The project started with an Inception Meeting in Antwerp to discuss the project, the different tasks and to set up the partnership agreement.
The first step was the installation of campus teams at the 12 LA HEI partners. The campus teams are responsible for selecting existing courses and programs in which a CITYLAB module can be implemented. The campus team includes teaching staff, administrative staff and policy makers from the different faculties that are selected as local "champions".
The composition of the campus teams must reflect an interdisciplinary orientation. Also in the preparation phase, an expert pool got developed. This is a long list of experts from all HEI partner staff in urban problems, fi architecture, conservation, planning, design, engineering, sociology, law, governance, etc willing to collaborate on urban issues in the project. The list was used to select experts to guide the PBL modules at the LA HEI.
Next, we organized a 3 day technical workshop on PBL with all HEI partners. The aim of this workshop is to exchange and discuss teaching experiences, to select best practice and to develop guidelines for the implementation of PBL modules in the universities. The workshop is a joint effort of both EU and LA partners, and will be led by the University of Aalborg jointly with University of Lima that will be hosted the seminar. The output of the workshops will be used to develop online teaching material and guidelines.
The University of Aalborg jointly with Politecnico di Torino and Politecnica de Madrid , will organize on line courses for all universities in collaboration with the local campus teams on problem based learning. The primary target group are teachers that are already involved in the campus teams and that will organize modules, but also teachers at universities that are not yet involved but are interested in forms of PBL. The University of Aalborg will also guide the campus teams in the preparation of the PBL modules.
Before the implementation of the PBL modules at the LA universities, we will host a number of explorative interviews in the Capital cities of the LA partner countries . The aim of these fora is to share with cities the PBL methods, to exchange problems and challenges and to select candidates to run CITYLAB modules. Per country, 2 cities will be selected on specific themes. Students will work in interdisciplinary groups on urban issues in these cities by making an interdisciplinary analysis and come up with concrete solutions. In total 12 different modules will be run at the universities, involving at least 36 faculties.
When a link is made between universities and cities through the urban fora, the modules will run at the different universities. Campus teams will decide on the exact modalities of their modules in order to adjust the module to the local opportunities and context (required courses, elective courses). For each module 4 experts from the expert pool will be selected (2 from Europe and 2 from Latin America) to guide students with specific expertise. The expert visits will be organized during mid-term reviews of the student work in the CITYLABS.
The final activity is a conference at the University of Rosario in Bogota. The conference has multiple aims. First, it aims to disseminate insights and stimulate academic discussion on problem based teaching methods. The conference will be open for academic scholars with paper sessions and round tables. Secondly, the conference aims to expose the work of the students in the PBL modules. We provide travel costs for 4 students of the best teams of the different university to participate and present their work. Moreover, an interdisciplinary jury involving academics and professionals, will select a winning team during the conference. The exposure and competition will motivate students to participate in the CITYLABS. Third, the conference aims to involve a broad range of teachers in Europe and Latin America to share ideas and experiences on problem based learning.