Bachelor of Creative Technology
Information dossier in support of the application for the New Studies Test
Part A: The programme description
Dr. Z.M. Ruttkay
Chair of the Creative Technology Programme Development Group
Dr. A. Eliëns
Member of the Creative Technology Programme Development Group
Dr. G.F. van der Hoeven
Creative Technology Programme Educational Director
19 November 2008
Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
The Information dossier in support of the application for the New Undergraduate Studies Test consists of the following volumes:
Part A: The programme description
The major document, discussing the motivation, the content and formal aspects of the proposed bachelor programme Creative Technology.
References from the text are to be found in the accompanying parts.
Part B: Study units descriptions and staff CVs
A supplementary volume, containing the description for each study unit and the short cv of key academic staff members.
Part C: Related initiatives
A supplementary volume, containing examples, related initiatives, discussion of the implications of the IIP/CREATE (in volume C), references to further resources.
Part D: IIP/CREATE
IIP/CREATE is the abbreviation of The Strategic Research Agenda of the ICT Innovation Platform Creative Industry, published in May, 2008.
Because of its relevance, we add the full document as an appendix. The report is available in digital format from the http://iipcreate.com site, on page:
The present report is available from the Creative Technology wiki page:
The report is the result of the joint effort of a half-year work of the Creative Technology Programme Committee, defining all aspects of this novel bachelor programme and flashing out study units from different disciplines. The authors acknowledge the contribution of the following people:
Prof.dr.ir. J. van Amerongen (EWI)
Dr.ir. G.M. Bonnema (CTW)
Ir. W. Eggink (CTW)
Prof.dr.ir. B.J. Geurts (EWI)
Dr. A.H. Mader (EWI)
Ir. J. Scholten (EWI)
Bas Olde Hampsink (Saxion Hogescholen, Academie Toegepaste kunst en techniek) acted as an appreciated external advisor of the working group.
Finally, we are indebted for the support and advice from several colleagues at EWI and at other faculties, as well as from outside the UT, particularly from ArtEZ AKI (ArtEZ AKI, The Enschede Academy of Visual Arts); TU/e (Eindhoven), HvK (Utrecht), V2_ (Rotterdam) and the Waag Society (Amsterdam).
This report proposes a new three year university bachelor programme Creative Technology to be offered by the University of Twente.
The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science of the university will be responsible for the programme, but other faculties, notably the faculties of Engineering Technology and Behavioural Sciences are involved in programme development and teaching.
General motivation for this proposal is found in the development of ICT and its impact on the job market and the national ICT strategy in relation to the creative industry.
Another and equally important motivation is the need to attract more students (in particular also female students) to technology and engineering, and to educate a type of engineer who is interested, competent and skilled in both artistic and scientific domains, motivated to invent new (technological) devices for the well-being of people, and driven by curiosity and the joy of the process of creation itself.
The Strategic Research Agenda of the ICT Innovation Platform Creative Industry, published in May, 2008, comparison with other educational programmes in the same or an adjacent field, and an analysis of professional scenarios for people with a Creative Technology degree underpin domain specific requirements for this university (WO) bachelor programme.
The programme has four major components: Technology, Creativity, Design and Business. Technology covers the basics of Mathematics and Computer Science, as well as the themes New Media and Smart Technology (including the basics of Electrical Engineering). Students make a choice between the two themes as a track of specialisation.
In the instructional concept the stimulus for creativity in study units Creative Applications and Creative Explorations is central. Students will build their portfolio, and are encouraged to start companies. The programme is a mixture of disciplinary courses and project-based study units. The study load of the entire programme is 180 EC (in both tracks).
Students with any VWO profile may be enrolled. The intake procedure is elaborate. Every potential student who applies is thoroughly screened and receives an individual advice about the chances of success. This approach is chosen to meet the challenge of attracting more students and to educate the “new” type of engineer as envisioned by the programme. The quality of this education will gain from the presence of students with all kinds of backgrounds.
An intake of at least 60 students per year is expected. Market research shows an even higher potential.
The university and the faculty have awarded considerable budgets to support this initiative. Plans to create appropriate facilities for the programme are in the initial phases of execution. Part of the budget is used to strengthen the university’s design group (in cooperation with Industrial Engineering), and to help lecturers prepare for the new tasks this programme sets.
There is outside support for the initiative. The dean of the faculty has an advisory board of representatives from industry and other universities, which assists in all matters concerning the programme: defining the goals, thinking about the instructional concept and core content, finding guest lecturers for subjects and so on.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Creative Technology is the degree programme that brings about solutions to problems associated with ‘working and living tomorrow’ by interweaving modern digital technology with fundamental needs in our daily lives. New technology is studied and developed with full integration and recognition of its impact in the personal as well as in the societal domain. This is achieved by combining a genuine sensitivity for societal problems with craftsmanship from the engineering sciences. Creative Technology offers new solutions in human living and wellbeing, in mobility, in activity and in leisure, in communication and in public space.
The mission is to develop creative minds capable of designing new concepts and applications for newly developed and developing Information and Communication Technologies. Artistic, technical and practical aspects in systems in the fields of new media and smart technologies are integrated with an academic approach and methodology. We nurture creative minds and offer theoretical, technical and practical training in a stimulating atmosphere. Creative Technology is a multi-disciplinary curriculum, incorporating design, electrical engineering, computer science and mathematics in new ways, with a strong attention for the psychological as well as the philosophical context.
This document, with additional background materials in Part B and C, provides the motivation and description for Creative Technology, a new bachelor of science programme to be launched at the University of Twente in the Faculty for Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science. Uniquely in the Netherlands, Creative Technology aims at preparing young people to invent new applications of digital technologies for every-day life. Key distinguishing elements in the education in Creative Technology are:
•The education is multidisciplinary, combining elements from technology, design, human factors, and business skills. Throughout, challenges are integrated in the curriculum to apply and understand these components in creative answers to societal needs.
•The teaching and study methods rely on ‘learning by doing’, exploration and own initiatives by (groups of) students. The curriculum is arranged alongside a backbone of creative applications, providing a framework in which technological, design and communicational aspects can be nurtured and assessed. This process emphasizes individual qualities as well as team dynamics. Students will develop an individual portfolio and will cooperate in groups, assuming different roles, according to their talents and interests.
•The education is open to any student with a VWO diploma (or equivalent), with affinity to inventing new technological designs. This shift directs more young talents towards technology, which is crucial to the Dutch high-tech knowledge-based society.
•The degree programme is internationally oriented, aiming to attract also foreign students, and prepare students for their future workplace in a globalized world. Accordingly, the study language is English.
Finding function and expression of smart systems and new media is explored by the following methods from the mathematical sciences and industrial design. The capability of prototyping, engineering and implementation of complex realizations grows from traditions in computer science and electrical engineering. This connects Creative Technology directly to the context at the University of Twente through close relationships with Industrial Design, Psychology and Communication Sciences.
Moreover, unique links develop with regional institutions such as Saxion Hogeschool, particularly the curriculum Art and Technology, and ArtEZ AKI, The Enschede Academy of Visual Arts. Outside the educational realm, excellent opportunities exist to connect to creative industries in the Twente area. Combined, these circumstances provide a natural foundation for establishing Creative Technology in this part of the Netherlands with the ambition to develop a strong centre of international reputation.
The challenges posed by modern living put this endeavour in its timely context – technology has progressed to a point that a shifting emphasis on purpose and function is pursued, contrasting earlier traditional focus on the technological developments alone. On a national level, connections within the 3TU Federation are natural with institutions in Eindhoven and Delft concentrating on industrial design and on architecture, building and planning. Outside the 3TU federation the Creative Technology curriculum connects well with the Schools for Applied Art and the Creative Industries that are scattered across the Netherlands with concentrations in Amsterdam, Utrecht and Eindhoven. The IIP/CREATE national ICT program, on the one hand, justifies the objectives of Creative Technology, and on the other hand, aims at developing a rich ecosystem for the Creative Industry in the Netherlands, with attention for academic education and research (IIP/CREATE is the abbreviation of The Strategic Research Agenda of the ICT Innovation Platform Creative Industry, published in May, 2008).
Internationally, a number of initiatives have been taken that share some of the focus and ambitions of Creative Technology and with which good collaboration will be developed i.e., among others, the Faculty of Creative Technologies at Portsmouth University and Media Design at Keio University in Japan.
How to read this report
Since it describes a degree programme to be taught in English, the language of this report is English.
The context of the Creative Technology programme is Dutch. This holds for the educational system as a whole, as well as for the University of Twente. The report therefore uses the normal Dutch phrases and abbreviations to refer to characteristics of that context. So VWO is used to refer to the schools of secondary education which prepare for admission to university programmes. And we speak about M- and N-profiles to refer to the variants of VWO-diploma’s the Dutch system offers (N-profile is a typical Nature- or Science variant, M- profile is the Society and Arts variant.)
The report has 10 chapters (including this introduction).
The aspects of the formal accreditation framework: objectives and learning outcome, programme, staff, facilities and quality control are treated in the chapters 5-9. Chapter 10 finally is the financial paragraph, with the tables depicting costs and revenues of the programme and the programme development.
The chapters 2, 3 and 4 explain the organization and the key ideas behind this proposal. They offer information about the university, faculty and programme organization, they explain what motivates this proposal, and what the context is in which this proposal is to be placed, and they describe the major innovations of this proposal.
The proposed bachelor programme Creative Technology will be offered by the University of Twente.
The university is headed by the Executive Board. It has five faculties headed by faculty Deans. The faculties are
(Gedragswetenschappen in Dutch, abbreviated GW)
•Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
(Elektrotechniek, Wiskunde en Informatica in Dutch, abbreviated EWI)
(Construerende Technische Wetenschappen in Dutch, abbreviated CTW)
•Management and Governance
(Management en Bestuur in Dutch, abbreviated MB)
•Science and Technology
(Technische Natuurwetenschappen in Dutch, abbreviated TNW).
Primary responsibility for the Creative Technology programme lies with the faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science. In this report we refer to university faculties by their Dutch abbreviations. In particular we shall refer to the home faculty of Creative Technology as "EWI".
Dean of EWI is Prof.dr.ir. A.J. Mouthaan. The faculty has three departments: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science. Each department offers bachelor and master degree programmes in their respective disciplines. EWI participates in two master programmes offered by the 3TU graduate school (the Federation of the 3 Dutch technical universities): Systems and Control and Embedded Systems. Finally, EWI is co-responsible for the Business and IT programmes (both bachelor and master), together with the MB faculty. EWI co-operates considerably with other faculties in many programmes.
This year the programmes of EWI enrol 922 students. This number has been decreasing over the last years. Still, EWI is one of the larger faculties of the university when it comes to teaching efforts. EWI staff is active in many programmes offered under the primary responsibility of another faculty.
At this moment EWI employs 454 persons as academic staff (304 of which are temporary appointments.)
