©fotografixx - istockphoto.com03.02.2020
Exploring the future of learning
In the digital age learning behaviour changes profoundly. It is student-centered and technology rich. As a member of the Erasmus+ funded project CreatINNES our guest author and Brain City Ambassador Dr. Petyo Budakov aims at developing effective and innovative programs for blended learning.
Dr. Petyo Budakov, DEKRA | Hochschule für Medien
Brain City Berlin Ambassador Petyo Budakov (Ph.D.) is Visiting Professor at SRH Berlin Uiniversity of Applied Sciences and part of the research team of the European project CreatINNES. As being a DAAD Alumni, his practice-led research and expertise are focused on the establishment and development of innovative and effective blended learning and e-learning strategies and platforms that move beyond the traditional online learning approaches.
What is the offline learning for you? You probably imagine a traditional lecture hall with hundreds of students who are listening to their professor at the front of the room, trying to keep up with their notes. Learners are getting distracted from time to time by receiving various notifications and messages on their smartphones and quite important insights are dismissed. Don’t understand me wrong, it doesn’t mean this model is outdated or ineligible, rather there is a time and a place for it, and it still works very well in some classes. But the future of learning is student-centred and technology-rich.
Throughout my 10-year career as a faculty member, I have identified a few problems that need to find their effective solutions:
- There is a lack of interactive digital learning resources and feedback on projects does not come as quickly as needed.
- The industry is not able to fully personalize the learning experience.
- There is a huge issue regarding the student disengagement.
- There is no effective system that tracks the student engagement. The relationships between universities, freelancers, start-ups and employers are still limited, and as a consequence, there is a growing gap between theory and practice.
However, in order to find effective solutions to the above-mentioned problems, we have to secure a high-quality open, tuition-free blended education to everyone. Our consortium executes the Erasmus + co-funded project, called CreatINNES. It aims at developing high-quality blended learning programs and an effective blended learning campus for the needs of students, freelancers, entrepreneurs, regional multipliers and stakeholders who are active into the Culture and Creative Industries (CCI), e.g. it spans a wide range of different fields – from architecture and music to advertising.
CreatINNES targets at personalizing the learning experience by motivating and engaging each learner – a great challenge that requires well-conducted research, analyses and recommendations and finally – at developing a full-fledged blended learning campus. Actually, the main challenge here is to predict accurately, how the Millennials and the Generation Z will be learning within the next 3 years as well as what actually they want to learn right now.
One of the very first goal we set up was to collect relevant information and to analyze the needs of CCI freelancers, start-ups, and innovative companies within the partners’ countries: Germany, Bulgaria, France, Hungary, and North Macedonia. In return, we will be able to create two tailor-made training programs covering their skills development needs. However, 55% of the respondents belong to Generation Z (born 1996 to 1999) and 45% represent Generation Y, known also as Millennials (born 1981 to 1995).
The analysis is the first step towards implementation of the two innovative blended training programmes: “Entrepreneurships for CCI freelancers” and start-ups, and “Creative thinking for Innovation”. Therefore, we conducted two surveys, based on the contribution of all CreatINNES partners. Both surveys were thematically divided – the first one is addressing the CCI freelancers and entrepreneurs; and the second one is targeting non-CCI innovative organizations. However, they were designed also to investigate not only learner needs but also to explore the way they learn.
One of the main challenges here was to achieve a sufficient response rate among our target audience. Therefore, personal notifications to all participants had been sent in advance, notifying them they will receive our survey. The questionnaires were translated in five languages: Bulgarian, French, German, Hungarian, and Macedonian, and were distributed to more than 620 respondents. As a result, in total, 218 respondents participated in the survey.
However, based on the results, we managed to identify our learner profiles, which reflect their learning behaviours and needs. For example, the needs for training in all countries is related to marketing – research, distribution and promotion. The participants expressed their willingness to get training in how to create partnerships, as well as in networking and collaboration. The latter is second most needed in four partners’ countries. Furthermore, training in funding opportunities and business financing is mainly requested in Germany, Hungary and Macedonia. In Bulgaria and Macedonia, the mostly needed trainings are business management, how access to international markets, and developing an entrepreneurial way of thinking. We also identified some other trainings needed: developing innovations, social media competence (Germany), creative thinking (Bulgaria), collaboration with freelancers (France), bureaucratic procedures (Macedonia).
Regarding the second survey which was spread among non-CCI professionals, we found out that respondents need to obtain soft skills such as brainstorming (47%), problem-solving (42%), design strategy (37%), vision for corporate identity (37%) and critical thinking (37%).
