For many years, Vesalius College has built a solid reputation in teaching and learning innovation. Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, blended and online learning was part of its educational portfolio. Now, with the establishment of an Office for Teaching and Learning Innovation (OTLI) in the Spring of 2020, VeCo has taken the next step in this essential development towards the ‘education of the future’.
The OTLI serves as a knowledge hub for the Veco’s teaching staff and focuses on pedagogical innovation and the use of technology to enhance learning. Concretely, its dedicated team works on the design and implementation of sustainable teaching and learning policies that aim to improve the student learning experience for all course formats, from face-to-face to blended to fully online. In doing so, the OTLI team attaches great importance to student participation through continuous student feedback, in a spirit of co-creation, leading to the best result for all concerned.
In the months following the start of the lockdown in Belgium in March 2020, the OTLI has successfully provided training, advice and support for professors during the state of ‘emergency remote teaching’ as a result of the pandemic. As a result of this, we could ensure the continuity of more than 90% of the planned lectures. In parallel, the OTLI has been working on the transition to a more sustainable model for building courses that will be implemented as of the academic year 2020-2021
Sven Van Kerckhoven, Veco Vice-Dean for Education, comments:
Educational innovation is truly key for us. Along with personalised attention for our students, it is what sets us apart. Already back in 2016, the Flemish educational authorities labelled our institution as a pioneer in developing on-line learning methods in European law and policy. That was the past, now we look at the future. The OTLI will be a cornerstone of our educational strategy in years to come. With this in-house experience, we want to pass a clear message to our current and future students: no matter what type of learning experience you have with us, face-to-face, blended or online, it will always be personal, flexible and high-quality!