September is around the corner. The uncertainty caused by the ‘new normal’ and the start of activity after the Summer underlines the need for innovation at universities and other educational institutions.
The most glaring mystery is how classes will be given, and it seems that the answer lies in online and e-learning solutions. But, what about any other new needs that students, faculty or other collectives may face? How can these be detected and, above all, how can they be satisfied with the urgency imposed by Covid-19?
In our experience working with universities, we have seen how listening to these collectives is essential in allowing those needs to surface. But it is also important to listen to their solutions, because stakeholders themselves suggest new ideas to satisfy those needs quickly.
How to give the appropriate response. Universities and innovation communities
The ‘new normal’ will demand even more innovation from universities, as well as the ability to adapt to different scenarios, today still shrouded in uncertainty.
Thanks to our software, education institutions can launch ideas challenges and open them to participation from their stakeholders, asking them about any issues and concerns they need to resolve in relation to the ‘new normal’.
Some ideas from challenges:
Which digital tools can help to teach?
How can we reactivate university life in the campus?
Educational institutions can bring decision-making forward to months before the start of the academic year, or can make it coincide with the beginning of the year, first contrasting their stakeholders’ most important needs and including their own ideas, as they are those affected, as a means to finding solutions.
Win time and offer trust: these are two key elements in the management of the Covid-19 crisis. Listening to the collectives who have a connection with the problem is part of the solution: collectively constructing a response to the ‘new normal’ also increases the sense of belonging to the educational institution.
Within the two related terms listening/participation, universities and other educational institutions have the opportunity to understand and design an appropriate journey with answers for each collective (students, faculty…).
They can also integrate the voice of these stakeholders in the search for solutions, thereby also increasing their implication and sense of belonging to an education community.
Our experience with universities and educational institutions
Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (National University of Distance Education) – UNED
UNED has used one of our communities to involve its students, faculty and administrative staff in finding ideas for the UNED of the future. The participation process lasted six months and collected over 1,000 ideas, providing the university with the right “agility to connect with its stakeholders.” (see case study) (view video).
University Carlos III in Madrid
UC3M used one of our communities to democratically detect the needs of its students with a view to designing its Strategic Plan 2016-2021. The experience concluded with more than 1,000 ideas and the incorporation of several of them into the Plan (see video).
University of Alcalá de Henares (UAH)
UAH launched its ideas community ‘ImaginalaUAH’ to open the University to participation from all of society and gather ideas that would bring the university closer to the rest of society (see post).
Universia – Rectors Meeting 2010
Santander Universidades used one of our communities to support the rectors meeting ‘Universia 2010’, held in Guadalajara (Mexico). Throughout a period of 3 months, the initiative managed to collect more than 500 ideas from a network of university professors and students.