Community Engaged Learning for Energy in the Built Environment
The project contributes to the themes Energy Transition & Sustainability, and the application domain of the built environment. We aim to place citizens/households’ energy-related behaviour at the centre of the energy transition. This proposal is for the course GEO4-2522. The aim is to develop innovative educational initiatives regarding energy in the built environment, and to develop collaborations with relevant stakeholders to tackle sustainability challenges.
Firstly we want to develop interactive in-class sessions in the form of workshops to work together with external partners from local government organisations (municipalities/provinces), non-profit organisations, foundations, citizens’ initiatives, and companies with a social objective. For this we look at partners already providing guest lectures or workshopw for our students, and possible collaborations on demonstration projects such as the Inside Out and Iris Smart Cities which involve co-creation with citizens in the area of Utrecht, across the Netherlands (and beyond), but also to connect with other relevant stakeholders.
This proposal is intended to build upon (and expand upon) this first trial in 2022-2023 in the form of two additional workshops, as part of the course GEO4-2522, with the following partners:
- Regionaal Energieloket: a collaboration between municipalities, local organisations and businesses helping 2.7 million Dutch residents to make their homes more sustainable. Contact person and UU alumnus: Manuel Oppenoorth (Consultant Sustainable Living).
- Energie-U: originally started as a citizens’ initiative in 2010, which has nowadays grown to one of the largest energy cooperatives in the Netherlands with both volunteers and permanent employees. Contact person: Sander Willemsen (Director).
In the envisioned interactive workshops, we aim to further develop and apply concepts such as challenge-based learning and community-engaged learning where students will be taught to find solutions for societal challenges through collaboration with their peers, lecturers, and experts from outside the university.
- Sharpen students’ critical thinking, peer-feedback and (self-)reflection skills
- Enhance the ability of the students to work effectively in a team, and to guide them to create meaningful online discussions
- Encourage (state of the art) interdisciplinary collaboration within the context in which emerging energy technologies and concepts in the built environment are employed, and how different technologies can be integrated both in research and in practice.
Goals and results
The project aim (as part of GEO4-2522 ‘Energy in the Built Environment’) is twofold:
- Develop innovative educational initiatives with an impact on current curricula, i.e., new initiatives in CEL, support lifelong learning as part of an online community on urban energy, and expand our blended learning activities based on ourCOVID-19 experiences with focus on direct interaction between students and lecturers, and between students and their peers.
- Develop collaborations with relevant stakeholders to tackle sustainability challenges, i.e., build and maintain an online community on urban energy to stay connected with our alumni and relevant stakeholders, and develop interactive workshops for our students with the participation of experts outside the university.