How does community engagement pedagogically promote socio-emotional skills for innovation in higher education students?
Responsible Teaching & Learning
Andrea Detmer, University College London, United Kingdom
Single presentation - 30 Minutes
The responsibility for educating future innovators is shared by universities and the broader community. Experiencing real-world innovation challenges enhances students’ ability to engage (responsibly) in innovation ecosystems. The capacities required to innovate include skills of a socio-emotional nature, such as working with different others, empathising with users, and being open, flexible and curious. This paper explores the role of community engagement on developing socio-emotional skills for innovation in higher education students. The qualitative methodology consisted of an explorative cross-country multiple case study of four Minors for Innovation, two in Chile and two in the Netherlands. 52 semi-structured interviews were developed with a range of participants in the Minors. These Minors for Innovation are credited packages of courses about innovation offered optionally to undergraduate students of different disciplines. The findings suggest a significant pedagogical contribution of community engagement activities in the development of socio-emotional skills for innovation, despite operational challenges in the collaboration. Findings analyse three aspects: the modalities of community engagement that participants acknowledge as meaningful for developing these skills; challenges observed by participants when engaging with the community as pedagogical means; and the benefits for students in terms of the development of socio-emotional skills for innovation.