Gujarati, English). She is wise beyond her years and has been a critical member of the Organizational Leadership Project Management Research Program.

Brandon Sorge, IUPUI

Dr. Sorge is an assistant professor of STEM education research in the Department of Technology Leadership and Communication in the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI as well as a faculty fellow at the STEM Education Innovation and Research Institute. He received is PhD from Purdue University in Technology focusing on STEM workforce development policy. His work in STEM education has encompassed research and evaluation in K-12 education, DBER, and adult education all with a focus on the development of a diverse and STEM literate workforce. Previously, Dr. Sorge ran the day-to-day operations for the Indiana STEM Resource Network (I-STEM), a consortium of institutions of higher education, not-for-profits, business and industry, and K-12 schools, hosted by Purdue University. While with I-STEM, he co-founded the Indiana Science Initiative (ISI), which provides over 50,000 Indiana K-8 students and their teachers access to high-quality, research and inquiry-based science lessons.