Globally, design-based learning (DBL) is seen as a powerful method to support students in becoming creative and innovative thinkers and to develop associated and relevant skills. The role of the coach is very important in DBL. The coach strongly affects what students learn from DBL and how they perceive it. Coaching, though, is for many scientists a complex skill. They are oftentimes not educated to coach. Consequently, many academic teachers shape their coaching based on experience, intuition, and common sense. As a result, there is an urgent need to inform academic teachers about evidence-based principles of good coaching.
In their strategic plans all 4 TUs emphasise the need for change in the engineering programmes to prepare the students for the challenges of tomorrow, in a context that is only partly known yet. New skills are needed. New teaching methods have been developed, mostly based on group learning, with Challenge Based Learning as the new kid on the block. These developments have led to renewed interest in the role of learning spaces and how these spaces can contribute to and influence group learning and the development of new skills. Against this background the 4TU have organised an innovative learning spaces tour: visits to AMS and the four TU’s to see examples of innovative learning spaces and get inspired by what is done by colleagues and at other universities. On 4 February 35 lecturers, education scientists, education managers and support staff from the 4TU visited the University of Twente.
The Joint interdisciplinary Project (JiP) has run very successfully for a second time this academic year with 50 students from 8 different faculties. Eleven companies were involved in coaching and evaluating of students on a company brief. The JiP education programme consists of working on a design case provided and coached by a company. The brief with the problem is related to minimally 2 of the sustainable development goals (SDG) and solved in an interdisciplinary team of engineers, designers and scientists during a 10 weeks full-time education quarter. Students are based in the company part of the time and become acquainted with many key persons in the company, such as the CEO/Head R&D. During the process, there is a kick-off, including teambuilding, skills drill and most importantly: technical business courses such as business model canvas, agile working, technical innovation, risk assessment and critical assumption testing. During the 10 weeks, three major reviews with academic staff and company coaches for the assessment of the work are taking place. The course is finalised with a public defense, open to a wide audience.
Boundary Crossing (BC) competence is regarded as one of the major competencies needed by future Wageningen University & Research (WUR) graduates to respond to emerging global challenges. It is therefore at the forefront of the educational vison of WUR. BC competence is the competence to work together with others outside one’s own scientific domain, institute, culture or context. To contribute to students’ BC competence development and to further improve and implement boundary crossing experiences in Wageningen University, a Comenius Leadership Fellow was granted for the three year project: “Boundary crossing as modus operandi at Wageningen University”. This Comenius project aims to (1) develop a conceptual foundation for the development of BC competence, (2) to design and implement learning pathways, and (3) to compile a BC toolbox for and with lecturers, course coordinators, and management.
A group of 15 honours programme students from TU Delft visited South Korea in the summer of 2019. The goal of this study trip was threefold: to learn (a) to what extent innovation is integrated into education and how it is used to improve it, (b) what major technological developments are embraced by Korean companies, and (c) how the engineering culture in South Korea differs from the engineering culture in the Netherlands. Over the course of 2 weeks the students visited several institutions that are at the forefront of the developments, including Samsung, Hyundai Heavy Industries, the Dutch embassy and the Korean Institute for Science and Technology.