The module ‘Learning Innovation for Enterprise (LIFE)’ of Dublin City University has won the ECIU Team Award for innovation in teaching and learning. The winners were announced in last week’s online ECIU Board meeting.
The LIFE programme is all about business and entrepreneurship. It’s a 7.5 ECTS first-year undergraduate module that is designed to illustrate how innovation unfolds in key commercial, entrepreneurial and organisational contexts.
The module helps students to learn the A-Z of business in all its forms through Hackathons, online learning, conference seminars, applied projects, reflective writing and through getting out there and hearing directly from businesses.
In developing the module, DCU team undertook detailed feasibility studies and benchmarking exercises to identify best practice internationally. The ability for undergraduate students to experience entrepreneurship in different contexts, such as corporate enterprise, family business, entrepreneurship and social enterprise, is an invaluable tool as they progress in their careers.
According to the evaluation committee this year the Team Award was surrounded by the challenges caused by the unpredictable situation of COVID–19. The winning project presented how different aspects of entrepreneurship were developed and implemented and how this worked together with different didactic solutions. ‘These initiatives have a major impact not only on students but also on the development of teachers ’ transversal skills’, says the evaluation report.
Tecnológico de Monterrey took the second place. They presented the i-Week, an ‘experimentation factory’ that provides freedom to faculty members to create innovative, short-term, immersive learning activities. Each year, students switch from their regular class schedules and classrooms to participate in the on-demand activities. Students can implement them in locations other than on-campus, partner with organizations, co-design them with colleagues, to challenge students from different campuses, majors, and semesters. The activities expose students to authentic situations, engaging them to inquire knowledge from multiple perspectives, closing the gap from theoretical concepts and practices. According to the jury report: ‘The presented practice can help to foster changes in the higher education arena.’
About the ECIU Team Award
Since 2017 the ECIU Team Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning recognises teams of people that play within and across universities in successfully developing and implementing educational innovations. In addition to the winner applications, this year ECIU received applications from University of Twente, University of Trento, Aalborg University, University of Aveiro and Kaunas University of Technology.
The evaluation committee consisted of Asta Daunoriene, Head of EDU Lab, Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (Kaunas University of Technology), Frank van den Berg, Senior Educational Consultant, Centre of Expertise in Learning and Teaching (University of Twente), Paola Lamiceli, Pro Rector for Teaching and Learning, CLab Trento (University of Trento), Alessandro Rossi, Associate Professor of Management and ECIU Team Award 2019 second place winner (University of Trento).