As to formal organization, the Dean of EWI will appoint the Education Committee (opleidingscommissie), the Examination Board and the Director of Education for the Creative Technology programme. The Dean has already appointed the Programme Development Group, with the Creative Technology Programme Head as its chairman. The members of the Programme Development Group are:
Dr. Z.M. Ruttkay (chair, Programme Head),
Prof.dr.ir. J. van Amerongen (EWI),
Dr.ir. G.M. Bonnema (CTW),
Ir. W. Eggink (CTW),
Dr. A. Eliëns, (Free University Amsterdam, EWI)
Prof.dr.ir. B.J. Geurts (EWI),
Dr. A.H. Mader (EWI),
Ir. J. Scholten (EWI).
The Dean has invited interested and relevant parties outside the university to participate in the Creative Technology Advisory Board. Members of this Board are:
Prof.dr. E.H.L. Aarts, Professor of Design for Ambient Intelligence Technische Universiteit Eindhoven,
Dr. R.H. van den Berg, Head of Business Development & Licensing Endemol Nederland,
Dr. S. Hand, Head of School Creative Technologies Portsmouth University,
Prof.dr.ir. J.H. Eggen, Professor of User Centred Engineering Technische Universiteit Eindhoven,
Prof.dr. A. Kruger, Institute for Geo Informatics University of Muenster,
Dhr. H. Mulder,
Mevr. M. Stikker, Directeur Waag Society,
Dr.ir. J.L.F.W. van Kokswijk, Professor of Virtualisation, Medical Faculty KU Leuven, Associate professor HCI, KAIST (Korea), Technology Consultant Capgemini consulting.
The Director of Education of the EWI Computer Science department, Dr. G.F. van der Hoeven, acts as Director for the Creative Technology Programme.
Administrative support and budget for Creative Technology will be provided by EWI.
The programme development and the teaching duties for Creative Technology are not the work of EWI and EWI staff alone. There is close cooperation with (and there are considerable contributions from) the CTW faculty, home of the Industrial Design Engineering Programme. There is also cooperation with GW (Psychology and Communication Studies) and MB (Business development). Finally, there is cooperation with and there will be contributions from Saxion and ArtEZ AKI.
Creative Technology is meant to be the first university bachelor of science curriculum in the Netherlands, dedicated in content and in teaching methods to develop creativity of young people on an academic level to invent novel technological applications. The launching of this new type of technological education is highly timely, has a good ground in the Twente region, and is supported by favourable trends, both nationally and internationally. Below, we take a closer look at the general motivation for and the context for the interdisciplinary Bachelor Creative Technology.
General motivation for the Creative Technology initiative is found in the following
•the development of ICT and its impact on the job market;
•the national ICT strategy, in relation to the creative industry;
3.1.1Development of ICT and its impact on the job market
In our every-day life we are surrounded by the latest achievements of electronics and informatics technology, like small chips, mobile phones, GPS, wireless connections (WiFi, RFID), the internet with a multitude of services and a huge load of information available in digital format, including video and audio. The current trend of development of the ICT technology and its applications may be characterised [Humans08, IIP/CREATE] as:
•steady increase in computational processing power, decrease in chip size, improvement in display technology (high-quality large displays, wearable displays like spectacles);
•development of small, wearable sensors, augmenting or replacing traditional input to computing systems;
•textual, visual and audio information stored in digital format is characteristic of all domains of applications, and in all stages (design – development – production-sale – maintenance);
•life is becoming on-line, information is available any time, everywhere via the web and local wireless networks, on devices as PDAs and mobile phones;
•number of users and amount of usage is increasing in combination with a tendency for individualisation because factors as:
-dominance of a new generation of teen-age users, with new ways of ‘being on-line’ for several hours every day;
-increasing cultural diversity, as new populations enter as ICT users, particularly, from China, Japan and India;
-many internet users are authors themselves (of user-created content) as individuals or as active members of different on-line communities.
Nowadays the challenge is in keeping up with what the technology has to offer, in terms of ‘harvesting’ the technology and using it for novel services. These services can be targeted at the domains of health, sport, learning, news, culture, communication etc. Services, which are witty and playful, original and attractive, fascinating and easy to use, and last but not least, address real needs in modern every-day life. They contribute to our comfort at home and in town, while travelling or shopping, they provide new ways to recreate, to study or to share experience with others, to ease the life of people with special and individual needs – and even mix some of these functions within a single application. Ultimately, according to [Humans08], our relation to technology will determine and is determined by our understanding of human values and aspirations.
In developing such applications, the major contribution is often the very idea that is the concept or creative insight, as opposed to (the still needed) improvements of solutions to well-defined problems such as increases in efficiency, quality or security of services, and the development of enabling technologies. For instance, new, dynamical, scheduling algorithms may improve the punctual arrival and departure of trains. However, by offering multi-player games on railway stations, we may increase the satisfaction of the clients in a completely different way: by entertainment and meanwhile also creating social contacts and improving communal bonds. The choice here is between a traditional approach to a well articulated problem, on the one hand, and a novel service, inspired by creativity and playfulness, with multiple, less sharp objectives, such as decreasing the subjective perception of idle waiting time and increasing communal bonds in society, on the other. (Of course, whenever possible, both approaches should be pursued, albeit by different experts.) The ways news reaches us is changing, too; paper, new media, even the concept of ‘news’ will change business modalities as we know them now. The design of workable concepts goes beyond disciplinary knowledge and the application of that knowledge. It needs an academic approach because
•a combination of disciplinary knowledge is needed;
•traditional design methodologies come short; human factors are determining success and failure;
•traditional test and evaluation methods come short because of these human factors.
From a range of examples of creative applications we mention the ‘Darfur is Dying’ game which became a world success. It was invented by a team of students from the University of Southern California to draw attention to the life in Sudan. A Dutch example is the Exchange Cabinet developed at the Waag Society in Amsterdam, also based on the original idea of a student, to connect elderly, otherwise lonely, people by means of an interactive digital ‘cabinet’ to share their stories and photos from their own life. See Part C.1 for a more detailed description of these applications, and other ones from the [Humans08] report, and elsewhere.
Typically, as illustrated by these examples, Creative Technology applications are built from technological components, which are results of dedicated research by specialists. Fields as sensor technology, new media, different disciplines of computer science and applied mathematics and natural sciences provide fast/safe data storage, access and communication means as enabling technologies. The appealing and handy to use physical devices reflect the professionalism of industrial designers. However, the major role is attributed to a third type of expert, who comes up with the creative idea of using the technological building blocks for the new services. The invention of such applications requires an open eye for how one could make life better in society, or even improve usability of existing technological platforms, as well as an understanding of what ‘new is out there’ in the technological world. A creative mind is needed to envision an original application. Communicative, artistic and business skills are needed to make sure that the invention does reach the right people.
There is a huge demand from industry for people of the third type, as reflected in recent international manifestos (as Humans08) and also by the interviews we conducted with leading people from Dutch ICT industry (Philips, Logica, IBM, TomTom) and other potential employers (Endemol, Wegener dagbladen). The profile of the new type of technological expert can be characterized as a person capable of:
1.inventing new, successful digital applications;
2.assuring the technological feasibility of the envisioned application;
3.thinking and acting in a business and entrepreneurial context.
These engineers of a new type should not only have a creative and artistic mind, but also bear the signature of an academic education, with regard to their technological knowledge, the capability for an abstract and analytical approach to problems, and a scientific methodology to frame and test the feasibility and social implications of proposed solutions as well as to inventory the perceived need by possible users. Moreover, they should be able to identify if specific expertise is needed, and eventually collaborate in a multidisciplinary team.
Graduates should contribute to existing creative industry; entrepreneurship is essential and new business should be created.
3.1.2The National ICT Strategy towards the Creative Industry
In recent years we have seen in the Netherlands a number of responses to the ICT developments depicted above, demonstrating the potential(s) of the Creative Industry in our country. On a national level, entertainment has been declared as a key long-term program for cultural and economical development in the Netherlands, based on a TNO study from 2005 investigating opportunities in this field [TNO05]. The most prominent and in the near future most influential action along this line is the formation of the ICT Innovation Platform Creative Industry in the spring of 2007. The Strategic Research Agenda, launched on 8 May 2008 at the ICT Delta Congress, proposes a coordinated program, and talks about different players and forces in creating (multiple) ecosystems of competitive creative industry initiatives (see Part D for the full text, and Part C.9, where we recapitulate the most prominent insights). Not surprisingly, education has to play a prominent role. Creative research, moreover, is envisioned to become more application-oriented – with adjusted assessment criteria for ‘artistic and creative research’. In the IIP/CREATE report is stated:
“Creativity is the white spot in academic education.” [IIP/CREATE p. 15].
The Creative Technology bachelor of science programme, embedded in a technical university, is a direct response to these needs.
In the Dutch educational community, we see that many of the universities offer studies in New Media (UvA, University of Groningen, and University of Leiden) or Game Design (new Master at the University of Utrecht). We are witnessing the ‘joining of expertise’ at universities and art colleges, coining new frameworks for Master education where the artistic and design skills and an academic research agenda can be combined (PSAU as a result of collaboration between the Utrecht School of the Arts and the University of Utrecht, the ‘Centre for Creative Content and Technology’ to be formed at the UvA, together with CWI, HvA and Logica). In Tilburg a new research group on ’Creative Computing‘ has recently been launched. (See Part C.3 for a more detailed description of these and other national educational initiatives.)
In the public sector, we observe how centres like the Waag Society, the Media Guild, mediamatic.net and the V2_ Institute of Unstable Media, launched years ago with the aim of exploring new media in a multi-disciplinary fashion, have turned into intellectually and financially blossoming enterprises, and gained international fame. Both Waag Society and V2_ have recently started programs to couple industrial and governmental partners with creative talents of different backgrounds from educational institutions and let them work in exploratory projects like the Patchingzone. (See Part C4.3 for more details.)
These developments on the one hand provide a suitable context for the Creative Technology bachelor programme, and related to this, on the other hand, a continuous line with new kinds of research within ICT. However, we wish to emphasize that Creative Technology is not just one of the many initiatives, but with regard to both content and approach unique and novel in the Dutch context, as it is the only bachelor curriculum in the Netherlands that endorses as much as an educational paradigm shift to train young people for a new type of role in applying (creative) technology.
The Creative Technology initiative stems from and will operate within the context of the EWI faculty, the University of Twente and the Twente region. We will discuss
•the EWI context;
•the UT profile;
•the geographical context.
3.2.1The EWI context
Already for several years, the interest of young people for technical studies is steadily decreasing. This is observed at all technical studies in the Netherlands and in Western Europe. Currently, there is a shortage of academic engineers with an ICT background. In the coming years this will only become worse and as a result it will affect the industrial and R&D activities in the Netherlands. There will be an increasing need for people able to design smart systems with new technologies and components that become available.
