In the early stages of developing a new international master course, the University of Tilburg was interested in a series of empathic conversations with students to explore some first ideas and considerations. STBY guided and facilitated these conversations. We organised three exploratory discussion sessions with groups of students who fitted the profile of the future target group.
As the university aims to give the students in the new course an active role in shaping the actual projects they will be working on, it is of course important to put its foot where its mouth is from day one. The envisioned inter-disciplinary, practice-based collaborations with external organisations will be most successful if the students are fully engaged and involved in some of the crucial choices to be made. In the discussion sessions it was clear that the students were pleasantly surprised by this opportunity to co-create their education. To further develop the new master course, the university aims to continue this process of open discussions with students.
Aware that focus groups about future services may trigger general opinions rather than observations based on actual experiences, we prepared a structured process that elicited a mix of individual and group-based responses. Guided by an agenda that explored some of the central aspects of the course, we first triggered the students to individually reflect on a topic by making personal notes, before we opened it up for a lively and highly interactive group discussion.
To ensure clear and effective communication with the students, STBY involved two young journalists from Spunk as co-moderators. Over the past years we have worked with them on various research projects that focused on young people. An enjoyable and high-quality collaboration.