Higher education in the making: reinvigorating learning institutions throughout cross-academic collaborations

Published on Feb 28, 2020
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Abstract
The aim of this white paper is twofold: recapping the main learnings and experiences delivered in the OD&M project during the last 3 years, as well as presenting a different set of guidelines that can help bridging maker culture with Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) at European level. To this extent, the paper presents a 7 point-structure starting with a brief introduction of how the project was originally conceived, second point builds up on the findings of a previous report delivered into the project, third section presents the OD&M approach, the different nodes that have been involved, as well as the particularities of the training prototype and the digital platform that has supported the development of the project. The fourth point recap the main research methods delivered, the fifth one sums up the main project learnings, number six provide a set of policy recommendations and the last points provides some concluding remarks,reflections and the bibliography used. During this period of time 4 nodes (Italy, Poland, Spain and UK) have been piloting a training prototype that has been based on the results of the exploratory study (Martelloni et al., 2017) implemented by the Alliance over 2017. This report aimed to achieve a deep understanding of the types of collaborations that universities, maker communities and companies across Europe and China are currently developing around the making culture and, by extension, using open design and manufacturing. The results of this study have been used to design training prototypes where effective collaboration between these agents has been carried out, taking into account the cultural and socioeconomic particularities of the 4 different nodes. The main rationale that supported experimentation among the actors of the OD&M triangle is that maker movement is a revolutionary force for experiential education, but this cannot underplay the need of establishing alliances and collaborations between different stakeholders to make it sustainable and viable. Open design and manufacturing are paradigms mainly supported by ecosystems of actors that need to be engaged and supported, and this is the first step to establish and open innovation ecosystem oriented to education and supported by digital platforms. After developing the second phase of the project where 4 training prototypes were delivered in the four nodes and putting an end to the trip that was initiated at Florence in January 2017, a final set of recommendations are collected and presented at the end of this document.
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