Scientific results of EWI offer many possibilities for applications in society. Translation of science to society in the EWI field is a challenge. EWI meets the scientific challenge, and strives to contribute to the translation challenge. The large volume of research in and across the disciplines Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science provides new Information Technologies. The harvesting of these technologies, strengthening academic intercourse between developing technologies, and designing concepts and applications, is to be added.
Apparently, the traditional technological educations like electrical engineering and computer science are attractive to a limited group of youngsters of today. There is however a growing interest in multidisciplinary programmes focused on the application of technology. In the Netherlands, moreover, the usual N&T and N&G admission profile to EWI programmes excludes 50% of the VWO students. So there is a need, and a challenge, to tap a broader population, and also, not to cannibalise the existing strictly technological programmes. The pervasiveness and interest of ICT products is just as strong in M-profile secondary school leavers as N-profilers. EWI wishes to make the programme accessible for all profiles, attracting those students that of course have technical affinities.
Without going into further analysis of the possible causes, we can formulate that for answering the needs of novel, high quality activities in New Media and Smart Technology in the Netherlands (and more general: Western Europe) EWI must meet three challenges:
1.To offer a degree programme for engineers who are truly multidisciplinary in the following sense: They find their motivation in creative applications and their strength is application of their knowledge and insight. Their basis in science and engineering is a solid one, on a university level.
2.To attract (also) students to this degree programme who would not think of themselves as traditional (potential) engineers, but who could well be the new kind of engineers that think stronger from a cultural perspective. This means in particular attracting Dutch VWO students with a M-profile, rather than the usual N-profile.
3.To attract more female students to a technical study, who have the capabilities for the technical content, but who feel deterred by the narrow focus the traditional disciplinary programmes have in their perception, and who may decide to choose a technical study when the focus is broader, including societal and creative aspects.
These EWI views are in line with the objectives of the Platform Betatechniek. They too believe that the steady decrease of engineering potential in the Netherlands (a threat to Dutch economy) can be stopped by looking at engineering education as a hybrid activity. In their view combining technology and application areas in order to bridge gaps between society and science is the key for successful education of engineers. On the one hand there is great need for these engineers in industry, and on the other hand, VWO students show more interest in such hybrid programmes (snijvlakopleidingen, as the PBT calls them) than in traditional engineering studies. The idea to attract VWO students with a M-profile to Creative Technology is received very positively by PBT. In their view it is a daring but necessary effort to change the image of engineering.
Moreover, two polls among prospective students [NEWCOM06, NEWCOM07] indicate that there are many students with other than N-profiles who are interested in a study like Creative Technology. Up to now, the UT educational offer did not answer the expectations of these students, open for challenges and interested in societal needs (see part C.6 for some tables with facts).
The EWI research in ICT is embedded in the UT institute CTIT. In this institute Strategic Research Orientations guide research programme development. Currently there are 6 SRO’s of which 2 are in the field of CreaTe: WiSe - Wireless and Sensor Systems and NICE - Natural Interaction in Computer-mediated Environments. In both SRO’s a total of approximately 50 research projects are carried out (http://www.ctit.utwente.nl/research/sro/). In the area of robotics and ICT in health applications some 20 projects are carried out. In all of these, more or less fundamental aspects of technology are researched. Projects that are defined from the user perspective are increasingly being developed in the area of health, learning and logistics. Create student projects will connect to these research subjects and certainly in the bachelor thesis work an individual relation between student and researcher will be established.
There is a project proposal for the first IIP/Create call for proposals, which is extremely relevant for the Creative Technology programme. It addresses the issue of how we might (in a playful way) improve teamwork and develop a tool to support creative trans- and interdisciplinary collaboration among scientists, designers, engineers and artists to foster cross-disciplinary creative research and development. Apart from the tool, the project - aptly called the WOW-project, as submitted by Anne Nigten from V2_ - must also result in a collaborative game. Together with the expertise from HMI, that covers human-computer interaction, virtual agents and environments for collaboration, research allocated with Creative Technology, focussing on aspects of game play, smart interaction, and media technology, could significantly contribute to the success of the WOW-project.
The following chairs are active on aspects of Creative Technology: Control Engineering, Pervasive Systems, Short Range Radio, IC-design, Human Media Interaction, Computer Architecture and Embedded Systems, Software Engineering, Signals and Systems, Systems Theory, Applied Analysis and Mathematical Physics, Numerical Analysis and Computational Mechanics, Design and Analysis of Communication Systems, Biomedical Systems and Signals (see: http://www.ewi.utwente.nl/onderzoek/leerstoelen/).
It is not yet the intention to define a new chair Creative Technology, but Prof Van Amerongen has been given nearly full time to devote to CreaTe, assisted by several staff members in his group for whom time is allocated. Dr Ruttkay and Dr Eliëns also have full assignments for CreaTe. Dr Mader is made group member of Prof Van Amerongens group.
3.2.2The UT profile
Creative Technology as a novel, application-oriented and interdisciplinary education fits well into the broad profile of the UT, and is a major contribution to the university’s image of ‘technology for the society’. The UT – in a unique way among the technical universities in the Netherlands – has already in house several (non)-technical disciplines at other faculties. These are essential, as source of knowledge and/or methodology, for the Creative Technology programme. These include bachelors such as:
1.Industrial Design Engineering (at CTW);
2.Psychology (at GW);
3.Applied Communication Science (at GW);
4.Business and IT (at MB).
Particularly, Creative Technology can be seen as an EWI pendant for the Industrial Design Engineering (IDE) programme at CTW: in Creative Technology, the topic is the design of ICT applications and ICT-related products.
The established contacts with near-by art-related educational institutions ArtEZ AKI (on the campus), and Saxion (in Enschede) are beneficial when launching the new Bachelor. Also the QuaArtQuaScience Foundation of the University is looking forward to co-operate with Creative Technology in the future.
Finally, the campus location of the UT, and the excellent support for hosting international students, are also pros for a degree programme such as Creative Technology, which is to attract students from abroad, and assumes much joint activity among students, resulting in ‘things to be shown’ in open-air too.
It is the ambition of the Region Twente to become one of Europe’s top regions with respect to knowledge, innovation and technology in 2020. Officials of communities and the province of Overijssel recently announced these ambitions in a conference intended to give Twente a clearer international profile. UT obviously supports such developments. In the Region Twente, Creative Industry has been put on the local agenda. The regional industry, including the SMEs has an urgent need for creative designers with an ICT background. There are bottom-up and top-down initiatives to nurture and stimulate a local creative industry, such as:
1.Stichting Fris, also providing a forum for local new media and sensor-based industry;
2.PlanetArt (Enschede) organizing festivals and events, often in cooperation with students from universities;
3.De Creatieve Fabriek (Hengelo) aims on the one hand at a creative and sustainable re-development of (Twente) industrial heritage, and on the other hand to activate and stimulate the creative economy of Twente;
4.Syntens (Twente) is an innovation network involved in the TOP-arrangement, which helps students to become entrepreneurs.
The Enschede region has a great potential for development, putting it on a par with creative industries and strategic programs around cities like Rotterdam, Eindhoven, Amsterdam or Utrecht (see the IIP/CREATE for facts). Existing practices in these latter areas can serve as examples. Well-established institutions like the Waag Society and V2_ have expressed their interest in building up contacts in the Twente region, especially to cooperate with Creative Technology. Hence Creative Technology also has the ambition to act as catalyst, attracting and developing Creative Industry to the Twente region and providing links to Dutch creative cities.
Finally, due to the proximity of the border, we expect a substantial number of German students to this new type of education. The UT Psychology educational programme has proven that German students are willing to study in Twente, if they find an attractive education here.
The Creative Technology education differs substantially from the usual bachelor programmes at technical universities. The strength and value of Creative Technology are precisely in its deliberate shift in paradigm, concerning both the content and the methodology of the education. The major novel characteristics are:
•It is application-oriented and interdisciplinary, accommodating also knowledge and skills from non-technological domains related to design and business;
•Creativity is a central theme in the education;
•It refers to the arts for inspiration and for ways of working,
•and it builds on a sufficient technological base for innovations;
•It is open to all VWO pupils, giving the opportunity for otherwise not admissible students to develop themselves in a novel way in a technological/engineering domain.
Before going into a more detailed and formal discussion of how these features are reflected in learning goals and made possible by adjusted teaching methodology, we wish to make our standpoint clear as to the meaning of creativity. There are dozens of definitions; we take the starting statement on Wikipedia:
“Creativity (or creativeness) is a mental process involving the generation of new ideas or concepts, or new associations of the creative mind between existing ideas or concepts. From a scientific point of view, the products of creative thought (sometimes referred to as divergent thought) are usually considered to have both originality and appropriateness.”
What is relevant for Creative Technology from this definition is that:
•it describes creativity as a high-level mental process, not as some accidental sparks of eccentric minds;
•it points at alternative views and a large body of multifaceted knowledge as prerequisite to be able to establish novel associations;
•it states appropriateness also as criterion, besides originality.
Take the “Renaissance man” as example for the Creative Technology alumnus: interested, competent and skilled in both the artistic and scientific domains, motivated to invent new (technological) devices for the well-being of people, and driven by curiosity and the joy of the process of creation itself. See for instance the name choice of the highly popular MIT book series “Leonardo”, meant for a basically technological public [Leonardo books].
Arts and artistic expressions are not the goal of the education, but used as reference. The artistic context will enrich and complement the traditional ‘engineering’ and scientific research approach common at EWI, and at traditional technical departments in general. It is exactly the rapid change in technology and its potential impact on society which gives place to the attitude of the artist.
Creative Technology is a bachelor study, since we strongly believe in the advantage of priming creativity, that is, offering active explorative learning in the earliest possible phase of academic learning, instead of later in master or graduate degree studies. The unique challenge and opportunity for Creative Technology is that we can start with a bachelor degree programme, in a disciplinary environment, eager to change and incorporate a creative approach to the application of technology in a societal context and that we are able to do so in a period when thoughts about creativity and research have matured to the extent that there is a nationally endorsed strategic research agenda for the creative industry (see Part D).
This approach is not unique, it has been proven a success and has achieved world-wide recognition and follow-up at institutes such as the Entertainment Technology Center (www.etc.cmu.edu) at Carnegie Mellon University, as reported by Randy Pausch in his renowned last lecture (http://www.thelastlecture.com). Such initiatives, apparently throwing overboard traditional academic teaching methods in favour of artistically-inspired projects, initially meet with resistance, and require active support of institutional leaders with clear vision towards the future. Also for Creative Technology, it does indeed require some courage to introduce a curriculum that not only implies a paradigm-shift in methods of teaching but a broadening of the categories of students as well, by allowing students with a M-profile, formerly not admitted to any of the traditional engineering disciplines.
In Creative Technology we intend to educate engineers, characterized by an interest in culture, society and human behaviour, wit and societal impact of the ‘product’, and keen on integrating the latest technology. A study of interests and further study plans of VWO students have justified, that both students with a so-called N (Nature) profile as well as students with an M (Society) profile will find a broad range of challenges in Creative Technology (see C6.3):
53% of pupils with an M profile and 62% of pupils with an N profile expressed interest for a Creative Technology study.
