Innovation in Education
Innovating for resilience can also be applied to education. Resilient societies ask for educational systems that can meet the demands of rapidly changing technologies and new types of skills in the workplace. Moreover, they should not only strive for 'cognitive goals' but also foster social cohesion and global citizenship. Innovation in education may help learners to attain these goals.

Innovative learning

Innovative learning refers to renewing and improving education. Research into innovative education focuses, on a number of challenges, such as preventing the major study drop-out and study delay that occur in higher education. In addition, a shift can be observed towards activating teaching methods and digitization. Universities of today face a changing student population for whom the use of new media has become a matter of course, and most universities work with a digital learning environment that requires new teaching techniques, didactic models and methods. 

Key characteristic of the OU

This approach to digital, blended, and activated learning is a key characteristic of the OU. In higher and academic education, the interaction between the instructor and the student is almost always central. In the past decades, there was a clear contrast between ‘traditional universities’ using face-to-face teaching methods, and 'distance universities', such as the OU, using online, digital teaching methods. This sharp contrast is gradually fading. Traditional universities are increasingly 'digitizing' in a direction that can be described as blended learning, and distance universities such as the OU are attempting to intensify guidance and to activate students more. 

Online activating learning

This raises the question how innovative higher and scientific education can be strengthened. The OU in particular is concerned with strengthening its educational model of online activating learning. Greater insight into this is important for the improvement of higher education in general and for the OU education in particular. The OU holds a position as an innovator in the field of digital learning and is also advisor to other institutions of higher and academic education. Important issues relate to design, online and blended learning, activating (motivating, provoking in-depth learning, reducing drop-out rates, binding students), and flexibilization, and have been the focus of research within the OU. Research outcomes are not only academic reports, but also appreciation and proof of effectiveness in practice. Because the VSNU Strategic Evaluation Protocol (SEP) attaches great importance to both components (i.e. both academic quality and demonstrable social impact), research into innovative learning must be effective in both respects. 

Recently started projects

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Read more on the research line, the themes and projects on the website Innovation in Education.