Tag: Innovedum

Showcase MOOC: Designing Resilient Regenerative Systems

Supported by Innovedum, a new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is happy to introduce itself: The new ETHZ Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) series entitled “Designing Resilient Regenerative Systems” (DRRS) directly addresses sustainability transitions in complex systems as for dealing with nested crises. Professor Tobias Luthe tells us about his new MOOC and why it’s so exciting.

The DRRS MOOC series hybridizes sustainability science, systemic design and transformative action. It provides worldviews, tools, illustrations and transformative networks to build capacities and engage in systemic innovation of complex systems. The MOOC series is featuring a virtual-real didactic concept, where local physical social outdoor action in the region the participant lives, is stimulated and incubated by virtual means. 

The learning content is focused on stimulating new cultures beyond the current often disciplinary and compartmentalized approach to science: for hybridizing the analytical tools of science with the iterative doing of design, and the urge for transformative action. And this across spatial and governance scales, from green chemistry, materials, products, buildings, cities, landscapes, regions and transnational cooperation.

The MOOCs’ didactics are designed to combine time and place independent virtual learning through pre-recorded conversations and presentations, both accessible as movies and audio files, readings, and practical engagement outside in nature. Virtual content is meant to stimulate physical and social interaction in the bio-region where the participant lives. Systemic Cycles takes the participants on a conscious exploration of place and regional supply chain actors on their bicycle, to playfully learn systemic design methods, to weave together local and regional networks and to explore the inner self through physical activity. An accompanying visual mapping process called Gigamapping acts as a designerly way to co-create your own learning journey and connect across the MOOC series to your final transformative design project. Your personal QUEST guides you through your learning journey. Weekly live tutorials in an online forum offer opportunities to discuss and brainstorm with teachers. Participants learn together with diverse experts in their field – sustainability scientists, systemic designers, consultants, local and European politicians, book authors, builders, mountain guides, self-compassion trainers, and together co-create and connect communities of practice for learning and engagement opportunities Starting May 9th 2022 on EdX – free participation w/o costs possible.

Exciting real-world illustrations will take participants to Hemsedal Norway, Annecy France, Ostana Italy, and Mallorca Spain – from material supply chains, to products, buildings, communities and their services, to landscapes, bio-regions, and transnational cooperation. This offers a comparative understanding of communities and regions undergoing sustainability transitions across different contexts, cultures, climates and geographies.  

The prominent methods participants will learn are systemic design and systems-oriented design, social network analysis, resilience assessment, life cycle and footprint analysis, circularity mapping, visual dialogue, cross-scale design, “view from above” perspectives, biomimicry, transdisciplinary research, real-world elaboration – and how this “cocktail” of methods becomes part of new cultures to deal with complexity and uncertainty. 

For more information on this MOOC visit:  https://systemicdesignlabs.ethz.ch/drrs-mooc/

We would be happy to talk with you about our experiences in making this MOOC!

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Neues Fokusthema Innovedum Fonds

Zum 1. März 2022 gibt es ein neues Fokusthema «Bildungsmedien für Visualisierung und Simulation» für Projektförderung im Innovedum Fonds. Zusammen mit diesem Fokusthema und den drei bestehenden setzt der Rektor und die Lehrkommission der ETH neue Schwerpunkte im Fonds Innovedum.

Mit dem neuen Fokusthema sollen interaktive Visualisierungen und Simulationen für den Unterricht entwickelt und erprobt werden. Diese Medien sollen praktische oder persönliche Unterrichtsszenarien nicht ersetzen, sondern ergänzen. Es wird erwartet, dass die Projekte in Zusammenarbeit zwischen den Lehrkräften, dem Emerging Educational Media Hub am LET und den Studierenden entwickelt werden. Ein wichtiges Ziel solcher Projekte ist es, nachhaltige Bedingungen für die Projektleitenden zu schaffen, so dass sie die Medien in Zukunft unabhängig entwickeln und weiterentwickeln können.