Considering the first-year students entering to study Creative Technology, 48% of them would come with an N profile, 52% with an M profile (14% with CM).
This implies that for Creative Technology it is realistic to expect students of the appropriate interests and motivations from both the N and the M profile groups at VWO. On the other hand, it is well known from the teaching experience of several of the working group members that among the current EWI students there is quite a big number of individuals, who are neither interested in, nor capable of matching the technological level of the applications they develop with similar quality of design and aesthetics.
We strongly believe that the heterogeneity of M and N students, regarding background and individual interests, is an asset of the programme. Different viewpoints are prerequisites for creativity. Hence a colourful, multifaceted group is a better asset than a homogeneous group. Working together and learning (also) from each other will be an essential characteristic of the education, reflected in the high proportion of group projects. Both the N-profiled and M-profiled students will find particular challenges in the Creative Technology curriculum. While some of the mathematical and computer science programmes will be challenging to M-profile students, creative applications, societal relevance and consumer awareness may be demanding on N-profile students. The Creative Technology programme will allow, and encourage, students to further develop their own interests, in the context of the ‘complete picture’ of the application, including its technological aspects. The heterogeneity of the group will motivate students to communicate well their ideas to others with different views and make informed decisions – something very much in need on the current and coming labour market when looking for inventors of technology-based applications.
The mixed background of the students, particularly, the differences in their knowledge of mathematics and physics, raises challenges. In Creative Technology the mathematics education focuses on the relevance of mathematical thinking and the need of proper modelling as part of a design process. The focus is shifted from pen-and-paper exercises and classical formal teaching-structures to simulation-based development of mathematical intuition. A central role is played in this context by software packages such as Matlab in which extensive mathematical capabilities are available in specialized modules. Ample attention will be given to learning to work with these modules and to develop a critical attitude toward simulation results. Systematic testing, confrontation with expectations from the physical world and practical exercises will stabilize this method of acquiring knowledge and skills. In this way a proper use can be made of quite advanced mathematical tools, without full knowledge of all details.
A special first-year course will be devoted to letting students understand the nature of mathematics, acquire some experience with abstraction. This course will help students to strengthen their analytical thinking capabilities in a direct way, without assuming prior experience or affinity to mathematics.
The ‘hands-on’ approach to studying abstract topics will also be followed in other courses, e.g., involving systems and control for smart technologies or when creating physically realistic virtual worlds in new media applications. It will also be at the heart of various computer science courses in the first two years, thereby bridging the need of an appropriate level of ‘hard knowledge’ of technological systems, with the specific profile of interests of Creative Technology students.
In this chapter we deal with the aims and objectives aspect of the accreditation framework. We discuss the skills and knowledge to be acquired by a Creative Technology bachelor. The objectives are reflecting the multi-faceted domain-specific needs formulated in 5.2, and the other general academic norms of a Bachelor according to the Dublin requirements.
Our main references in setting objectives for the Creative Technology programme have been
•IIP/CREATE (appendix D to this report); IIP/CREATE is the abbreviation of The Strategic Research Agenda of the ICT Innovation Platform Creative Industry, published in May, 2008;
•Comparison with other educational programmes in the same or an adjacent field;
•An analysis of professional scenarios for people with a Creative Technology degree.
We present our findings about comparable programmes in section 5.2, and start with the professional scenarios in 5.1. In sections 5.3-5.5 we address the three framework standards (in Dutch: facetten): Domain-specific requirements (5.3), Bachelor and master level (5.4), and Professional/academic orientation (5.5)
As an indication of possible professional roles, after obtaining the bachelor creative technology, we will briefly sketch the following scenarios:
•creative industry -- in new entrepreneurial activities
•product design -- in healthcare and entertainment
•communication -- regional/global media campaign
•entertainment -- new concepts in private and public settings
•game development -- serious games in education and corporate training.
But first a general remark, which applies to all scenarios. Despite the wide range of possible roles, whatever role is taken, however, our graduates will distinguish themselves by their level of technical expertise.
The creative industry is a somewhat wide notion, originally introduced by the Blair government to re-vitalize dormant industrial areas. After the success of Silicon Valley, and New York's Silicon Alley, the model was adopted by among others Amsterdam and Berlin. In the creative industries, our students might take any of the following roles:
•entrepreneur -- creating business
•creative genius -- generating idea(s)
•content author -- to produce material(s)
•technical developer -- to write script(s) & program(s), develop smart technologies.
In an ever-growing consumer market, product design will be an area of active development. Dependent on the context of deployment, healthcare, entertainment, or home or office furniture, our students may be active in any of the following roles:
•visual design -- to give aesthetic appeal
•concept development -- to accommodate human needs
•usability & deployment -- making it fit for it's role
•‘evangelist’ -- to promote the (benefits of the) idea.
Traditional communication models, in broadcasting and advertisement, are gradually being replaced by multimedia strategies, involving the internet and cross media in an essential way. In such media endeavours we may find our students active in one of the following roles or departments:
•system integrator -- innovative combining of technologies
•cross media architect -- relating all media
•production agency -- to coordinate delivery
•strategic planning -- defining targets and goals.
Entertainment is an everlasting source of revenue for innovative enterprises. In our society the technical opportunities for entertainment are abundant, both in an urban and private setting. Our students may work in the area of entertainment in one of the following roles or fields:
•concept design -- defining new artefacts
•technical infrastructure -- for realization
•business planning -- to coordinate the enterprise
•production manager -- mediating between parties.
Games are increasingly being recognized as valuable tools in an educational environment, and (corporate) learning. With the growing attention for serious games, it becomes likely that we will find our students active in game development (or learning environment, which uses basically the same interactivity), in either one of the following roles or activities:
•theme(s) & storyline(s) -- setting the context, implementing learning strategy
•style & visual(s) -- creating the appeal
•asset development -- to embody the game
•interaction & experience design -- to promote involvement.
The initiative for the Creative Technology bachelor programme at UT is in the family of educational initiatives with more or less similar goals. In the Netherlands, the relevant educational initiatives all are in an early stadium, and aim at either a lower (HBO) or higher (MSc) level. Hence Creative Technology is filling in unchartered territory among these developments. Programmes related to new media and gaming, and industrial design (bachelor) curricula share also some of the objectives of Creative Technology. Below we discuss the profile of Creative Technology with respect to these programmes.
5.2.1Programmes on Industrial Design in the Netherlands
The University of Twente offers a bachelor programme on Industrial Design Engineering, which is related to Creative Technology in many respects. This is the Industrial Design Engineering programme of the CTW faculty.
Creative Technology and Industrial Design Engineering share a number of attainment targets, most notably the design of applications or products for people. This means a close cooperation is sought between the opportunities and limitations of technology and the demands and wishes from society. Creative Technology and Industrial Design Engineering share course content, and project ideas, in the field of design skills, human factors, design methodology, creativity methods and business, and they also share staff in these areas. Moreover, two persons from Industrial Design Engineering are key contributors to the Creative Technology programme development. Creative Technology and Industrial Design Engineering will use partly common teaching facilities (see 8.1.2 for facilities).
The first obvious difference between the two programmes is in the science and engineering content. Industrial Design Engineering focuses primarily on Mechanical (Construction) Engineering, with Electrical Engineering and Computer Science as secondary fields. The Creative Technology programme puts emphasis on Computer Science and Electrical Engineering as basics for its students, and includes Mechanical Engineering in elements of mechatronic design. Creative Technology aims in these fields at higher-level knowledge and skills than in IDE, which is reflected in the proportion and depth of the technological courses. This will also be visible in the type of application that is addressed. Whereas IDE focuses on tangible products, Creative Technology will have different fields of application, like digital content, virtual services, hidden technology and interactive environments.
Most strikingly, there is also a difference in the intake level. The Creative Technology programme will be open for students from VWO regardless of their profile whereas the Industrial Design Engineering programme admits only students with profiles N&G and N &T. Digital technology is extremely pervasive; interest is shared by students of all profiles, more so than for construction technology as a separate field of study.
A final difference can be made when one looks at the role of the Arts, especially in the new media track. Cooperation with arts education envisaged for Creative Technology is stronger than for Industrial Design Engineering.
Industrial Design Engineering, the Bachelor programme at TU Delft is in many respects similar to the Twente IDE programme. The focus is on product development, with emphasis on designing physical objects, but incorporating user interfaces for digital services and smart environments. In Creative Technology there is focus on New Media and Smart Technology.
Most closely related to Creative Technology, in particular because of the essential contribution of IDE from Twente in the Create curriculum, is the Industrial Design curriculum of TU Eindhoven. However, whereas Industrial Design in Eindhoven is to a significant extent driven by HCI, and user-centred design approach, Creative Technology students will be stimulated to work with the technology, inspired by the artistic potentials of the technologies, and the exploration of the interaction of technology and human aspirations. This is also reflected in the difference in the role of the technological courses. At ID in Eindhoven, small technological units are available for students ‘just in time’, basically driven by the need of application projects. In Creative Technology the technological courses, both from the supporting disciplines of mathematics and computer science, as well as from the major disciplines of New Media and Smart technology, are arranged in a compulsory and systematically built up stream.
5.2.2National programmes on related topics
The initiative for the Creative Technology bachelor programme at UT shares a number of characteristics with other educational initiatives with more or less similar goals. In Part C.3 we give a short description of the following Dutch curricula, some of which actually represent a cluster of studies. An example is Game Studies in Utrecht, which comprises a bachelor game Development and Design at HKU (the Utrecht School for Arts), minors game and media technology with computer science and information science, as well as a minor New media and Digital Culture at The Faculteit Letteren. Obviously, these curricula differ widely in scope and (technical) depth. At present the following programmes exist:
1.Human Ambience, VU Amsterdam
2.Information, Multimedia and Management, VU Amsterdam
3.Media Technology, Leiden University
4.Game Studies, Utrecht
5.New Media (MA), UvA Amsterdam
6.QANTM College Amsterdam: Education in 3D, Game Design and Game Development
Both 3) and 5) are master programmes, and address a technical and cultural domain, respectively. Interesting about 3) is its close alliance with the Royal Art Academy in The Hague, and the participation of artists in the curriculum. New Media in Amsterdam (5) is interesting because of its close alliance with the Hogeschool van Amsterdam, and the Institute for Network Cultures, which regularly organizes events, in which students of both the University of Amsterdam and Hogeschool van Amsterdam participate, under the well-chosen name: Masters of Media.
The two bachelor degree studies in the list, 2) and 6), both in Amsterdam, differ widely. The QUANTM College (6) offers primarily a technical curriculum at HBO level, whereas IMM at the VU is more geared towards socio-economic aspects of ICT, with some connections to multimedia. In comparison with IMM at VU, Creative Technology aims at a far more creative and technically mature approach, where students learn the actual skills needed for design and development, and the competences needed for autonomous creative entrepreneurship. A similar distinction may be observed with regard to Human Ambience (1), originating from Artificial Intelligence, which finds inspiration in both psychology and healthcare information systems.
