Highly Interactive Platform

Demand-Led Learning at the University Level

Rick BastiaanssenBreda (NL), November 2018 – The session in the Learning Café on Thursday, 06 December from 12.15 to 13.15 bears the title "Student in the Lead: Technologies for Demand-driven Education". Rick Bastiaanssen from the Avans University of Applied Sciences will share his experience as an intermediary among businesses, research and education. Combining his passions to help companies work on business cases and challenges and the personal development of youngsters, he helps companies find collaboration opportunities with education and research.

Which technologies are particularly suitable for demand-led learning at the university level?

Rick Bastiaanssen: At Avans University, our programs are continuously co-created with companies and institutions. Their project based involvement in our curricula is greater than ever and still growing. This demands that we provide open source platforms and technologies that all our stakeholders can access themselves, without interference from a middle man.

For instance, companies have their own personal profiles, from which they can upload projects, internships, and research activities themselves. Our students can then directly subscribe to these activities without any interference from our side. Basically, we only provide the highly interactive platform that allows for smooth connections.

What role do these technologies play in the preparation of learning content in regard to pedagogy and didactics? Do they complement concepts of learning processes at universities, or do they alter all previous notions comprehensively?

Rick Bastiaanssen: This platform is really the administrative backbone for the students’ learning journey, our customer relations history, and strategic partnership management. The fact that all our students, professional contacts, and other stakeholders have access to this system allows for efficiencies, minimal mistakes, and a cut-out-the-middle-man kind of thinking. We appoint our students as the ones most responsible for their education, and this is reflected by our work processes: students have their own accounts from which they have to take action themselves - since we will not do it for them.


How do you envisage a "best-practice" scenario?

Rick Bastiaanssen: In society, we are slowly but surely refraining from the thought that we are all links in a big supply chain. We are, to a great extent, informally and naturally merging with other organizations, making the boundaries and cut-offs between organizations more vague. This is why an interactive, community-fed platform is so important. Though the medium is the message for such a platform to be viable in the long run, it has to be developed with staff, students, companies, and other stakeholders to create the commitment that is so clearly needed in the early stages.