The Learning Planet Festival: a Springboard for Sharing Innovative Practices
The Circle U. Think and Do Tank is building a network of professionals involved in innovative teaching. This way students across our nine institutions can have transformative learning experiences by tackling real life issues.
On January 26, a round table gathering Circle U. leaders from innovative training initiatives was organised at the Learning Planet Festival, an entire week of workshops, debates, games, screenings, forums and events dedicated to celebrating around the world new ways of learning and teaching. Organised online, the roundtable was in follow up to the mapping of flagship education initiatives in sustainable education led by the Circle U. Think & Do Tank. It was an opportunity to share best practices and to get inspired in the way to innovate the «4Is»:
- Integration of external stakeholders
- Internationalization of education
- Inter and trans-disciplinarity
- Involvement of students
The eight leaders openly shared the reasons why the initiative was set up, the main goals and specific features compared to more classical ones. They expressed the acheivements they were proud of as well as future actions they could reproduce and improve upon.
Combining The 4Is
The Q-programm at Humboldt University is an initiative fostering research-based learning by integrating students into research projects. The programme provides students the opportunity to carry out their own small projects early in their university life, to acquire research skills, as well as both theoretical and methodological knowledge.
Another interesting initiative is the Clinical Humanities & Wellbeing programme of modules that integrates creative and critical thinking from Arts and Humanities into the clinical curriculum of Oral Healthcare students. It supports mental health and personal sustainability of students that will integrate a professional environment with high levels of stress in times of increasing uncertainty.
Integrating External Stakeholders
Aarhus Stay Relevant Case Competition is a voluntary competition that enables students to use their knowledge, skills and competencies to create the best case solutions in solving real-life business issues. This initiative is an example of problem-based learning, collaboration between university and external partners, and a showcase on how competencies coming from humanities can make a diffrence in companies.
The Keeping London Wild! is a consulting project enabling marketing students to implement a communication campaign for an non-profit organisation. It is a good example of integrating external stakeholders, involving the London Wildfire Trust and King’s Business School. Students developed plans on how to better reach younger audiences via social media with the help of digital marketing communications tools and strategies.
City Studio Oslo, is a course whereby students across academic institutions and the City of Oslo collaborate through building and executing projects that address environmental and social challenges in the city. This project-based learning put student-led education and transferable skills at the forefront. It provides an opportunity to reflect on how they can work together, both within and across institutions and disciplines.
Student Centred Involvement
At King’s Business School, the initiative « This is something meaningful » puts challenge and research in action engaging students with real life equality and diversity marketing clients.
The Centre for Experimental Legal Learning (CELL) at the University of Oslo is a centre of excellence and innovation co-led with students, in which they participate in the design of new forms of teaching and learning.
Focusing on Internationalisation
The English Language Modules (ELM) implemented at the University of Belgrade illustrate a good example of cross-curricular integration aiming to mainstream the learning and teaching of English in all the core subjects of university education.
The Key Takeaways of Best Practice Sharing
The ontological shift in higher education points to transformative learning experiences by tackling real life issues. This stands as key factor in ensuring sustainable education in the terms that the Think & Do Tank outlined in the White Paper «Shaping the Future of Higher Education in a Changing World». On the other hand, fostering mobility opportunities and promoting multilingualism as a resource were seen as crucial to the internationalisation of education and global citizenship.
As recommendations for the Circle U. Think & Do Tank, participants mentioned the creation of signature pedagogies, the reflection on how to make our performance accountable, encouraging teamwork across boundaries (both geographically and disciplinary) and facilitating exchange and openness among partners.
All participants emphasized the challenges to implement such programmes in regular curriculum, the need to strengthen the accountability of performance, and to find the ways to merge the new with the traditional methods. They all acknowledge that such pedagogies make the training more meaningful, and that each occasion of sharing best practices are inspirational. With this round table, the Circle U. Think & Do Tank laid the foundation for establishing a network of professionals involved in innovative teaching.