Our study reveals that Generation Z learns almost entirely from digital devices by taking online lessons, watching short-length videos, using online video chats to work on group assignments and to collaborate between each other from their own place. Unlike the Millennials whose learning attitudes feature learning in libraries and more face-to-face interactions, the interviewed representative of Generation Z expects learning resources to be instantly available for them anytime and anywhere. Our future learners prefer the so-called Microlearning which is learning in short segments and can be supported through many platforms, including social media. This is similar to the way they consume media through streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify which are always on their disposal. It is interesting to note that our respondents who are occupied in the creative industry get new skills and knowledge by using the so-called Experiential Learning. It was defined by Simon Fraser University as: “the strategic, active engagement of students in opportunities to learn through doing, and reflection on those activities, which empowers them to apply their theoretical knowledge to practical endeavours in a multitude of settings inside and outside of the classroom.”
As being a true center for the creative industries, Berlin demonstrates remarkable creative, social and entrepreneurial achievements. We found out that Berliners tend to build platforms for cultural and creative exchanges, initiate networks for the digital and creative economy, implement innovative projects for the economy and the society as well as having a progressive entrepreneurial mind. Berliners stated their willingness for taking blended courses – this format matches with their preference for an independent study and an ability to meet up face-to-face with peers. Our respondents from Berlin expressed their intention to learn more about design thinking, visual branding and access to EU funding as an opportunity to finance their start-ups. The profile of the Berliners could be described as: tech-savvy, progressive entrepreneurial, eager to explore new insights and to extend their networking with like-minded people.
However, based on the findings, we will be developing blended learning filled with a large number of interactive, visually appealing learning resources, short and concise as a structure in order to support this type of learning. In addition, by taking into account the analysis, we have been developing a didactic approach that constitutes both activities: learning and teaching.
- Technologies continue to change every aspect of our daily life, including the way we learn and teach.
- Students have more options than ever before. Based on their preference and exact needs, they tend to design their learning experience by setting their own pace of learning.
- Future learners will be much more engaged with collaborative assignments and multi-tasking activities extremely eager to invest their time to get new skills and exchange knowledge and skills between each other.
- Future lecturers will be some kind of facilitators, mentors and “social engineers” whose main task will be to encourage the students to discover their most effective learning strategy.
In a nutshell: The old paradigm where learning occurs only and exclusively in a classroom or lecture hall during school hours is gone.
"Analysis and definition of qualification needs in CCI area, Intellectual Output 1 CreatINNES Project - a European project funded by the ERASMUS+ programme in the period 2018 – 2021", (April 2019), Summary analysis and editing: Maria-Denitsa Georgieva, BIC INNOBRIDGE Angela Ivanova, INI-Novation GmbH. Contributors to the document: INNOBRIDGE (Bulgaria), INI-Novation GmbH (Germany), MEDF (North Macedonia), Budakov Films (Bulgaria), Alanam (France), Teleberry (Hungary).
Retrieved from: https://a318f76f-d653-4b11-8b6a-fdc71b9ecd7c.filesusr.com/ugd/46e134_65bd0ea43faa460e890ad96371f4c66a.pdf
- Insights Falk WeißInsightsThe knowledge portal “humboldts17” presents current research on the subject of sustainability and welcomes open dialogue with the general public. The…→
17 Goals for the Future
- Insights Foto: Olga Makarova privatInsightsBrain City Ambassador Olga Makarova reflects on being a microbiologist during the pandemic, and the urgent need for microbiology literacy in society.→
Guest Contribution: COVID-19 and microbiology literacy
- Insights HIIGInsightsBrain City-Interview with Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schulz, Research Director at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG).→
“A sustainable goal of our work is to make clear what the technology can actually do”
- Insights HTW BerlinInsightsAn interview with Brain City Ambassador Prof. Dr. Kai Reinhardt. On October 28, he will be speaking at the second SpreeTalk at HTW University of…→
“The pandemic has been a catalyst for digitalization”
- Insights dentalXr.aiInsightsdentalXrai is the first dental start-up to be spun off the Charité. It was launched via the accelerator of the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH). We…→
Artificial intelligence in the fight against tooth decay
- Insights Anna Raysyan (private)InsightsBrain City Ambassador Anna Raysyan has been living in Berlin for 3,5 years now. She is a PhD student at the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und…→
Guest Contribution: “Berlin likes the bold!”
