4. Learning activities

As the course coordinator, your role is to facilitate students' engagement in learning activities that enable them to achieve the intended learning outcomes. In a real life learning process, a combination of diverse learning activities can be utilized, ranging from knowledge transmission to students constructing their own abilities in a learning environment that fosters deep and meaningful learning. The chosen real life learning approach enhances the unique experience of working in a group on a real-life case with case owner(s). Here are five broad learning activities that can be implemented within a real life learning environment:

Defining the scope of the real-life assignment

You have the option to allow students to formulate their own research question. In this scenario, the project description provides a broad overview of the project's scope and the case owner's requirements. Students then work on developing a suitable research question, drawing upon available information from the case owner or scientific literature.

Interaction with the case owner

It is important that the wishes of the case owner are met, both while formulating the research question and during the execution of the project. To make sure that the students and the case owner are on the same line, regular interaction between them during the project is encouraged. You can for example think about a kick-off meeting where the case owner can explain the scope of the project and the students are able to ask questions about what they have in mind. Additionally, the students can plan weekly meetings with the case owner to discuss the progress in the project and ask their questions.

Collaborative group work

These projects necessitate students to work in groups, and the nature of these groups can vary (as described in chapter 3). Students must learn to collaborate effectively, leveraging their differences and similarities to their advantage. Larger groups with diverse characteristics (e.g., discipline, culture, motivation) may encounter additional challenges. As the course coordinator, you can support students in their group work by providing a process coach, for example.

Sharing the results

Upon completion of the project, students should present their findings in a manner that aligns with their academic level while being useful to the case owner. Results can be presented in written form, such as a report or policy brief. Additionally, you can choose to have students deliver oral presentations of their findings to you as the course coordinator and the case owner.

Reflection

To enhance students' self-awareness and understanding of their own and their peers' learning processes, consider incorporating reflection assignments into the course. These assignments encourage students to critically reflect on their achievements, learning experiences, perceived barriers, and areas for improvement. Reflection moments can be integrated throughout the course, such as weekly assignments, or consolidated at the end of the course, depending on your preferences.

By implementing these learning activities, you create a dynamic and comprehensive society engaged learning environment that supports students in achieving their learning outcomes while working on real-life cases.

Want to know more about next step?

▶ Got to STEP 5: Assesment & Refelection or

▶ Go back to STEP 1 : Setting the stage

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