How to make education systems sustainable?

“Grandpa, what’s behind those gates?”
11-06-2015
The 2014-2015 Annual PREMIUM Closing Seminar
02-07-2015

How to make education systems sustainable?

SURF collected over 150 exhibits for the Battle of Concepts. Sustainability of the education process is hot topic among students. They have excellent ideas about sustainability with the use of IT. What were the best renewing ideas?

Surf is an IT collaboration of the Dutch higher education and research. This year they started an explorative study in the higher education among students. In collaboration with the national student network for sustainability ‘Morgen’, they started ‘the Battle of Concepts’. This is a contest among students in the higher education sector for challenging and innovative, but practical ideas to preserve the educational process. Students were asked to describe their ideas on 1 A4.

What’s on the minds of students?

Many proposals are based on the frustrations of students, for example the reports that often have to be handed in multiple copies. If every students would print 4 reports of 25 pages 3 times per year, as result on a yearly basis 180 million pages are printed by 600,000 students. Digital delivery and checking, as well as digital testing were ideas that were suggested often.

Push back the travel

Another common theme is the push back of the travelling of students and teachers; for many institutions this is the biggest cause of CO2 emission. Two solutions often mentioned to decrease this mobility: more e-learning possibilities and a better and dynamic timetable system. As a consequence, the amount of travelling will be brought back to a minimum.

The winners

  • First price is won by Steven van Selm from Leiden with FILE – The First Integrated Learning Experience. Stevens said that the educational material should also be shared outside the institution, in that way we could all benefit from the best material worldwide. A web portal should be developed, where aspects as combining educational resources and interaction with students and teachers can be found. In that way, he combines the objective of preserving the education with the improvement of the quality of education in terms of accessibility and study success. The jury agreed on the strong concept.
  • The second price is for Ruud Telman from the University of Twente with his proposal ADE – Adaptive Digital Examination. Ruud will investigate the possibilities to optimize digital testing, using different items and an adaptive selection of questions matched to the level of the examiner. Improvement of education quality and sustainability will move hand in hand.
  • The third price is for Lisa Wekenborg of the Radboud Universiteit for Appsent – the app against class eruption. Improvement of communication about class cancellation via an app, instead of using the mail. This entails faster and more effective interaction between institution and students. It collaborates well with the life experience of current students. The proposal works well for sustainability as it prevents unnecessary travelling. The idea can be procured on the short and contribute to the further digitalizing of the communication between institution and students.

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