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HACKATHON for educational innovation

Goal/ purpose

Practice the first steps of design thinking: empathize, define, ideate and prototype
During a hackathon, participants have to solve a problem - a case - in a short time

Duration

24 till 36 hours

Material

Depends on the case (pen, paper, computer…)
A case preferably from a professional

Description

The school, city or company present their case to the participants.

In what follows students accept the challenge and try to find a good solution for the problem within the give time frame.

You prefer to invite a multidisciplinary group for a hackathon. In this way, you can have students from the teacher training course work together with students from other courses, but also with external participants. By working in multi-disciplinary groups you broaden everyone's perspective

During a hackathon it's all about cooperation. You all work in a pleasant, informal setting to find a good solution as quickly as possible. Teamwork, time pressure and the necessary relaxation ensure an inspiring event where everyone gets the most out of themselves. This provides an enormous boost of energy before, during and after the event. You will see that after the event you will continue to solve other cases full of energy and inspiration.

Students focus on the first three steps and if possible sketch a prototype of their solution. However, the emphasis is mainly on thinking up a solution rather than actually realizing it. That would be a nice bonus, but that is not the intention.

Success factors

Start from a well-developed case. The goal to be achieved must be very clear for each team. If not, solutions will be devised that nobody is waiting for.

Keep the case realistic and adapt it to the available time and space.

Provide different times when students can call on experts who have a good knowledge of the case. This way, students can not only empathize better at the start, but they can also question them if they get stuck in their process.

How did we use it at the AP college?

In our college, students from the Applied Computer Science and Electronics ICT course successfully took part in a hackaton.

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