Description of the course
The purpose of the LIFE course is to support the development of transversal competences necessary for resolving interdisciplinary problems. The course is attended by students enrolled in a wide variety of programs at Tallinn University. Learning activities are implemented in teams of 6 individuals. To promote interdisciplinary collaboration, each team must include students from at least 3 different study areas. Up to 3 teams, consisting of 6 students, can join each project.
Within the LIFE course, projects are carried out in cooperation among students and supervisors. They include the following components: defining a common topic or problem, setting goals, creating an action plan, and carrying out the plan.
Participation in the LIFE course is supported by workshops and seminars. More detailed information about the course is available at http://elu.tlu.ee.
Upon completing the course students can make connections and can analyze the goals of the project and possible solutions from their own as well as a field perspective, can use newly acquired professional and cross-disciplinary knowledge by identifying its deployment potential, has developed collaboration competences, including the division of roles, taking responsibility, and contributing to group work, has acquired time management skills, can analyze the performance and effectiveness of their proposed solution by critically assessing their own activities and suggesting improvement measures, can analyze their own as well as team members’ role and responsibilities when implementing the activities and goals of the project, and can present results of their to stakeholders and/or public by using different media channels.
Description of the participants
A total of 14 students in Tallinn University attended the course in the 2021 – 2022 academic year. The students were enrolled in a variety of Tallinn University curricula, such as IT management, andragogic, law, environmental management, educational science, special pedagogics, and business management.
Description of gamified design thinking activities
A learning activity based on gamified design thinking was specifically designed for the course. The objective of the learning activity was to challenge students to design and deliver an educational video about climate change for a target group of their choice. Students worked in groups of up to 5 individuals. The ICT-INOV educational platform provided instructors with flexibility on structuring learning activities based on well-accepted design thinking steps. The activity was structured as follows:
Step 1: Team building
The team building step took place off-line, namely without the use of the ICT-INOV digital learning platform, as people were excited to be physically in the same room after a long period. Team building consisted of playing games for breaking the ice and allowing students to get to know each other.
Step 2: Problem discovery
Team members were encouraged to research how climate change takes effect in Estonia and what are the main problems faced by society. They were encouraged to share their findings within their teams through the ICT-INOV digital learning platform.
Step 3: Problem definition
Students were encouraged to have a discussion with their peers and accurately state the main problem on which they would focus. They decided on the topic that they would address in the video.
Step 4: Brainstorming and ideation
Students were challenged to research the internet and describe the problem using images, text, and videos. They were further encouraged to post as many ideas as possible towards a solution. Students collaborated with their team members to design and post on the ICT-INOV digital learning platform their proposed solutions.
Step 5: Prototyping
Students had a month-long training with Climatubers Erasmus+ project members on video development. They uploaded their ideas, scripts, and storyboards for the video onto the ICT-INOV digital learning platform.
Step 6: Presentation
Students deployed the ICT-INOV educational platform for posting their projects before they presented their solutions to the public.
The following projects were developed through the course:
Video 1. Group 1 decided to do an animated film about digital trash and its impact on well-being. The video is available at the address https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NMnsKefk5g&list=PLTUT0jPPotgHCsLNVQq_89OXY6yfSfJd0&index=2.
Video 2.Group 2 decided to do a Tik-Tok style video about the fashion industry and clothes manufacturing. The video is available at the address https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giVN-WnUniQ&list=PLTUT0jPPotgHCsLNVQq_89OXY6yfSfJd0&index=3.Video 3. Group 3 developed a video in which kindergarten students present their thoughts on climate change. The video is accessible at the address https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sdbtIEOChU&list=PLTUT0jPPotgHCsLNVQq_89OXY6yfSfJd0