Finally, Game Studies in Utrecht (4) offers a collection of studies, differing considerably in content and approach. Most remarkable is the new Master Study at UU on Games. Two features distinguish Creative Technology from this Games programme. On the one hand Creative Technology is far less focussed on game technology and game development, but regards games as one of the possible metaphors for designing creative solutions. On the other hand, we explicitly strive for a coherent group of students that work together in close proximity proceeding from a shared base of skills and competences.
In Part C.2, we also list a number of foreign curricula, including both bachelor and master-level curricula:
1.School of Creative Technologies, University of Portsmouth
2.Creative & Cultural Industries, Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, University of Lancashire
3.Culture Lab, Newcastle University
4.Digital Arts & Entertainment, HOWEST, Kortrijk, Belgium
5.School of Interactive Arts + Technologies, Simon Fraser University, Canada
6.KEIO Media Design, Keio University Japan
7.The Media Lab, MIT, Boston, USA.
Common to these curricula is their multidisciplinary approach, ranging over the Humanities, Arts as well as technological disciplines. In comparison to Creative Technology, 1) and 4) offer a more skills-oriented curriculum, in the areas of web-design and game development, respectively, whereas 2), 3) and 5) operate from a more societal, human-oriented perspective. Both 6), a newcomer in the field and 7), an institute with a long-standing reputation, have, in comparison, the strongest orientation on business aspect and valorisation issues.
5.2.4The position of CreaTe among (a few of the) related programmes
Indication of the technical and social science content of the Creative Technology course with respect to related curricula.
Indication of the scientific and artistic and creative nature the Creative Technology course with respect to related curricula.
After completing the bachelor curriculum in Creative Technology, students will be able to identify human needs and opportunities for which they can invent, design and prototype novel concepts within the general digital realm, thereby enriching daily life with attractive applications.
Students will be trained in creativity to identify and combine technological, societal and artistic aspects. They will be adequately equipped in new media, smart systems, design, computer science, electrical engineering and mathematics to be able to act as a leading inspirator or play a central, integrating role in dedicated teams of experts working on creative applications in the digital domain. Throughout the curriculum ample attention will be given to develop communicative and social competences which are essential for learning about potential users in multicultural societies, working with experts and conveying ideas for business purposes.
The unique potentials of a creative technologist is in bridging societal needs and technological possibilities: on the one hand in discovering societal and human needs in a multitude of contexts and on the other hand connecting this to directions for artistic, technological solutions built on state-of-the-art methods from the engineering sciences. The multidisciplinary Creative Technology education will endow students with knowledge, skills and competences in the following 6 categories:
•Technology, particularly, New Media and Smart Technology
These categories were identified on the basis of the expectations and motivations discussed in 3.1.1 and 4.1, and rely on the recommendations given in IIP/CREATE (see Part C.9 and Part D). Though the last 5 categories may be all seen as components of design, we use in this report ‘design’ in its more restricted meaning, focussing on the development of a (physical or ICT-related) product. The last 5 non-technological categories, though relevant, and thus even present in end term requirements of some traditional (technological) programmes, do receive much more attention in the Creative Technology programme than in the existing technological engineering programmes. We will use these 6 categories to point out how individual courses contribute to the multidisciplinary learning goals.
5.3.1The 12 final qualifications
Below we enumerate 12 final qualifications with reference to the above dimensions. After having passed the Bachelor exam successfully the student:
1.knows the relevant electronic and computing technologies to be used, concerning both principles and functionality. (Technology)
2.is skilful in implementing algorithms and combining principles from physics and mathematics at the level required to demonstrate the application. (Technology)
3.has competency to analyze complex requirement contexts and to formulate technical requirements, making abstract descriptions following mathematical and design principles. (Requirements)
4.is skilled in using latest tools for trying out ideas and implementing key prototypes. (Design)
5.is competent in recognizing, understanding, and assessing technological developments and trends at such a level that a critical evaluation of scenarios for future applications and developments can be made. (Design and Technology)
6.is competent in recognizing societal problems and human needs that can be solved with state of the art technology in the digital realm; with a clear eye for ethical issues. (Design)
7.is skilled in creative thinking and design, taking into account all complexities, requirements and interdependencies of the application areas and stakeholders. (Creativity)
8.possesses skills to design attractive solutions, where both aesthetics and function are combined. (Creativity)
9.understands user acceptance and success criteria in a multi-cultural and globalized world. (Human factors)
10.has communicative skills and psychological knowledge, indispensable for dealing robustly and successfully (also about technical requirements) with stakeholders and people benefiting from the new systems and services. (Human factors)
11.can place the novel applications in a business context, developing business plans, executing market research and translating innovations into profitable opportunities. (Business)
12.can assume a bridging role in a variety of multi-disciplinary teams, thereby translating and communicating requirements and knowledge from different fields of specialization (Business).
5.3.2Underpinning of the final qualifications
The 12 final qualifications have been carefully compiled to justify that the Bachelor student has reached the targeted level in the different aspects of the multidisciplinary education. Different subsets of the final qualifications are relevant for related Bachelor studies.
1, 2, 3 and 5 are usual qualification requirements in (application-related) technological studies, like electrical engineering, computer science or advanced technology. Similarly, 4, 6, 9 and 10 are close to final requirements in different industrial design bachelors. 11 is a natural requirement in all business-focussed bachelors, such as Business Informatics.
The requirements 7 and 8 are special and crucial to the Creative Technology education. While these, with a different emphasis, may be qualifications for industrial design and art courses, in the current form, related to technological applications, assure the very objective of the education, namely that the Bachelor Student is capable to invent novel and appealing applications. Qualification 12 is needed to make sure that the Bachelor Student is able to use his/her acquired qualities in a context, communicating ideas to specialists, identifying where his/her (technological) expertise falls short and formulating needs for the specialists.
Table 1: Domain-specific requirements overview
1, 2, 5
4, 5, 6
In addition to this enumeration of the 12 final qualifications which apply to each alumnus with a Creative Technology degree, we emphasize that the programme encourages students to identify own interest (e.g., in the technological, design, or business domain) and develop and strengthen individual skills and competencies accordingly.
Below we justify the academic qualities of the Creative Technology bachelor programme, with respect to the Dublin descriptors as formulated by the Joint Quality Initiative of the Bologna agreement. In Table 2 the original requirements are listed, with references to the aspects of the Creative Technology programme supporting that requirement. The sound technological foundation, the broad scope, the analytical context and the scientific methodologies place Creative Technology in a (technical) university, as opposed to more dedicated skills-related vocational educations at schools at polytechnic level, or the ones focusing on artistic creativity in art schools.
Table 2: General and scientific requirements overview
Dublin descriptors Bachelor’s level
Creative Technology curriculum support
Knowledge and understanding
Have demonstrated knowledge and understanding in a field of study that builds upon and supersedes their general secondary education, and is typically at a level that, whilst supported by advanced textbooks, includes some aspects that will be informed by knowledge of the forefront of their field of study;
Creative Technology students will have substantial knowledge in the Technology, Requirement analysis and Human factors domains. In accordance with the constant development of the relevant main technologies, students will be trained to keep up with those, reflect on trends as well as be able to choose from novel tools.
1, 2, 3, 5, 8
Table 2: General and scientific requirements overview (continued)
Dublin descriptors Bachelor’s level
Creative Technology curriculum support
Application of knowledge
Can apply their knowledge and understanding in a manner that indicates a professional approach to their work or vocation, and have competences typically demonstrated through devising and sustaining arguments and solving problems within their field of study;
Creative Technology students during their study in Creative Applications and at the end in the Bachelor project are challenged to design and demonstrate applications, where setting objectives, identification of relevant knowledge and methods, argumentation and mutual peer-reviewing are practiced.
3, 4, 6, 9, 10
Have the ability to gather and interpret relevant data (usually within their field of study) to inform judgements that include reflection on relevant social, scientific or ethical issues;
In Creative Technology education students are trained to be driven by societal needs and for devising applications with an eye on issues beyond technological feasibility or traditional business potentials.
3, 6, 7, 9
Can communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences;
In the Creative Technology curriculum there is special training for visual and verbal communication. These are exercised and assessed in almost all study units. In projects, students have to communicate with expert, potential users and clients.
Have developed those learning skills that are necessary for them to continue to undertake further study with a high degree of autonomy.
Because of the speed of development in technology, in the Creative Technology education students are taught to understand and use new technological facilities. They will be capable to follow trends, and acquire new knowledge and skills.
3, 5, 7, 12
The programme is academic (WO) in nature, and not vocational (HBO). In contrast to traditional engineering science education the focus of Creative Technology is on both problem finding (perceiving the societal need for a new application) and on problem solution (designing and prototyping the technological application).
In the intended learning outcome we find demands set by contributing scientific disciplines (notably the requirements under the headings Technology, Requirements and Design).
In the intended learning outcome we find demands set by the analysis of professional scenarios and by the professional field (as formulated in the IIP/Create report e.g.). This applies to all qualifications, but most to the ones under the headings Design, Creativity, Human Factors and Business.
The graduates of Creative Technology are admissible to the Human Media Interaction (HMI) Master's programme of the University of Twente. They are eligible for any course programme within this Master’s programme, subject to the rules and restrictions that apply for all students in the HMI programme.
Admission to the Master's programmes Communication Studies, Electrical Engineering, Mechatronics and Industrial Design Engineering may be possible on an individual basis, and generally with restrictions on the specialization that is chosen. Admission to these programmes can be facilitated by the choice of an appropriate set of electives in the 3rd year of the Creative Technology bachelor programme. It is required that these elective courses have been completed with an average mark of 6.5.
The graduates of Creative Technology are also ready to take a professional role in the Creative Industry. The Creative Applications and the Bachelor project in the programme play a dual role in this respect: not only do they serve to make the students acquainted with relevant research (see also 6.3.1), through participation of industry in (some of these) projects, they also serve as an introduction to the professional context. The business courses add to the students’ preparation for a professional role.
In this chapter we deal with the curriculum aspect of the accreditation framework. In the first two sections we discuss the language and the structure of the curriculum. In the sections 6.3-6.8 the accreditation framework standards are addressed: Requirements for academic orientation (6.3), Correspondence between aims and objectives and the curriculum (6.4), Consistency (6.5), Workload (6.6), Admission requirements (6.7), and Credits (6.8).
The language for the bachelor curriculum will be English. The following motivates this choice:
•The field of study is truly international, the students must be educated to work and think globally, and the need for application-oriented engineers exists worldwide.
•The quality of the programme will gain considerably if it attracts students from different backgrounds and cultures, not only from the Netherlands. To enrol foreign students, teaching in English is necessary.
