Project Investigator(s): Su-Jan Yeo, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Community and Regional Planning
‘PLAN 211 City-Making: A Global Perspective’ is a new undergraduate service course and open to students with second year standing or above in any program at UBC. Embedded in this course is the time-sensitive and team-based “City-Making Ideathon Challenge”—a platform on which students generate outcome-drive solutions to a real-world problem scenario. This project aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the “Ideathon Challenge” as a pedagogic method in promoting interdisciplinary collaboration, innovation, and applied learning.
1. Does the “Ideathon Challenge” serve as a pedagogic method in promoting interdisciplinary collaboration, innovation, and applied learning?
2. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the “Ideathon Challenge”?
Impact on teaching and learning at UBC
An “Ideathon Challenge” can be sustained, on the one hand, within the controlled parameters of a generic or invented project brief developed by the instructor. Additionally, student teams “pitch and judge” their work among peers. On the other hand, an “Ideathon Challenge” that scales beyond the classroom to involve a partner organization and judging panel of experts provides students with exposure to a real-world scenario. And, in doing so, creates a sense of accountability that could motivate students to invest wholeheartedly in the “Ideathon Challenge.” At the same time, there is potential that the outcome-driven solutions generated by students would be useful towards addressing the needs of the partner organization.
“When we take an inquisitive approach to researching, reviewing, and reflecting upon our classroom strategies and pedagogies, we develop a growth mindset which can enhance our teaching practice in new and novel ways. Shaping an academic course through a scholarly lens has benefited my teaching practice in three significant areas: imagination, experimentation, and discovery. First, by tackling a course as if it is a blank canvas for provocations of the imagination, I am pushed to think more radically and daringly about curriculum design. Second, by developing a systematic inquiry into the impact of curriculum design on student learning, I am emboldened to experiment deliberately with innovative pedagogies. Third, by disseminating the learning lessons from my foray with innovative pedagogies, I aim to illuminate how course experimentations can lead to new discoveries that advance the frontier of higher education. More fundamentally, by embracing a “beginner’s curiosity” toward understanding the metacognitive dimensions of my teaching practice, I am able to find a renewed enthusiasm for the classroom and a reinvigorated passion for my disciplinary field. And, ultimately, sharing this creative energy with my students engenders a two-way conversation to explore what teaching and learning means for us, individually and collectively.”