Bevorzugte Entwicklungsplattformen sind Unity (https://unity.com) oder Jupyter (https://jupyter.org) in Verbindung mit IPython (https://ipython.org/notebook.html). 

Beispiel einer Simulation mit Python. Hier die Lorenzkraft. Links eine Visualisierung. Rechts der Python Code.
Visualisierung der Lorenzkraft mit einer Simulation in Python.

Das Thema «Hindernisfreie Lehre» fokussiert auf die Zugänglichkeit der Lehre (Materialien, Online/blended/flipped Kurse, Methoden und Technologien) für alle Lernenden.  (à Anton als Ansprechpartner verlinken).

Das dritte Fokusthema «Online-Lernmodule ausserhalb der Präsenzzeit» werden gezielt Projekte gesucht, welche die Studierenden durch den gezielten Einsatz von Methoden und Technologien (Online-Module) auf die Präsenzzeit vor- oder nachbereiten.

Zu guter Letzt werden mit «Lernen und Prüfen in Gruppen» Fokusprojekte gefördert, die kollaborative Aktivitäten für Studierende in der Lehre (physisch und online) integrieren, insbesondere auch solche, die diese Aktivitäten prüfungsrelevant machen.

Ein Fokusprojekt bei Innovedum hat eine Obergrenze von 60 kFr und die Begutachtung dauert rund 4 Wochen.

Um die ganze Breite an innovativen Lehrideen an der ETH abdecken zu können, fördert der Innovedum Fonds auch Blended Learning und MOOC Projekte, ebenso wie themenunabhängige umfangreichere Lehrprojekte.

Der nächste Eingabetermin ist der 1. März 2022. Antragsberechtigt sind ETH-​Angehörige mit einer Anstellung von mindestens 50 Stellenprozenten und einem Lehrauftrag. Mehr Informationen finden Sie unter: www.innovedum.ethz.ch

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Your mission: Build an intelligent boat

In a project-based course, students learned to apply materials knowledge and skills to the construction of a boat that could navigate an unknown terrain using artificial intelligence. We talked with the two lecturers Rafael Libanori and Henning Galinski, and the department’s Educational Developer Lorenzo De Pietro to find out more about this innovative course in the Department of Material Sciences.

Lukas Wooley and Sebastian Gassenmeier get their boat ready.

What triggered this experiment? 

Originally, we were inspired by AP50, a project and team-based introductory physics course taught at Harvard. We wanted to do more with problem-based learning at ETH Zurich and achieve a different kind of learning environment. Students tend to expect that lectures just “give the knowledge”, but there is so much more to teaching. We realised it’s important to teach students how to learn more efficiently and take more responsibility for their own learning. In this course, we give students scientific questions to answer themselves. We wanted them to start taking risks and to have the freedom to fail, which is what science is all about. It’s not just theoretical input. Interpersonal and technical skills are just as important as academic skills.

A hand is shown holding a small home-made boat. There are lots of electronic elements visible.

What exactly did you do? We applied for Innovedum funding and when we were successful recipients we created a course that gives the students a project that has a connection to material sciences, as well as other areas such as controlling and artificial intelligence. We receive support from Antonio Loquercio in the controlling and computer vision part. He is currently a Post-Doc at the University of Berkley, California. Without him, it would have been very difficult to achieve the computational goals of the project. Students attended 4 weeks of theoretical classes and then started working in teams. The goal is to construct a model boat which can intelligently navigate a course using the Materials Design Lab at D-MATL. We also employed PhD students as coaches to support the students. 

What were the results?  We had 16 students who completed the course in the spring of 2021. The challenges were big and so we were thrilled by the final outcomes. The students took it seriously and at the end of the course there were four final boats. The students displayed great creativity, such as building small experimental set-ups along the way. They were able to solve problems on their own, in groups and learn from each other. 

