EMEA - Case Studies

Case Study: Fontys

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FONTYS ICT Powering a New Approach to Education at Fontys ICT Higher Education Case Study Netherlands 3,500 Users Commenced in 2015 The Challenge Fontys ICT (Fontys University of Applied Sciences, School of ICT) is one of the largest Dutch universities, with campuses located primarily in the south of Holland. Despite large student numbers, education at Fontys ICT is organised on a small scale, with personalised and individualised learning at its heart. Fontys ICT is committed to innovative teaching methods. For the university staff, a traditional linear model of education simply doesn't work. Eric Slaats, Course Director at Fontys ICT, tells us: "Starting a degree course where you're told, 'Here's what you'll know in four years time,' just doesn't work anymore, because, simply, we don't know how the world is going to look in four years." Fontys ICT recognises that traditional university teaching doesn't always reflect the principles of empowerment and freedom that it seeks to offer. So instead, Fontys ICT set out to build an entirely new educational model, founded on the principles of openness and collaboration. The Decision Applied knowledge is a crucial tenet of Fontys ICT's new pedagogy. An undergraduate student at the university told us: "At Fontys ICT we use everything we learn, and that's fundamentally a better way to do things." Many modules incorporate what Eric calls "a real life element," where outside participation is employed to ground the project in reality. "If students are working for someone from industry - maybe even a potential employer—then they're more motivated to learn, to engage with the course and to deliver," Eric continues. At Fontys ICT students are able to define their own goals and build their own competence profile, finding content that fits these needs. Importantly, Fontys ICT students are empowered to be owners of their own content, the pace of their learning, their own style and performance and progression data. To meet these needs, the physical space at Fontys ICT is different from many universities. "Classrooms are on the way out," says Eric. Instead, open space allows collaboration, makes teachers more accessible and gives students freedom to perform at their best. But it's not just physical space which powers this change - a more empowered and free curriculum relies on open and flexible technology. instructure.com/canvas/en-gb

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