The toolkits will address teachers, students, and higher education leadership, providing both practical techniques and broader recommendations to improve student engagement and advising methods.

1) Toolkit for engaged and co-creative learning and teaching on the course level

The first toolkit will offer concrete suggestions and strategies for three major aspects of course/module design. 

  1. Co-creating content and learning goals, providing a structure to guide but not constrain, e.g. a network of interacting ideas, concepts and theories, which students can navigate
  2. Fostering interaction, ensuring that all students are actively participating to the best of their ability, and are achieving the required depth, rather than staying on the surface of the material
  3. Using open forms of assessment, including papers, presentations, but also group work which allow students to use the particular knowledge and skills they have gained in the course

2) Toolkit for faculty advising

All partner institutions feature curricula and programs that offer students a significant amount of choice in designing their studies. In order to channel this curricular freedom into a productive direction, each partner has developed its own advising or mentoring schemes.  This toolkit will bring together the expertise of the partner institutions and offer a number of instructional materials such as videos and podcasts.

3) Toolkit for peer advising

Especially students at the very beginning of their higher education often censor themselves when asked to talk about their ambitions and ideas, because they feel a lack of adequate judgment about what is realistic or meets expected standards. Semi-structured conversations with peers, who have been trained to act as student advisers, can help students overcome such barriers and find the confidence to express themselves in more professional contexts. In order to prepare students for peer advising, Toolkit 3 will contain several instructional videos in which trainers of peer advisers and student advisers address key issues of the peer advising relationship and process.

4) Toolkit for self-advising

Good advising only occurs if both advisers and students are engaged in an honest conversation about a student’s goals and values, and how these might best be pursued. In order to facilitate these kinds of conversations, students must reflect on their own ambitions, strengths and weaknesses, as well as their preferred learning style. This is often a difficult process. Many students find it hard to think about their future in a structured fashion and to gauge the long-term implications of their choices. In order to stimulate students to address these questions and render the process of reflection more productive, CREATES will develop of series of self-advising tools such as e-portfolios.