What is the student perspective? Students were frustrated initially because we took a passive approach to communicating knowledge, but they saw the benefit of this approach at the end. We believe that learning should strain their abilities and that it is iterative. But it is wonderful that it ended on a celebratory note with the functional boats that successfully navigated the terrain. 

What lessons did you learn? We realised that in the future we need to spend more time explaining our approach to teaching and clarifying expectations right from the start. We also plan to pay close attention to the gender-balance among our students as we want to maintain a good mix as the course grows.

What are your plans for the future regarding this project? Due to the current curriculum revision projects in our department, there will likely be an increase in hands-on courses like this one. So, this course represents a new way of teaching, like a prototype for the new curriculum. The results will be looked at closely and are quite important for future decision-making in the department. Teaching this way is also a development opportunity for the lecturers. 

What first steps do you advise for others who are interested in doing the same? We think it is important that teaching is viewed as a design science, in other words that it benefits from careful planning and time. We recommend visiting other courses that already use this kind of approach and speaking with the course leaders to gain inspiration and practical ideas for implementing project and problem-based learning in your own course. We would be happy to share our experiences with others.

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10 things to consider when applying for an Innovedum project

If you teach at ETH and think about innovating your teaching, Innovedum is just around the corner. Dr. Erik Jentges, educational developer at the department of management, technolgy, and economics, has been involved in several reviews and writings for Innovedum projects. You might want to check out his 10 tips when applying for an Innovedum project:

  • Identify the correct grant scheme
  • State your idea clearly
  • Give us your context
  • Feature the voice of learners
  • Demonstrate that you talked to educators and didactic experts
  • Present a realistic project plan
  • Assume supportive reviewers
  • Put your didactic innovations front and center
  • Think beyond your project
  • Share your learnings

In addition to the last point, a coherent evaluation plan should be part of the propoal. This will help project leaders in the discussion and dissemination of project results.

More information on evaluation criteria and the process at Innovedum can be found here. The next deadline for Innovedum project submissions is 1 October 2021.

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New ideas for Innovedum, the ETH innovative teaching fund

With the Innovedum Fund, ETH has an extremely successful instrument for promoting innovative teaching, especially with regard to community building (cf. Reinhardt, Korner, Walter, 2019). Topics such as student engagement (Healey, Flint & Harrington, 2014) and Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (Martensson & Roxa, 2015) are increasingly being considered globally as an important part of educational development activities. With this in mind, the Innovedum application process became the focus of a rethink and revision in 2020. The application process was updated to a webform and new criteria were included in the application process. These were; inclusion of the student perspective, dissemination of Innovedum projects results and communication. 

Inclusion of the student perspective in the project design and the planned project implementation

To encourage future applicants to take the student perspective into account, a new question was added to the application form. This is to meet the express wish of the Rector to further student perspectives and involvement when developing projects that innovate teaching and learning at ETH. Since the purpose of Innovedum is to have a positive effect on teaching and learning, it is important that the opportunity to include students in the application process is available:

Student Involvement: Describe whether and how students were involved in the preparation and review of this project application. How will students be involved in project implementation?

This question provides the project applicant with the freedom to decide if and how students can be involved in a possible project, while also pointing out easy steps how this could be done. 

Dissemination of Innovedum Projects: Spreading good Teaching and Learning at ETH

Currently there is a public project database and various community events (Refresh TeachingLearning and Teaching Fair) where Innovedum projects are made visible. To compliment this an explicit expectation to systematically reflect on the effectiveness of Innovedum projects is now also part of the application and reporting process. Applicants are now encouraged to consider the impact the project will have on teaching and learning and therefore develop a coherent evaluation strategy from the beginning.

Evaluation strategy: Describe the evaluation strategy you will use to check achievement of project goals and effects on teaching. What approaches will you use? Are you planning measures for identifying interim results? If so, how will these results flow back into the project?

