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Purposeful Projects

Students declare a problem they see in the world, and work on an interdisciplinary team to attempt to solve the problem.

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Many students complete project based courses with students in their own field of study, and those students are given a particular project, rather than creating their own. Students will be more eager to learn if they see their project as an opportunity to solve a real world issue. Any given idea would likely require a team of students with different educational backgrounds, so students would be afforded the opportunity to work with others outside of their own field. This will allow students to learn to communicate with people outside of their own field, as well as give them the chance to learn about topics that may not be discussed in their regular curriculum.

Who is your idea designed for and how does it reimagine higher education to support the needs of tomorrow?

This idea is designed for universities to implement as a course option. Higher education generally ignores the needs of the individual. The proposed solution would allow students as individuals to work towards understanding what kind of challenges they would like to work on, as well as learning to communicate with a wide variety of people. Such experience will improve communication skills, foster creativity, and allow students to get a better view of how they can use their degree.

This idea emerged from:

  • An individual

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

The organization of the solution could be improved. Perhaps the initial project proposals would include job descriptions for each necessary member of the team, or would someone more experienced determine what type of students are needed? Team sizes would be variable, so would this be set up as a course, or would teams be given a faculty advisor to guide them, allowing additional flexibility in team sizes?

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Determine an issue that is generally important to the community, and based on that begin a small project team of interested people. Give a set amount of time for the project to take place, and monitor progress throughout. After completion, survey participants regarding what they learned (split as in their field and outside of their field), what they discovered about themselves, and whether or not they enjoyed the project.

Tell us about your work experience:

I recently graduated with a degree in Computer Science & Engineering from The Ohio State University. I have some experience in marketing as I worked as a marketing intern for Concur Technologies for one year.

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