We believe the relevant characteristics for a successful Creative Technology bachelor student can be found among VWO students of all kinds, also the ones that did not opt for a N-profile (as discussed in 3.2.1 and 4.2). The admission requirements (see also 6.6) are therefore simple: a VWO certificate of any kind (in Dutch: C&M, E&M, N&G, N&T) is adequate. The programme is targeted to students with a technical affinity.
For teaching purposes, the entry level is essentially as follows:
•All students share common knowledge and skills from the first three years of VWO education;
•All students have proven general intellectual capabilities from a 6 year VWO education;
•All students are motivated to play a role in the new media and smart technology field, and have interest for and affinity with these fields and their societal contexts.
This entry level is uncommon for bachelor programmes with objectives in ‘disciplinary’ engineering. Our motivation to choose for this entry level is discussed in the introduction, and further in 6.6. Further, two preliminary studies have indicated that there are many students with other than a N-profile who are interested in a study such as Creative Technology [NEWCOM06, NEWCOM07].
We will install a procedure with an intake meeting to provide feedback for all applicants on their expectations and background, with respect to the Creative Technology academic education they intend to pursue. The teaching and learning approach is adapted to this entry level, discussed in detail in the next section.
6.2.2Teaching and learning approach
The Creative Technology bachelor may be characterized as primarily an integrative curriculum. To accommodate the background of students, a different educational approach is adhered to, in which there is sufficient tolerance (as it is called in IIP/CREATE) for a wider range of talents and which offers projects that are sufficiently motivating for young students with creative aspirations and different entrance levels and learning habits. All the courses (see Part B.1) adopt a change of teaching methods that may to a stronger or lesser degree be characterized as:
•active appropriate practice,
•learning through experiencing,
•interpersonal communication and feedback,
•multi-disciplinary collaboration, student responsibility and self-motivated learning.
Four types of study units
In order to find a proper balance between academic skills and competences and creative opportunities, we offer four types of study units:
disciplinary courses - traditional approach, with regular courses and assignments
The focus is on skills, and strongly on abstractions, models, specifications and analysis of processes. Simulation is a major tool and the underlying models, methodology and mathematical language are taught.
project-based courses - lectures to support active, ‘learning by doing’ participation of students
Often in disciplinary programmes rigor in proof and use of ‘instrumentation’ requires substantial theoretical exercising; here rigor in design requires extensive work at the level of idea generation, evaluation and analysis of possibilities. Manufacturability and scalability are ultimate success factors for tangible products.
creative applications - challenges, to produce viable solutions for real world applications
Both disciplinary courses, such as the elementary mathematics courses, and project-based study units, which include practical work for the courses on new media and smart technology, are akin to traditional computer science and engineering curricula. Creative applications differ from these in an essential way, by offering creative challenges that surpass mere problem-solving or even problem-finding, allowing students to take initiative and gain experience in self-organisation in projects with an intrinsic element of public exposure, offering a real challenge for their creative capabilities. Applications relate to existing research domains of the university at large, i.e. health, media, communication and business, etcetera.
In addition to the regular courses and creative applications, we find it important to also offer space for:
creative explorations ‑ in art, science and technology
The need to include creative training in academic curricula is widely recognized (see for example IIP/CREATE discussed in Part C.9). In close cooperation with Industrial Design we chose the following approach. We offer a mix of explicit attention for creative processes, such as brain-storming and out-of-the-box thinking, and a more implicit approach which comes down to providing adequate challenges and support for self-organisation, initiative and a degree of autonomy.
A theme of creative exploration could be e.g. reflection on the role of mathematics in art, or the role of art in any application of technology. Themes can also be found in the works of pioneers and contemporaries in digital art and media. In the 2nd year, students may e.g. participate in a project, initiated by an artist in residence, or organise some mini-seminars related to topics or phenomena not covered by the curriculum.
Personal interest, companies, portfolio
Project based courses and creative applications are explicitly meant to allow students to develop themselves according to personal motivation and interest, and to assume a role in the group that best fits their individual talent(s). However, to guarantee a sufficient degree of participation as well as individual (academic) qualification(s), additional mechanisms of supervision and control are necessary, among these are group discussions and periodic peer-reviews, in which students assess the productivity, quality and creativity of other students, as well as the responsibility and role taken in the overall group process. This approach ensures that students learn, apart from the necessary skills and competences, how to communicate and function in a group, thus gaining experience which is critically needed for a successful career in the creative industry, being simultaneously competitive as well as highly dependent on collaboration and group dynamics. Moreover, for the creative applications, we seek active involvement with regional institutes (such as the Creative Factory) and representatives of the (local) creative industry, to ensure both challenging projects and public exposure. Students are encouraged to start their own companies; the faculty will facilitate this in the very first project. This will also serve as a starting point for their portfolio.
NOT just-in-time learning
To the extent that we allow for a high degree of autonomy and encourage individual creativity, one may speak of a change of paradigm in educational approach, as compared to the other engineering and computer science curricula. In this respect, our curriculum closely resembles the approach taken at Industrial Design. Yet, in comparison, our approach differs in an essential way from the just-in-time learning adopted for Industrial Design. We provide separate courses of a more disciplinary nature, that is, courses in which the students familiarize themselves with the fundamentals of the technologies involved.
6.2.3The general characteristics of the curriculum
The Creative Technology programme is based on the following principles:
1.The programme is multidisciplinary, consisting of study units related to Technology, Design, Creativity and Business.
2.The programme is application-oriented, concerning both real-life problems to be solved in the form of Creative Application projects (CAs) of different complexity, and the acquisition of basic knowledge via ‘learning by doing’.
3.The technical domain spans ICT in a broad sense. It is clearly impossible, nor is it the intention, to educate Electrical Engineering, Mathematics or Compueter Science engineers. The fundamental difference in CreaTe is that technology should be mastered such that rigor in design (innovation, technical quality, scalability, manufacturability, etcetera) is achieved. Conceptual thinking, thinking in specified functions, correctness in modelling and specification are more important than developing knowledge from foundations. Working with abstractions, understanding technical processes, analysing and designing new functions are keywords. For this ‘systems design’ view a compulsory background in mathematics and computer science (CS) is needed, where the ‘systems’ aspect focuses on the ‘languages’ of math and CS to describe dynamic systems (math) and structured software (CS). Rigor in design on all aspects of the ICT domain can not be achieved in a 3 year programme. The ICT domain is therefore divided into a sub domain ‘New Media’ (NM) focussing on software platforms and applications and ‘Smart Technologies’ (ST) focussing on sensor based systems and their applications. Students do the fundamentals of both but specialise in either of the two with ample cross fertilisation.
4.The programme leaves space for individual specialization and development in terms of broadly defined Creative Applications (CA) projects requiring different expertises; and the 3rd year’s elective courses. This allows students to deepen their technological knowledge and broaden the scope of the study (e.g., to gather more expertise in the Business or Human factors domain), assuring the possibility to proceed with studies at the Master’s level, or enter the job market.
A distinguishing feature for Creative Technology is the training for creativity. The creative, ‘thinking out of the box’ problem-solving is triggered by training both mental and artistic skills. This is a major binding theme of all the courses, concerning their content and teaching methodology. Creativity is inspired in three ways in the curriculum:
•providing training in the form of traditional study units for maintaining exploratory and analogical thinking as well as artistic skills (in some Design [DE] courses, in CE1: Creative Exploration of Structures);
•providing a broad background knowledge and multiple views on applications (in the form of traditional, but cross-referenced courses), which is a pre-requisite for analogical thinking and the ability ‘to connect dots’;
•we ‘throw students into deep water’ to challenge their creativity in open projects and exploratory investigations (particularly, in the CAs).
While some creative practices are taught in more or less traditional Design study units, the main emphasis is on triggering the student’s own creativity by putting him in charge of challenging tasks combining ample freedom regarding content, while keeping a well-defined structure and assessment mechanism, as introduced in 6.2.2.
1.In the five Creative Applications (CA) projects, spread over the first 2 years, students are confronted with some broadly defined tasks (e.g., make ‘some’ game or sensor system) leaving a broad choice of technological solutions. The CAs cover different application and technological domains. Students follow the design cycle for a real application from analysis of requirements through prototyping to business plan. Depending on the CA the ‘client’ can be either a member of staff or an external partner. Integrated in the CAs is ample attention for professional presentation of the end-result, ranging from class demo to prototype deposited in the real-life environment.
2.In the Creative Explorations (CE) students are involved in explorative activities, where the emphasis is on developing an attitude of openness and self-confidence, triggering creative thinking. This extends the study with methodological aspects, historical context and enrichment coming from visits to exhibitions or by participating in small-scale projects such as making an installation initiated by an invited artist in residence.
The Technological courses include Mathematics (MA) and Computer Science (CS) basic courses, as well as special courses related to New Media (NM) or Smart Technology (ST). The Design (DE) study units cover a broad range of topics related to human-centred design. Students are confronted with elements of perception psychology, evaluation methodology and traditional and computer-aided visual design, communication and business-related issues. In the Business (BI) courses, students identify potential markets for applications, and identify cost and scalability issues associated with the application, next to practical aspects of business management. In their 2nd and 3rd year, students are encouraged to start up their own company (possibly even at the start of their education), not only to get practice with the process of business development, but also to identify their area of interest and goals, feel (intellectual) ‘ownership’, and pursue their study in relation to these.
In terms of student activities, the programme can be summarized as:
•Year 1: Students follow 17 EC courses to build up technological foundation (CS + MA courses), and 17 EC courses to become acquainted with the basics of NM and ST. Students also do some basics in design (9 EC DE courses). They develop the attitude for further studies and try themselves out as inventors of applications in the three CA projects (total 17 EC).
•Year 2: Each student decides to pursue either the New Media or Smart Technology track, and does special technological courses (15 EC), besides the common foundation courses (CS and MA, together 14). Students also are trained in design and business (altogether 12 EC). They are to accomplish two CA projects (17 EC), and do creative explorations of their own choice (2 EC).
•Year 3: Students specialize further and prepare for their further carrier. They have 45 EC to be devoted to elective courses, with a given structure: 5 EC for human factors or design courses; 20 EC for technological courses and 20 EC to follow a minor. The compulsory element in this year is the Bachelor graduation project (15 EC).
The distribution of the different kinds of study units along the years is indicated in Table 3.
Table 3: Overview of the distribution of the different types of study units.
The curriculum is designed to maximize exploitation of the overlap between the competencies and the study units, both concerning knowledge and skills in the technological disciplines (e.g. using examples to teach maths of programming from NM or ST domain), as well as in the non-technological ones (e.g. quality of presentation is paid attention to in case of technological assignments too).