For help with designing an evaluation strategy apropriate lecturers can always contact their LSPs or LET.  

Project communication: Making project insights visible

Taking the findings made during the evaluation and sharing them with others will make it easier for new applicants to profit from the lessons others have learned and increase the quality of their own applications. Ultimately a clearer picture of how innovation in teaching in learning works at ETH will emerge and flow back in to educational development as a whole. 

Project communication: How do you plan to publicise and document the progress of the project? What form will the final report for the Innovedum project database take? How will you disseminate project results?

There are a multitude of spaces both at ETH and beyond where results and experiences can be shared. At ETH the following spaces are available:

  • LET-Blog. The blog is a place where effective and innovative teaching is featured as well as general projects and activities relating to teaching and learning. www.blogs.ethz.ch/letblog 
  • Refresh Teaching. A lunch-time seminar series where lecturers share and discuss their innovations in teaching.  www.refreshteaching.ethz.ch
  • Innoview and Competence view are two different dynamic websites which respectively feature innovative teaching projects or projects where cross-disciplinary competencies are explicitly fostered.  
  • Learning and Teaching Journal. The Journal publishes discussion as well as systematic reflections regarding discipline specific contributions.

Please contact LET (beratung@let.ethz.ch) if you want to share your teaching project in one of these spaces. Any kind of projects are welcome, funded and non-funded.

Beyond ETH there are frequent conferences where teaching staff are welcome to present such projects. The Swiss Faculty Development Network hosts an annual conference of this nature and scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) conferences are also a great opportunity.

The Education Developer in your Departement (https://ethz.ch/en/the-eth-zurich/education/educational-development/netzwerk-lehrspezialisten.html) can advise and support the communication of your project.

You can find further information on the Innovedum website or contact the Innovedum office. Applications deadlines for focal and teaching projects are March 1st and October 1st every year.  

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Studierende setzen Initiative für die Lehre an der ETH um.

Im Oktober 2019 hat die Lehrkommission zum ersten Mal eine studentische Studiengangsinitiative positiv beurteilt und die Rektorin hat die Initiative in der Folge bewilligt. Diese Initiative heisst ROSE* und wurde von Studierenden über ein Jahr lang bearbeitet und setzt ihre Vision für mehr Integration und Interdisziplinarität in der Lehre um. Dieser Erfolg soll gefeiert werden! Wir haben uns mit den verantwortlichen Studierenden Medea Fux, Patrick Althaus und Adrian Süess unterhalten. 

*ROSE bedeutet Revolution OSTEM Education

Three faces of students look at the camera. First a blond white woman with glasses and a white flower in her hair, next a young white man with a serious look on his face, next a young white man with glasses who is smiling.
Medea Fux, Adrian Süess und Patrick Althaus.
Die drei Hauptpersonen

Was ist ROSE?

ROSE ist ein Lehrprojekt von Studierenden für Studierende. Das Ziel ist es, eine neue Lehrveranstaltung einzuführen, in der Studierende in interdisziplinären Gruppen (jede Person kommt aus einem anderen Studiengang) während einem Semester an einem Projekt arbeiten. Viele Konzepte sind an die ETH Woche angelehnt, mit dem Unterschied, dass ROSE über ein Semester verteilt stattfindet und dass ROSE in die Curricula der Bachelorstudiengänge an der ETH integriert werden soll. 

Was hat euch dazu bewegt dieses Projekt zu starten?

An der ETH erlernen Studierende viel wertvolles Wissen und Können, jedoch sind wir der Meinung, dass insbesondere überfachliche Kompetenzen bisher zu wenig vermittelt werden. Hierzu gehört z.B. die Zusammenarbeit in einem diversen Team, Kommunikation und gemeinsame Entscheidungsfindung, Selbstreflexion und die Fähigkeit Kritik zu erhalten und zu geben. Es gibt an der ETH bereits einige extracurriculäre Angebote, die solche Fähigkeiten fördern. Jedoch möchten wir alle Studierenden erreichen und nicht nur diejenigen, die es noch schaffen, zusätzlich zu ihrem Studium solche Veranstaltungen zu besuchen. 