- Insights ©Berlin Partner für Wirtschaft und TechnologieInsightsMany top-class researchers and scientists are being attracted to Brain City Berlin every year. The Dual Career Network Berlin helps partners of…→
Dual Career Network Berlin: getting a good start in Berlin
- Insights ©Matthias PicketInsightsDr. Anne Schreiter, Managing Director of the German Scholars Organization (GSO), reveals in the Brain City interview what alternative career…→
"Science is not just about research"
- Insights © Pocky Lee on UnsplashInsightsMatches in front of empty stadiums, virtual marathons, and many postponed events. Brain City Ambassador Professor Gabriele Mielke is tracking the…→
"Now is the time for innovators"
- Insights © AW Creative on UnsplashInsightsJuggling a degree course or teaching with the extra burden of the care of children or other family members is not an easy task. Both students and…→
From “Zoo School” to “Maternity Protection”: family-friendly universities
- Insights © HTW Berlin / Nikolas FahlbuschInsightsTeaching is currently only taking place online. Guest author Dr Dorothee Haffner, professor for Museology at HTW Berlin - University of Applied…→
Guest contribution: "Online teaching is more engaging than I thought"
- Insights Franziska SattlerInsightsIn the interview: Brain City ambassador Franziska Sattler on her series of events "Kaffeeklatsch mit Wissenschaft" (Talking Science over Coffee) at…→
"Science needs the trust of society"
- Insights Fotocredit: Ortner & Ortner / SiemensInsightsSiemensstadt 2.0 is a place of the future. The Berlin Senate has approved 9.9 million euros for the first research project "Electrical Drive…→
Siemensstadt 2.0: Research and industry closely linked
- Insights ©Credit Silke Oßwald/FMPInsightsBrain City interview: Professor Dr. Volker Haucke, Director at the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) and Professor of…→
In the balancing act between detail and overall concept
- Insights © hj barraza/UnsplashInsightsOur guest author Dr Barbara Schäuble is Professor for Diversity-Conscious Approaches in the Theory and Practice of Social Work at ASH Berlin and a…→
Guest contribution: A sudden change of course - classes moved online
- Insights ©DexLeChemInsightsLaunching a start-up while at university? Sonja Jost's success shows the way. Together with three fellow students, she founded DexLeChem after…→
"Bringing new knowledge to the market is very important to us"
- Insights ©Ivar Veermäe / Centre for EntrepreneurshipInsightsBrain City Berlin is the German capital of start-ups. Many young companies have successfully been founded through Berlin and Brandenburg based…→
"Society in particular benefits from high-tech start-ups" - university survey enters its third round
- Insights ©BIH|Thomas RafalzykInsightsAt the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) the main focus is on "translational research" - the transfer of findings from the research lab into clinical…→
“There are now many great female scientists, achieving great things”
- Insights © Brain City BerlinInsightsResearch results quickly and easily accessible online: The Open Access movement is campaigning for a paradigm shift in the field of publications and…→
Open Access: free knowledge for everyone
- Insights ©ESCP EUROPEInsights29.10.2019 | Professor Andreas Kaplan is a Brain City Berlin ambassador and Rector of ESCP Europe Business School Berlin. The economist's research is…→
"We have to be able to take everyone on the journey."
- Insights Gudrun Piechotta-HenzeInsightsIn time for the 2020/21 winter semester, ASH, the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences Berlin, is launching the first bachelor's degree to…→
"We have to completely rethink nursing!" | 27.09.2019
- Insights ©Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin/Matthias HeydeInsightsThe courses offered by the HUWISU Summer University are varied and exciting, the target group is international: students from abroad who come to…→
When Berlin becomes one large seminar room ... | 15.08.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:]InsightsThe literary scholar Dr. Betiel Wasihun was traveling for science. After stops in Heidelberg, Yale, and Oxford, it brought her to Berlin two years…→
“Berlin is a perfect location. Especially if you don’t want to pursue just a single avenue of scientific work.” | 12.08.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:] Berlin University Alliance/Matthias HeydeInsightsTogether we are stronger. And also more successful. As the "Berlin University Alliance," the Technische Universität Berlin, the Freie Universität…→
Congratulations: The “Berlin University Alliance“ receives funding of the Excellence Strategy |19.07.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:] David Ausserhofer/IGBInsightsBerlin is one of the most water-rich cities in Germany. But climate change does not stop at the Havel, Spree or Wannsee either. Dr. Michael Hupfer is…→
"We're trying to take a look into the future." | 04.07.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:] Helena Lopes / UnsplashInsightsSend a digital lollipop or delicate fragrance notes via email or let the wind virtually blow against your face - research makes it possible. Learn…→
Experiencing the digital world with all senses | 18.06.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:] HZB/M. SetzpfandtInsightsIn these times of fake news and pseudo-scientific publications, many people find it difficult to distinguish legitimate from dubious content. Only 54%…→
"Science needs to make us curious" | 11.06.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:] Tim LandgrafInsightsBrain City Berlin is considered one of the leading locations in Germany working on artificial intelligence. About 30% of all German AI companies are…→
Fish, bees, and self-driving cars | 07.06.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:]InsightsScience and cultural heritage, freely accessible to everyone at any time on the Internet: The Open Access movement is promoting a paradigm shift in…→
Knowledge for All - Open Access in Berlin | 28.03.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:] Thomas Rosenthal - Museum für Naturkunde BerlinInsights660 million euros in 10 years: The Natural History Museum Berlin - Museum für Naturkunde Berlin receives financial support for the further development…→
Future of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin | 14.01.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:]InsightsSpace exploration is experiencing a revolution thanks to commercialization by such companies as Elon Musk's SpaceX. But did you know that more facets…→
From Berlin to the moon: the space industry is booming in Berlin | 03.09.2018