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Crime Scene Investigation, game-based learning and simulation education in an ambulance are but a few of the projects that were highlighted on February 10th.

On Vrije Universiteit Brussel’s Day of Educational Innovation a large number of the newest advances in education were presented, a few of which will be selected for further funding. This initiative is aimed at stimulating didactic developments. The full program can be found here

 

Every year professors and teaching teams of Vrije Universiteit Brussel can submit a project proposal for educational innovation, a selection of which will receive funding from the Fonds OnderwijsVernieuwingsProjecten (Fund for Educational Innovation Projects). The goal of this fund is to stimulate and broaden the newest educational developments in all their aspects.

 

Learning is innovating
In 2015 a total of 12 projects were honored. During the Day of Educational Innovation the project teams got the chance to present their projects and their results to the entire VUB teacher corps. Vice rector Education and Student Affairs Jan Danckaert was also in attendance and spoke at the event.

“Innovating is synonymous with learning, and learning is synonymous with innovation. In a way educational innovation is therefore a pleonasm. Reflecting on education, and thus innovating, is something we want to stimulate at VUB.”
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Jan Danckaert

In what follows we outline a few projects. All projects of the passing year were presented on February 10th.

 

Game-based learning
Prof. Kim Willems, ES (Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences & Solvay Business School)
“This project intended to support the development of a VUB-personalised strategic marketing business game, to be used primarily for the course “Strategic Marketing” in the Management program. But this business game, where students are submerged in a simulated business practice to let them get acquainted with entrepreneurship and management in an interactive way, can probably also be interesting for other programs. We hope to identify opportunities for a broader roll-out to the rest of the VUB at this event.”

 

Student start-up as learning environment
Prof. Joke Bauwens, Prof. Pascale Verhoest, ES (Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences & Solvay Business School)
“The Communication science department aims to concretise one of the five pillars of VUB’s vision on education, i.e. preparing students for a professional career, with this project. In designing a student start-up we want to further intensify our commitment to developing cross-curricular attitudes, skills and knowledge, as well as stimulate the personal development of our students (creativity, responsibility, innovative thought and sense of initiative). With the implementation of this educational form we meet the ever increasing demands expected of recently graduated communication and media professionals.”

 

Crime Scene Investigation: integrated practicum Biology     
Prof. Harry olde Venterink, WE (Faculty of Sciences and Bio-engineering sciences)
“Goal of this project was the creation of a brand new practicum in the Biology bachelor program where biology majors get an in-depth look at integrating chemical, physical, mathematical and biological techniques to measure and analyse biological processes. All existing lab work assignments were brought together in a forensic research (“crime scene investigation”) framework, which allows the students to experience applied biological techniques they are familiar with from popular media or their daily lives, which leads to a better connection between the often thought of “though” support courses and the day-to-day worlds of biology students.”

 

Simulation education: first aid for trauma patients
Prof. Luc Huyghens, GF (Faculty of Medicine and Pharmaceutical sciences)

“This project continued to build on the concrete implementation of simulation education within the faculty of medicine and pharmaceutical sciences. The central objective was the realisation of a realistic simulation during the pre-hospital phase of trauma patients in a dedicated environment. Thereto an ambulance and urgent intervention vehicle were equipped and furnished as a learning environment. Further, a multidisciplinary group of instructors was brought together to further develop this form of simulation education, intended to roll it out to the bachelor programs of medicine and nursing.”

 

About the Fund for Educational Innovation Projects
Vrije Universiteit Brussel provides resources for so-called Educational Innovation Projects. These projects offer (groups of) teaching professors concrete opportunities to further develop their educational programs.

The fund was endowed to warrant the continuity of educational innovation. The general framework is the vision on education at Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the chosen strategy is that of a combination of bottom-up initiatives with financial support from central resources. The educational innovation and support department coordinates the selection of these projects and offers didactic guidance.

All the information to partake in the 2017 call for projects can be found here.