A lot of (re)imagination during the last learning circle at VUB!

‘Why are the indicators there? They shouldn’t be the end goal of a project, but the key to bringing the project to a good end.’

On Wednesday the 27th of April, our Learning Circle came together for the fourth and (for now) last time. During the first session, the subjects of the following three sessions were decided upon. Session two would go on to talk about the importance of participation, communicating with the stakeholders, and the transfer of information. Relationships was the overarching theme of the third session, including how to interact with students.

As students in the masters of translation, we (Brent and Mouna) were honoured to be a part of this final workshop as interns. Together with the other participants, we met up in a room especially set aside for us in the USquare building. The theme of this session was the (re)imagination of research and learning in order to make them more community engaged.

Our colleague, Nicola da Schio, shared with us a rubric/evaluation grid written by Wickson and Carew (2014) concerning Responsible Research & Innovation (RRI). Through this blog post, we were exposed to seven indicators that allowed us to measure the quality of engaged research and learning processes and outcomes. These indicators can be depicted in the radar chart below:


Not all projects need to have a high score on every indicator. Rather, these indicators should serve as a form of reflection, to help get the project on the right track.

But how practical is this theory?

A student of art history and archaeology at the VUB, Beau Vermote, shared with us the subject of the course museum didactics, and her reflection on it using the RRI framework. She and her team created a booklet that would allow museums to set up more inspiring guided tours.

This booklet also contained some exercises for teachers on how to help students look at art, one of which we did as a group. We first took a brief look at a painting, before we were asked to turn around and describe what we had seen. The result was that each of us had focussed on different details, but that crucial aspects had been lost to us, such as background details and basic features of the painting itself -canvas orientation being the main one-.

This exercise taught us that people have different ways of looking at things, which is why the ability to interact with people is so important, as is problem solving. This led to a discussion in which it became apparent that the indicators of the rubric are an inherent part of any project. We all agreed that using the rubric as a means of self-assessment and re-evaluation while the project is still ongoing could be an enriching experience for everyone.

So, have a look at the rubric for yourself!]

After our time in the room had ended, we all met up outside for some sunlight and sandwiches, and to continue our discussion in an informal way. All in all, it was a very inspiring workshop, and we wish to thank everyone who has been a part of our Learning Circles. We hope to see everyone again at the Inspiration Day on the 24th of May!