The CreaTe programme provides sound design methodologies for the domain of ICT. In the bachelor programme a technological base is given and enough practice to be effective in industry. A bachelor programme is, by definition, a base for further development. Traditional bachelor programmes are followed by an academic specialisation. This specialisation often provides scientific depth in the area of specialisation with a very intimate coupling to research. In the case of CreaTe this is certainly possible: the students are prepared to continue their academic design studies in a more specialised field: e.g. the masters programmes Mechatronics, Human Media Interaction, and tracks in Electrical Engineering, Industrial Design Engineering and Computer Science. It is however foreseeable that CreaTe bachelor students ‘specialise’ in the setting of a company, leaving university. There are at present no concrete ideas for a masters programme CreaTe. In fact further developments in ICT will determine whether design in ICT warrants a higher level of academic training than bachelor level.
Figure 2: The four major components of the curriculum. For the Technology and Creativity components, we list the study units with their acronyms. For Design and Business, we list the major topics covered.
In part B.1, we have included a detailed description of the courses offered within Creative Technology, following a standard format, indicating: a characterization of contents, (possible) pre-requisite courses, goals and attainment targets, the place in the curriculum, application area and motivating examples, as well as teaching methods and required facilities. In the goals and attainment targets (learning outcome) we use (one of the phrases) awareness, familiarity, fluency and full literacy, to distinguish between achievement levels students will reach. For a better understanding of these phrases, the reader may find support in the keywords characterizing these, below:
1.awareness -- theoretical knowledge / hear say
2.familiarity -- experience and (limited) knowledge
3.fluency -- basic skill/knowledge, sufficient for elementary application
4.full literacy -- application of skill/knowledge in problem context
For an overall understanding of the contents of the Creative Technology curriculum and the relation between individual study units within the tracks that constitute Creative Technology, respectively Mathematics, Computer Science, New Media, Smart Technology and Design as well as the Creative Applications and Creative Explorations, we provide an overview of the respective tracks and courses below, with a brief indication of the contents of the courses, their possible relation to other courses and the educational approach, per track.
The twelve final qualifications, given in section 5.1, listing the Creative Technology students' set of final skills and competences, ranging over the domains of technology, requirements, human factors, design, creativity and business, must in a more pragmatic way be translated to the learning goals and attainment targets for each course. However, falling to some extent outside the scope of academic learning goals and attainment targets are qualifications related to attitude, experience and creativity. These aspects, which we consider vital for Creative Technology students, are difficult to measure and assess, since, as for example in Creative Applications, they are intrinsically part of the dynamics of the (group) process. The programme aims at providing the students with a sound basis for design in the ICT domain. All students are conversant with leading ICT and are capable of understanding, interpreting and using new technological developments. The field of ICT itself is broad; this has lead to the choice of two specialisations (with roughly only 10% of curriculum difference). Individual students will focus on domains of interest, like all engineering programmes where thesis work is part of the curriculum. In CreaTe the spread in interest in the student group might be somewhat wider than in disciplinary bachelor programmes. This is also significant for the further choices of the students: start working in industry or continue with a further academic specialization. In disciplinary bachelor programmes a master continuation is a logical next step: a specialization will render a general academic background productive. For CreaTe this holds also, but the design orientation means that this specialization can also take place in industry after the bachelor programme.
Creative Applications form the core of Creative Technology, as they allow for student initiative, a high degree of autonomy, problem finding and cooperation, yet within a structure that facilitates feedback and promotes a high level of achievement.
•CA1: We Create Identity
•CA2: Living and Working tomorrow
•CA3: Have Fun and Play!
•CA4: Ambient Screens
•CA5: Hybrid Worlds
In CA1, which requires the use of media and tools, the emphasis is on expression and creating group coherence, as well as to identify topics of interest, as potential targets for future learning, and not in the least establishing relationships and contacts between students. CA2 allows for work in smaller groups over a longer period of time, primarily focused on identifying and solving problems in the domain of Smart Technology. CA3 is meant to gain public exposure and participate in a local event with some amazing mix of New Media and Smart Technology. In year 2, the Creative Applications, CA4 and CA5, allow for further exploration of the use of sensor and media technologies, in for example scenario-based games or in more serious domains, such as transport logistics, deploying the Internet of Things.
Creative Explorations are meant to fulfil the need to get acquainted with ideas from, for example, the history of art and science, and current day practice in the convergence of art, science and technology.
•CE1: Creative Exploration of Structures
•CE2: Explorations in Art, Science and Technology
CE1 is intended to guide the student in finding inspiration in mathematics, giving insight in both foundational aspects as well as in structures and algorithms that may, for example, be used in generative art. For CE2 it is intended to invite guest speakers who may introduce exciting topics in the intersection of art, science and technology, preferably with demonstrations of their work, to serve as inspiration and model for our students.
Mathematics is an essential ingredient of the Creative Technology curriculum. The mathematical courses will introduce basic concepts and terminology, and bring about familiarity with essential mathematical notions, with special focus on issues relevant for the New Media and Smart Technology tracks. Self-guided explorations, using Matlab, will be encouraged.
•MA1: Motion and Modelling
•MA2: Signals and Systems
•MA3: Statistics and Probability
•MA4: Strategies and Protocols
•MA5: Queues and Logistics
MA1 is both relevant for Smart Technology ST2 (Dynamical Systems) and New Media NM2 (Interactive Visualization). It treats, among others, basic Newtonian motion laws, that may be used for both steering vehicles (ST2) and physics-driven animations (NM2). The Mathematics MA2 course provides material necessary for the realization of Smart Technology applications, and MA3 is needed for, for example, empirical usability studies. MA4 and MA5 are envisaged as mathematical pre-requisites for scenario-based game-play and navigation in virtual/hybrid environments.
Computer Science is equally essential for Creative Technology, as both Smart Technology and New Media are computationally intensive and demand strongly developed programming skills. The CS courses will pre-dominantly be of a disciplinary nature, with a strong emphasis on basic principles and concepts, leaving further explorations to projects within the New Media and Smart Technology tracks.
•CS1: Introduction to Computer Science
•CS2: Programming for Creative Technology
•CS3: Programming with Structures
•CS4: Data-driven Applications
In CS1 a so-called techno-drama approach is chosen, as an innovative way to introduce computing concepts. CS2 deals with basic programming skills in C++ and may be considered to be pre-requisite for scripting skills needed in NM1 and NM2, as well as for the technical work involved in the implementation of sensor systems. CS3 brings about advanced programming skills and CS4 prepares for the realization of data-driven applications, both in the area of web-based New Media (NM4) as well as Smart Technology systems (ST6).
New Media is one of the specialization tracks of Creative Technology, focusing on (serious) game development, virtual environments and rich-media web applications. The track essentially requires both programming skills and sufficient mathematical insight, for game development as well as interesting visual effects.
•NM1: Web Technology
•NM2: Interactive Visualization
•NM3: Web2.0 Mashups
•NM4: Virtual Environments
•NM5: Game Development
Both the courses NM1 and NM2 prepare for CA3 in year 1, providing the student with the skills and knowledge needed to develop rich-media applications in a web context. Apart from basic assignments, the courses allow for projects related to the individual students' interests and skills. The NM3 course is strongly related to CS4, allowing the student to develop data-driven web applications and mashups. Both NM4 and NM5 prepare for the second year Creative Applications, which essentially contain elements of virtual environments and game development.
Smart Technology is the other specialization track and, given the tradition of engineering and design in EWI and UT, a distinguishing element of Creative Technology. Topics covered include sensor systems, mechatronics, as well as issues of control and regulation.
•ST1: Smart Environments
•ST2: Dynamical Systems
•ST3: Control Systems
•ST4: Wireless Communication Systems
•ST5: Introduction to Electronics
The ST1 course is pre-requisite for CA2 (Living and Working Tomorrow), as it prepares the student for the actual deployment of sensor technology. In ST2 the focus is on conceptual and mathematical issues in dynamic systems, as a preparation for follow-up courses and projects Smart Technology in year 2. ST3 provides skills and knowledge needed for CA5 (Hybrid Worlds), and ST4 and ST5 provide further material needed to complete bachelor projects within the Smart Technology track.
Design may be regarded as an auxiliary track of Creative Technology, which is nevertheless essential for all students regardless of their choice of specialization track. The design courses not only provide the skills necessary for modelling and concept design, but also teach the student about human factors and, not the least important, how to present their work effectively.
•DE1: Sketching for CreaTe
•DE2: Graphical design
•DE3: Designing in context
•DE4: Human Factors
•DE5: 3D modelling
•DE6: Advanced graphic design
•DE7: Digital content creation tools
The DE1 course is not only useful for learning skills of sketching, but is regarded to be beneficial for the general creativity of the students as well. DE2 complements the more technical approach of NM1, and is needed to help students to create an appealing online portfolio of their work. The DE3 as well as the DE4 courses teach the student aspects of creativity and how to deal with human factors in design, respectively; this is obviously relevant for both the New Media and Smart Technology tracks. The DE5 course is useful for students to design tangible (smart) artefacts, and clearly, together with DE6 and DE7, essential for students specializing in virtual environments and game development.
6.2.4Mandatory study units
The mandatory courses (we prefer to refer to them as study units, to include all forms of education) cover the entire programme of the first 2 years, and about 35 % of the 3rd year. The project-oriented study units, such as Creative Applications and the Bachelor Thesis are mandatory as well, but the student has quite some freedom in specifying the precise subject. All mandatory study units are designed specially for the Creative Technology curriculum, some by adopting existing courses. The particular study units are listed in Table 1-3. In Part B.1 a description is given of each study unit, which provides an indication of the particular topics covered in these courses and the approach taken with the project and exploration-related units.
Table 4: List of mandatory study units year 1
Sketching for CreaTe
Designing in context
Motion and Modelling
Signals and Systems
Statistics and Probability
Introduction to Computer Science
Programming for CreaTe
Creative Exploration of Structures
We create identity
Living and working tomorrow
Have Fun and Play!
Table 4 (continued): List of mandatory study units year 2
NM track 1
NM track 2
NM track 3
ST track 1
Wireless Communication Systems
ST track 1
Introduction to Electronics
ST track 2
ST track 2
Advanced graphic design
Digital content creation tools
Strategies and Protocols
Queues and logistics
Programming with Structures
Creative Explorations in Art, Science and Technology
The elective courses cover roughly two-third of the 3rd year’s study load. They assure that the student can gather special - technological or other – competences needed for the Bachelor Project, and do a minor in a field of choice for academic proliferation. Particularly, this contingent may be used to fulfil prerequisites for follow-up Master studies.
The electives are of two categories:
1.The non-technological elective courses (EN) can be chosen from a set of design, business, psychology, communication, ethics or philosophy courses, taught as regular courses for other degrees, and a set of Minors. For at least 5 EC Business and/or Human Factors related courses (BH) are to be chosen.
2.The technological elective courses (ET) may be chosen from the Creative Technology technological courses taught in the 2nd year (in the ‘other’ track), as well as from regular courses taught in other bachelor courses at EWI.
The structure of the types of the elective courses is given in Table 5. The list of possible electives courses is to be specified later, also in coordination with follow-up Master Education needs.
