TePlab researchers want their research to be useful for practice. Besides (and within) research projects focusing on the study of teaching practices, we set up co-creative collaborations between didactic researchers, teachers, NGOs, government agencies, businesses, etc. We do so in different ways:
Lesson Design Workshops
A lesson design workshop (LDW) is a specific method for creating lesson plans and teaching materials in cooperation between researchers and teachers. The workshop is built upon four principles:
- LDWs are set up as a genuine co-production between didactic researchers and teachers, each contributing with unique but complementary competences. Thus, the outcomes – the products – are a result of a fusion of didactic research expertise and proven professional experience.
- LDWs start from a teaching challenge, a teaching task that needs further attention in order to make students to learn more and better. Thus, the workshops focus on a professional challenge.
- The outcomes of LDWs are useful products for teachers, such as teaching plans and teaching materials, which the teacher can take home after the workshop and share with colleagues.
- LDWs are part of a cyclical process of continuous refinement. Instead of reinventing the wheel, we co-create lessons building on earlier work and disseminate these through digital infrastructures that facilitate further feedback and refinement by other teachers. In this way the process of quality care and refinement is continued after the workshop.
A didactic sandbox is a cooperation between researchers and educators to introduce intervention models and to allow educators to put (their own adaptations of) the models to the test in a safe environment. Educators can test parts of the model and didactic interventions with invited other educators and learners. The testbed is to allow for immediate peer-to-peer feedback and on-the-spot trial and error redesign of smaller planned educational interventions and didactic plans. Further, the testbed is to allow for documentation of diverse sets and approaches that operationalise the developed intervention model and to adapt it to findings from implementation.
TePlab researchers are engaged in several (research and) development projects that involve co-creative collaboration between didactic researchers, teachers, NGOs, government agencies, businesses, etc. Some examples:
- In the SEAS project, we collaborate with schools and out-of-school partners to implement practices of open schooling through Locally Relevant Teaching (LORET).
- In the project ‘Didactic models and learning study’ we organise Lesson Design Workshops on sustainability education and teaching and learning to program.
- In the project ‘Open schooling for sustainable cities and communities’ we develop didactic models, guidelines for curriculum development and course didactics, and scripts for in-service and pre-service training of educators to address real-world problems in school and university education.
- In the context of the European University Network ENLIGHT, TePlab researchers are involved in several initiatives to collaborate with university lecturers and develop tools and workshops for implementing challenge-based education.
- In the Belgian project ‘Climate change in higher education’ we translated our research result as well as the experiences and teaching practices of teachers in 15 case studies into an ‘inspiration guide’ for educators (in Dutch).