Wie verliefen die Gespräche an der ETH?

ROSE ist auf die Zusammenarbeit zwischen verschiedenen Teilen der ETH angewiesen, dies gilt insbesondere für die verschiedenen Departemente. In vielen Bereichen, besonders in der Lehre, arbeiten die Departemente sehr unabhängig voneinander und jede interdepartementale Zusammenarbeit ist mit einem hohen Koordinations- und Kommunikationsaufwand verbunden. Dies hat uns im bisherigen Prozess immer begleitet, und wir möchten auch etwas dazu beitragen, solches Zusammenarbeiten generell zu vereinfachen. 

Eine weitere Herausforderung war oft die Kommunikation über unser Projekt. Unter dem Begriff ‘Interdisziplinarität’ verstehen gefühlt alle etwas anderes und so sieht es auch mit anderen Begriffen wie ‘überfachliche Kompetenzen’, ‘Projektarbeit’, ’studentisches Projekt’ usw. aus. Eine gemeinsame Sprache zu finden ist wichtig und hier begrüssen wir sehr die Einführung des ETH Competence Framework, auf welches wir uns auch in ROSE stützen. 

Welche positiven Erfahrungen habt ihr während dem Prozess gemacht?

Es gibt an der ETH viele Personen die sich für eine Weiterentwicklung der Lehre einsetzen und einsetzen wollen und die auch bereit dazu sind Studierendenprojekte zu unterstützen. Generell erhielten wir oft positive Rückmeldungen dazu, dass das Projekt direkt von Studierenden kommt. 

Was wünscht ihr würden Dozierende anders machen?

Wir wünschen uns, dass häufiger Erkenntnisse der Lehrforschung und Erfahrungen von Lehrexpert*Innen direkt von den Dozierenden in den Unterricht aufgenommen werden. Wir denken, dass es hier noch viel Potential gibt, welches bei erhöhter Zusammenarbeit verschiedener Personen genutzt werden kann. 

Was würdet ihr gerne anderen Studierenden sagen, die auch Ideen haben?

Falls ihr coole Ideen habt, wie man Dinge an der ETH verändern könnte, ob im Kleinen oder im Grossen, zögert nicht die irgendwo einzubringen. Dies könnt ihr z.B. über euren Fachverein oder den VSETH tun, oder ihr informiert euch über die verschiedenen Möglichkeiten an der ETH Projekte vorzuschlagen. Wichtig ist dabei aber nicht zu vergessen, dass häufig nicht die Idee an sich wertvoll ist, sondern die konkrete Umsetzung davon. Beispiel ROSE: wir finden unsere Idee ist nicht sehr innovativ, der Grund für den bisherigen Erfolg liegt wohl mehr darin, dass wir ein Konzept erarbeitet haben, das zeigt, dass ROSE theoretisch umsetzbar ist. Ab nächstem Jahr geht es dann los mit der praktischen Umsetzung davon. 

Wenn Sie mehr über ROSE erfahren wollen können Sie über diese Emailaddresse Kontakt mit der Projektgruppe aufnehmen.

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Learning from 18 years of fostering Teaching and Learning innovation

For more than 18 years, ETH has consistently been fostering Teaching and Learning (T&L) innovation through funding provided by Innovedum*. The funded projects have helped to transform teaching practices sustainably both in individual courses and curricula. But what else have we learned from it?

To find answers the Innovation management group at LET has reflected on how this innovation process has evolved. We evaluated 15 years of data and arrived at two key findings. The first is that community building activities (such as our lunchtime seminars and the Learning and Teaching Fair) have become the basis for fostering T&L innovation at ETH. These activities bring together project leaders, faculty members, educational developers and policymakers and provide a platform for teaching staff to share information and insights gleaned from their projects. These events are driven by the concept of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) which aims for systematic reflections on how individual teaching interventions and innovation projects improve student learning. We will continue on this path.

