Creating Responsive, Engaging, and tailored Education with students

Project: Teaching

Project participants


NEEDS and OBJECTIVES: The strategic objective of CREATES is to enhance practices that create a responsive, engaging and tailored education with students. There is a clear need for modernising higher education by making students more active in their education and encouraging them to take ownership of their studies. This approach fosters the skills graduates will need to be successful in the 21st century: innovation and creativity, participation and responsibility, as well critical thinking and informed judgement. However, this approach is still not widespread in European HE, which sometimes appears stuck in the 19th century.
In part this is because there is a great deal of scepticism towards this kind of education. Even in those institutions that are committed to this approach to education – as all partner institutions of CREATES are – difficult questions remain such as: “How to design, implement and assess courses which are co-created by students?” and “How to provide effective advising for sound curricular choices?”
The first objective of CREATES is to answer these questions, by producing and disseminating transferable tool-kits for better implementing this approach to education. The second objective is to inform decision-makers at HE institutions and in public policy about the relevance of this kind of education.
PROJECT TEAM: All partners in this project are committed to providing responsive, engaging and tailored education and have extensive experience with it. Together, they form a genuine European community of practice, that is at the forefront of educational innovation.
A key element of the joint project will be the production of:
- 4 versatile tool-kits for learning practices
- an academic paper
- a position paper
- policy recommendations for policy makers
ACTIVITIES AND OUTPUTS: The four tool-kits will contribute to the first major objective of CREATES. They will explore two ways of enhancing students’ engagement and responsibility: firstly, effective design, implementation and assessment of responsive and engaged learning on the module-level (design; process; assessment) and secondly, effective support for students in shaping a personalized curriculum (faculty advising, peer advising, self-advising). These tool-kits will be developed through intensive cooperation, in small teams made up of faculty from the partner institutions, practiced in training events, tested twice, and disseminated through open-access platforms. Throughout this process, students will be actively involved, mirroring the rationale of the project.
The second major objective of CREATES will be realized through the production of three outputs: an academic paper for the higher education research community, a report, describing justifications for and ways of implementing the educational strategies developed, targeted at decision-makers within HE institutions, and a policy-paper for HE policy makers on the national and European level.
The quality and timely implementation of each step of the project will be monitored by a central steering committee, together with a group of experts from various civil societies and a group of exemplary graduates from the partner institutions.
IMPACT and SUSTAINABILITY: CREATES is designed to benefit a variety of target groups, including:
– those directly participating in the project, by forming a sound community of practice;
– faculty and staff, both at partner institutions and at third institutions, who will be able to realize better learning practices
– students, who will be directly involved in the development and testing of the tools
– the national community of HE innovation;
– Higher-Education leaders and managers, who can initiate change within their own institutions in particular on the national level
– policy-makers on a national and European level, who will be able to base their decisions on better information, best practices and sound evidence.
The dissemination of the results from CREATES is an integral part of the project. Special importance is given to an open access website on which the toolkit and documents will be available and to the four multiplier events. The dissemination strategy ties into the long-term sustainability of the project in three ways:
– The results of CREATES will become part of each partner institution’s educational culture and learning practices;
– The open access web page will serve as a dynamic platform for a wider European network of institutions committed to this educational approach;
– All partner institutions are committed to further co-operation beyond the funding period and will be conducting researching, in a next step, how exactly these innovative practices stimulate students to take responsibility for their education and for society.