About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4556-4564
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain

LESSONS LEARNED FROM A MULTI-MODAL CONCEPTUAL MODELING COURSE - THE “INTRODUCTION TO POLICY ANALYSIS” COURSE’S EXPERIENCE AS A SUCCESSFUL GRASSROOTS PROJECT OF THE DELFT UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

N. Frantzeskaki, A. de Haan, O. Di Ruggero, G. Kolfschoten

Delft University of Technology (NETHERLANDS)
Over the last couple of years we have the experience that for an inhomogeneous group of different cultures (all over the world), different academic backgrounds (ranging from engineering to social sciences) and different career interests (e.g. policy analysts, civil engineers, ICT engineers) the classical teaching approach of frontal lecturing less and less gave us the results we wanted. The problems that policy analysis studies are so complex in nature (many stakeholders, huge uncertainty, long time frames, many views on the problem) that no single right answer exists. Modeling techniques can not be used to calculate the answer to a mathematical optimization problem, but at best facilitate our ways of deciding.

Our initial thoughts were that people learn by doing. In line with this engineering education at the Delft University of Technology employs new methods towards a more interactive and collaborative modus; aiming at building skills to engineering students that are essential for their career development. A platform for best practices and experiences in interactive collaborative teaching methods has been created by the Delft University of Technology that is the “Grassroots project” where new methods are promoted, experienced and communicated among course coordinators so as to gain insights of their impacts and the effort required to apply them. Being part of the Grassroots Project, we transformed the course of conceptual modeling entitled “Introduction to policy analysis” that is taught in master level students.

We based the redesign of the course on four learning approaches: (a) Problem based learning (b) Blended learning (c) Collaborative learning and (d) Interactive learning in groups. The course set-up included practices that combined all the four approaches. Given that we tested and improved the course set-up in a yearly basis, we present in this paper the lessons learned within the past four years that resulted in a multi-modal course. Our experience with the multi-modal course for the academic year 2008 revealed that students learned not only how to perform conceptual modeling but also developed negotiation and reflecting skills that were beyond the learning objectives of the course.

The teaching of conceptual modeling takes place in lectures and in collaborative workshops where students work in groups for a specific case and a specified actor and apply in situ the methodology taught in class. A thorough presentation of the course set-up will be presented including successful and less-successful practices.

The lessons learned include: (a) different case designs and what impacts they had for the start-up of group work that were based on propositions of problem based learning; (b) different modules of information (published articles, videos, PowerPoint slides from consultancy sessions, books, etc) and the time for feed-in of the information throughout the course that were based on propositions of blended learning approach; (c) group work set-ups concerning group size, role assignment and time-pressure practices as well as practices for technology enhanced group-work that were based on propositions of collaborative learning approach and (d) facilitation and intervention practices for enabling positive group dynamics that take into account cross-cultural dynamics, sex dynamics and interdisciplinarity of group members that were based preliminary on propositions of interactive learning.
@InProceedings{FRANTZESKAKI2009LES,
author = {Frantzeskaki, N. and de Haan, A. and Di Ruggero, O. and Kolfschoten, G.},
title = {LESSONS LEARNED FROM A MULTI-MODAL CONCEPTUAL MODELING COURSE - THE “INTRODUCTION TO POLICY ANALYSIS” COURSE’S EXPERIENCE AS A SUCCESSFUL GRASSROOTS PROJECT OF THE DELFT UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY},
series = {3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-7578-6},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {9-11 March, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {4556-4564}}
TY - CONF
AU - N. Frantzeskaki AU - A. de Haan AU - O. Di Ruggero AU - G. Kolfschoten
TI - LESSONS LEARNED FROM A MULTI-MODAL CONCEPTUAL MODELING COURSE - THE “INTRODUCTION TO POLICY ANALYSIS” COURSE’S EXPERIENCE AS A SUCCESSFUL GRASSROOTS PROJECT OF THE DELFT UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
SN - 978-84-612-7578-6/2340-1079
PY - 2009
Y1 - 9-11 March, 2009
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2009 Proceedings
SP - 4556
EP - 4564
ER -
N. Frantzeskaki, A. de Haan, O. Di Ruggero, G. Kolfschoten (2009) LESSONS LEARNED FROM A MULTI-MODAL CONCEPTUAL MODELING COURSE - THE “INTRODUCTION TO POLICY ANALYSIS” COURSE’S EXPERIENCE AS A SUCCESSFUL GRASSROOTS PROJECT OF THE DELFT UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, INTED2009 Proceedings, pp. 4556-4564.
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