International and Interdisciplinary Short-term Exchange in Student Life
The Erasmus+ Digital Competence BIP (Blended Intensive Programme) gathered students and teachers from four European countries to study the opportunities and obstacles digitalization creates for different target groups. The CUAS and its Ageing Research Centre (IARA) participated and co-designed the BIP programme “Digital Competences” together with its partners; Technical University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt (Germany), VID Specialized University (Norway) and Diaconia University of Applied Sciences (Finnland).
BIP is a fun way to learn and meet new people, the student participants say. During the BIP the students were organized in international teams, including students from Norway, Finland, Germany and Austria. The CUAS student team consisted of 12 students with interdisciplinary backgrounds (Medical Informatics and Health Sciences). The exchange and intensive week in Helsinki (8-12th May 2023) was focused on developing concrete solutions in the field of Digital Healthcare and Active and Assisted Living (AAL). The students were introduced to methods of Design Thinking and User-Centered development, which provided them with a fast way of developing ideas and concepts and their analysis in interdisciplinary teams. Throughout the week, the students analyzed and developed ideas, Personas and concrete mockups, related to the general question: “What could be a gamified target group-focused intervention to motivate older, active people to move more in their daily life?”. They also had the chance to exchange with experts in the field and also with the target groups.
The BIP created innovative, flexible teaching and learning opportunities that consisted of both decentralized online components and an international experience with an in-depth face-to-face exchange. “Interdisciplinary and transnational cooperation is one of the key elements of BIPs. For example, my students have a background in health management and medical informatics. BIP gives them the opportunity to broaden their knowledge as well as introduce their own knowledge to others. BIPs thus offer new insights. “says Daniela Ströckl from CUAS, who was one of the teachers in the course.
Comments from the students during the intensive week in Helsinki:
“One of the most interesting things I’ve learned in the course has been design thinking which refers to recognizing problems and finding solutions to them. In this course, we have discussed themes such as senior citizenship and digital inclusion. The challenges have been cut into little pieces which makes it easier to find solutions as well…”
“The best part of the BIP has been getting to know new people. Participants from different study fields and countries ensure the opportunity to gain new perspectives.”
“It has been interesting to study and learn together with students from different disciplines – ranging from social studies to occupational therapy or the IT sector…”
MedTech @ FH Kärnten Team