1 Universidade Portucalense, REMIT & Univ. do Minho, Centro Algoritmi (PORTUGAL)
2 Fontys University of Applied Sciences - School of ICT (NETHERLANDS)
3 Fontys University of Applied Sciences, ICT & Media Design (NETHERLANDS)
4 Universidade Portucalense, REMIT (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 8422-8430
ISBN: 978-84-09-34549-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2021.1941
Conference name: 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 8-9 November, 2021
Location: Online Conference
In the process of envisaging International Cooperation involving a group of students as well as coaching teachers from Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) within the same mobility action there are a number of well-known possibilities mainly under the Erasmus+ KA2 framework. These mobility options have, however, to obey in duration, outline, contents and functioning to the high quality standards as well as strict criteria set by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ to be accepted for recognition and funding. It may not be easy for a HEI to involve a reasonable number of students working together within these actions, due to constraints of students to be abroad for longer periods of time, functioning and financial constraints or unsuccessful applications.

A new experience in International Cooperation was launched by Fontys Hogeschool ICT, Netherlands in the form of an Interdisciplinary ICT and Business International Project, involving Bachelor 3rd year students and teachers from several HEI partners. The project, held annually and currently in its 4th edition, involves several HEIs, each of them participating with an exchange of a group of six to ten students that are combined with around 60 students from Fontys ICT. Work teams are set with 5 to 6 students, where 2 or 3 students are from each partner. Participating students may have a ICT and/or Business/Management backgrounds to allow for interdisciplinary project teams.

The main project objectives are international cooperation and awareness, demonstrating entrepreneurial behavior and an interdisciplinary vision. Generally, the project will aim to apply new trends or developments in the area of IT within a business and develop entrepreneurial skills and work cooperatively in multidisciplinary and international student teams.

While in former editions the project was held under a blended scheme of learning and cooperation, combining face-to-face and remote work stages and including technical and cultural activities - central kick-off with students from all partners held in Fontys, Eindhoven, following by teams working remotely (online) for the development of the project and ending with program closure at the location of the 2nd HEI partner - this year´s edition of the project, due to COVID-19 restrictions, was held under an innovative scheme of functioning: a Design Charette. A Charrette is an intensive, collaborative process that brings together students, community members and professionals to develop innovative solutions for complex issues. Over a few short days of brainstorming, discussion and expert consultation, teams create a broad range of ideas around a central theme.

A Design Charette held online for 5 days was envisaged involving around 100 students, 20 advisors from 9 participating HEIs and 2 Eindhoven based enterprise stakeholders (PSV and TDE) who provided daily feedback to the project groups. The design thinking methodology was used for project development and MS Teams was used as the online platform.

This paper describes the Interdisciplinary ICT and Business International project, supervised by the authors, held as an online design charette, aiming to develop innovative Business IT solutions under the central sports related topic “Reshaping fan experience in the new reality of the changing world as a consequence of COVID-19”. The work of the project student teams will be overall described, the methodology and outcomes assessed, and lessons learnt will be highlighted.
International cooperation, International project, entrepreneurship, design charette, design thinking.