Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Fourth International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Gentlestudent - The City as a Medium for Acquiring 21st Century Skills
Dries Vanacker, Lore Demedts, Hilde Van Puyenbroeck

Last modified: 08-05-2018


Students are inextricably linked to life in a city, where they face challenges during their study period and often take their first truly independent steps in life. The city is not only an important 'living' environment for students on their way to adulthood, but can also be considered as a dynamic learning centre where they can seize many learning opportunities. Various community service learning projects show that enrolling students in authentic community projects is not only enriching for the city, but for the professional development of students as well. Such projects promote in-depth learning, but also require a great deal of coordination and support from educational institutions and the professional field.

In the design study 'Cities for learning - Gentlestudent', we investigate how digital technology can connect the talents, ideas and knowledge of students with the needs of the community without direct intervention of the educational institution. Secondly, we explore how students can be encouraged to work more autonomously, starting from their own learning questions. Finally, we examine how we can valorise experiences from the informal curriculum in the formal curriculum and in function of lifelong learning by using microcredentials in the form of open badges.

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