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Learning Enhancement and Development

Session 2E - Paper 2

Innovative Food Systems Teaching and Learning: Overcoming disciplinary and teaching silos to fix the food system

Session Slides

Dr Raquel Ajates-Gonzalez - School of Arts and Social Sciences, City, University of London
Rebecca Wells - School of Arts and Social Sciences, City, University of London

IFSTAL is a technology enhanced learning programme bringing together PG students from across 7 HE institutions to learn about the food system beyond their own disciplines.

While inter-university and interdisciplinary research projects are very common in Higher Education (HE), inter-university and interdisciplinary teaching programmes are still very rare. This paper reflects on the first year of the Innovative Food Systems Teaching and Learning (IFSTAL) programme. IFSTAL is a three-year project funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) with the aim of bringing together postgraduate students from very different programmes to learn about food and farming beyond their own disciplines. IFSTAL creates learning environments and activities that encourage students to think systemically about the transdisciplinary challenges facing the food system. IFSTAL combines both face to face events and an inter-university virtual learning environment (VLE) that was created from scratch for this project. At the end of its first year, a survey was carried out to evaluate the programme and inform the structure for year two (Y2). Survey data revealed students preferred interacting at face to face events over the shared VLE. The programme for Y2 was re-designed to incorporate more flipped classroom features with an andragogy-based approach.

The session will start with a 20min presentation that will include: 1) an introduction to IFSTAL and 2) an overview the different technologies used as part of this inter-university programme to bring together PG students based in different cities and institutions.

The presentation will be followed by a 10min Q&A session.

Attendees will benefit from gaining an insight into this unique project that combines elements of education technology, multidisciplinarity, engagement strategies and flipped classroom approaches.


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