The second finding is that involving students in the innovation cycle has remained a major challenge. Innovedum has experimented with different approaches (e.g. Student Innovedum), but the adoption of students’ ideas within the university has proven to be difficult. So we have started a new project with the teaching commission, an advisory body of the Executive Board, looking at ways that students can be better integrated in the process. First results are expected to be implemented in the Innovedum project cycle in Spring 2020.

For a closer look, please check out the paper which was presented at the EdMedia conference in Amsterdam in July 2019.

Also, if you are an ETH faculty member, we invite you to the Refresh Teaching series, one of the community building activities mentioned above.

*Innovedum is a brand established by the Rector including project funding and community building activities open to all stakeholders of T&L. www.innovedum.ethz.ch

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Learning and Teaching Fair 2018

Dr. Oded Zilberberg and Dr. Dieter Wüest using a HoloLens

This year the first Learning and Teaching Fair took place at ETH Zurich on Wednesday, 14 November 2018. The Learning and Teaching Fair 2018 was the most comprehensive internal event on learning and teaching at ETH so far and the hard work and creative teaching of lecturers was placed firmly in the spotlight. By building on the previous successes of the annual Innovedum events, a wide community of around 180 engaged individuals were able to come together for discussion, feedback and inspiration on the topic of student learning.

Photo: Heidi Hostettler

Participants, presenters and exhibition stands

In total 25 different posters featuring innovative teaching and learning projects were exhibited. The topics of the posters were wide-ranging but all of them featured innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Some of the projects included a Hololens or Virtual Reality demonstration. Others focused on specific didactic techniques, such as flipped classroom and peer-review. (A full list of the posters can be found in the exhibition guide.) Many of the projects featured were made possible with grants made through the Innovedum fund, a special fund which the Rector, Dr. Sarah Springman, presides over. Prof. Andreas Vaterlaus, Vice-Rector for Curriculum Development, provided insight and advice into how teaching staff can access this funding for innovative projects.

The Proceedings of the Learning & Teaching Fair were published in the special edition and first issue of the ETH Learning & Teaching Journal. The Proceedings contain summaries of the projects exhibited at the Fair and for selected projects, details concerning their implementation at ETH and analyses in view of promoting student learning. The ETH Learning & Teaching journal is also available as an open online journal at www.learningteaching.ethz.ch. It will release two issues a year and extend calls for contributions to all persons involved in learning and teaching at ETH.

Photo: Heidi Hostettler

Food for thought

The guest keynote speaker, Prof. Jörn Loviscach, Professor of Technical Mathematics and Computer Engineering at the Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences provided a critical overview of the impact that digital technology can have in the classroom. He recommended staying flexible and introducing promising learning technology thoughtfully. Prof. Sarah Springman echoed this theme by reminding the audience of the importance to continuously adapt education. In a world that is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, (what she referred to as the VUCA world) teaching staff need to be able to prepare students for the unknowable. Without ongoing innovation, education runs the risk of teaching outdated concepts using outdated methods.

Photo: Heidi Hostettler

Student powered innovation

A group of students were invited to present their own ideas for innovation related to teaching and learning. Their ideas were developed using a human-centered, rapid-prototyping method. A strong theme that emerged from their ideas, was the need not only to increase interdisciplinarity, but to make it easier to do so. (A summary of the students’ projects can be found on the Student Innovedum webpage.)

Photo: Heidi Hostettler

The purpose of the event was not only to present different approaches to learning and teaching, but also to provide an environment where reflection on the effectiveness of those approaches is most welcome. This attracted teaching staff, students and educational developers from all the departments at ETH. By bringing together people who are passionate about innovative and effective teaching, important conversations were sparked and the event organisers were able to feel proud of a job well done.

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