Table 5: Electives year 3
Non-technological (D, C, B) courses and/or Minor
Business and/or Human Factors courses
Technological (MA, CS, NM, ST) elective courses
6.2.5Bachelor graduation project
The BSc graduation project of 15 EC is the final component of the programme. Students should demonstrate that they are able to integrate the knowledge of other parts of the programme in a creative design or application project. For students leaving the university with a BSc degree only, the project is the proof that they are ready for a career as a creative technologist in industry, practically oriented, and on an academic level. For those who continue their education in an MSc program, the BSc project should also show the challenges of doing more in depth research and stimulate them to deepen their knowledge. The BSc project may be looked at as the most complete and challenging creative application of the programme. Although emphasis in the project is on innovative designs, where ICT technology in a broad sense is applied into new devices, students must demonstrate that they are able to create generic solutions for the problem, based on a good understanding of the underlying principles. The project is of relatively short duration; this is an indication that within a programme of 3 years only a basis for design can be provided. The academic programme can be followed by a specialisation phase in a master in a specific domain, or by a professional specialisation in a company.
Bachelor projects may be carried out in the labs of the EWI groups, or with external partners. Students will do their projects under the common supervision of experts from industry or from art-related institutions and from UT, including one or more professors at UT.
In all cases we will strive toward a situation in which the student has to realize a design based on a demand from a ‘customer’. This implies that business aspects, cost price and life-cycle issues are also important. As such the BSc project should cover the complete cycle of a creative application, including initiation, project planning, design, development, and possibly even deployment and marketing.
In connection with the Bachelor projects, students will be stimulated to cooperate and assist each other, in order to achieve, within the time constraints imposed by the project, an optimal result, both in terms of external visibility as well as individual development. To support such cooperation, students are encouraged to ‘hire’ expertise from another student. This expertise may be technological (to make the prototype), human or business-related. Students who are hired may thus earn a maximum of 5 credits out of 20 EC in the third year for their elective courses. Hired students may also come from curricula outside Creative Technology. It is the responsibility of the student doing the Bachelor project to arrange a clear ‘contract’ about the task of the student hired, and set the milestones. Assessment of the hired student is done jointly with the supervisor.
Apart from the practical work, which preferably results in a prototype or proof-of-concept realization, students are expected to write a 20 to 30-page report, the bachelor thesis, and present their work for fellow-students, project stakeholders, and supervising staff.
The focus of Creative Technology is on both problem finding (perceiving the societal need for a new application) and on problem solution (designing and prototyping the technological application). For problem solution the Creative Technology curriculum builds on rich teaching experience of the contributing disciplines, electrical engineering, mathematics, computer science, as well as industrial design.
6.3.1Interaction between research and teaching
Projects will be carried out in the research groups of the faculty using the same supervisors as students in the disciplinary programmes. Project contents are derived directly from the supervisor’s research.
As in the existing, classical, academic programmes, in addition to the ’know-how‘ we also teach the ’know-why‘. Sufficient basic and abstract courses are given to provide the student insight of technological background and methodological aspects. Courses are taught by staff members who translate their active research into their teaching. The university’s employment policy is to attract only staff members who are active in teaching and research, and who (in the case of a permanent position) have proven research and teaching capabilities (apparent from their PhD degree and their successful completion of the teacher training courses.) See also section 7.3 on staff quality.
6.3.2Curriculum follows developments and trends in relevant research
The need to include the fruits of excellent research in the Creative Technology curriculum is widely recognized. However, the actual translation of research into teaching needs careful attention, with regard to the fact that Creative Technology is a bachelor study on the one hand, and the special character of Creative Technology, which also allows M-profile students, on the other hand.
Expressing the precise format and constraints that must be satisfied for introducing research in the curriculum is beyond the scope of this information dossier for a New Studies Test. Nevertheless, when we express our educational approach briefly as ‘education by example’, it is obvious that such contributions must be well-packaged and allow for immediate hands-on experience, indeed, favouring practical application over deep understanding.
The actual contribution of the various EWI groups may differ, according to the research topics addressed by the group. However, with a number of groups it has already been discussed in what format their research may contribute to the curriculum. For example with the Database group of Prof Apers we have agreed to include a package in the 2nd year course CS4: Data-driven Applications, to make the students familiar with their research in data-management for sensor networks, in a format that allows the students to apply these technologies in their project(s), for example CA5: Hybrid World(s), which is concerned with applying RFID and sensors in logistics support systems and urban games.
The contributions of the various research groups must in a general way comply with what we have called opportunistic engineering in (Obrenovic et al. 2008), a paper describing experiences in the course intelligent multimedia technology given at the VU Amsterdam. In the report it is explained how using opportunistic (software) development principles in computer engineering education encourages students to be creative and to develop solutions that cross the boundaries of different technologies. More in particular, it is observed that educators can also use interactive art projects and hacking to demonstrate innovation, and, it may be added here, to motivate students to aspire a high level of excellence. In the course we explicitly wanted to emphasize the importance of creativity when combining diverse technologies, simply because the range of ways in which these technologies can be applied are rather overwhelming and may easily discourage the unmotivated students.
As a summary of our experience(s) we suggested the following list of general guidelines, that may be of help in structuring a course and in deciding on how to present the technologies to the student(s):
•low threshold, high ceiling, and wide walls
•support many paths and many styles
•choose black boxes carefully
•invent things that you'd want to use
•balance user suggestions with observation and participatory processes.
These recommendations also apply to courses to be developed for the Creative Technology curriculum, although we have to keep in mind, constantly, that we offer education to bachelor students and adjust our expectations accordingly.
6.3.3Students develop the relevant academic skills and attitude
Characteristic for an academic attitude are continuous doubt about presented truths, dissatisfaction with existing solutions, curiosity and openness to new settings. This attitude also forms an excellent starting point for creativity, the identification of novel problems and solutions. Besides providing skills and inspiring, a project-based educational setting for creativity, user-centred design methodology and reflections on cultural and ethical issues distinguish Creative Technology from HBO programmes for the creative industry.
Of course the level of skills in research to be reached by a bachelor’s graduate will be limited. The bachelor’s degree will not qualify them as expert researchers, but it will provide a firm basis to act as a valuable member in an academic community.
Firstly, the development of their academic skills and attitude appears from the programme goals
•There is a strong emphasis on the development of analytical skills by students.
•There is a strong emphasis on the need for students to work by academic standards:
-they should become aware of scientific developments
-they will be capable to judge these developments independently
-they will learn to employ methods and techniques which are scientifically well established
-they will be able to further develop methods on a scientific basis
-they will be critical towards their own results as well as the results of others.
Secondly, the emphasis on academic skills and attitude is in the nature of teaching. Courses are developed and taught by persons with a strong scientific background. They are actively involved in research and are experienced in educating the students based on academic values and with the transfer of academic competencies in mind.
Finally, the context in which the programme is offered is an academic context with a research tradition. The university participates in numerous multidisciplinary research initiatives that are Creative Technology-related. In the course of their Creative Technology curriculum the students will be increasingly involved in this research community. The 25 research groups in EWI each have on average 10+ PhD students who traditionally will assist in supervision. Their activities – due to their novel, interdisciplinary education and eventually, artistic inclinations – may be different than the role of other, purely technology-focused students, but their contribution would be similarly essential and of high quality.
After having given the above arguments, we find it important to refer to the IIP/CREATE report in which it is stated that the traditional scientific measurements are not fully adequate to evaluate the quality of ”creative and artistic research”.
The study units of the Creative Technology curriculum assure that all final qualifications are met. They are designed with a cross-disciplinary approach, resulting in units each contributing to multiple educational goals. The contribution of study units to the end requirements is given in Tables 6 and 7. The headings Technology, Requirements analysis, Design, Creativity, Human Factors and Business are the categories for skills, knowledge and competencies of section 5.3. Correspondence between final qualifications and these categories is outlined in table 1 (in section 5.3)
Table 6: Domain specific requirements matrix
MA 1-5 Mathematics basic courses
CS 1-4 Computer Science basic courses
NM1 Web Technology
NM2 Interactive Visualization
NM3 Web2.0 Mashups
NM4 Virtual Environments
NM5 Game Development
ST1 Smart Environments
ST2 Dynamical Systems
ST3 Control Systems
ST4 Wireless Communication Systems
ST5 Introduction to Electronics
DE1 Sketching for CreaTe
DE2 Graphical design
DE3 Designing in context
DE4 Human Factors
DE5 3d modelling
DE6 Advanced graphic design
DE7 Digital content creation tools
BH Business/Humanities Course(s)
BI1 Design marketing
BI2 Business management
CE1 Creative Exploration of Structures
CE2 CEs in Art, Science and Technology
CA1 We create identity
CA2 Living and working tomorrow
CA3 Have Fun and Play!
CA4 Ambient Screens
CA5 Hybrid Worlds
BP Bachelor Project
ET Elective Technological Courses
EN Elective Non-Technological Courses
Table 7: General and scientific requirements matrix
APPL. OF KNOWLEDGE
MA 1-5 Mathematics basic courses
CS 1-4 Computer Science basic courses
NM1 Web Technology
NM2 Interactive Visualization
NM3 Web2.0 Mashups
NM4 Virtual Environments
NM5 Game Development
ST1 Smart Environments
ST2 Dynamical Systems
ST3 Control Systems
ST4 Wireless Communication Systems
ST5 Introduction to Electronics
DE1 Sketching for CreaTe
DE2 Graphical design
DE3 Designing in context
DE4 Human Factors
DE5 3d modelling
DE6 Advanced graphic design
DE7 Digital content creation tools
BH Business/Humanities Course(s)
BI1 Design marketing
BI2 Business management
CE1 Creative Exploration of Structures
CE2 CEs in Art, Science and Technology
CA1 We create identity
CA2 Living and working tomorrow
CA3 Have Fun and Play!
CA4 Ambient Screens
CA5 Hybrid Worlds
BP Bachelor Project
ET Elective Technological Courses
EN Elective Non-Technological Courses
The cohesion is an essential and complex issue in case of Creative Technology, as it is highly interdisciplinary, and designed to develop creativity and related skills through the entire curriculum. The programme cohesion is provided by the coordination of content and methodology of the different types of study units on five levels:
•basic technological knowledge available on time
The basic technological courses (CS, MA) assure that the necessary mathematical knowledge and programming skills are available for the domain-specific technological courses (NM, ST). In MA and CS courses the illustrative examples and assignments, whenever applicable, come from NM and ST domains.
•adequate levels in the ST, NM and DE disciplines assured
In Year 2, a series of NM or ST courses (depending on the track chosen), plus a set of smaller DE study units assure that each Creative Technology student reaches a sufficient level of expertise in one of the two technological disciplines and in Design. The study units are mostly complementary, thus giving a broad coverage of the related fields, but in some cases one technological course provides a basis for the next one, or a design study unit extends/continues previous study units (see course descriptions in Part B).
•applications as vehicles of creativity and synthesis of disciplinary knowledge
The CA projects in the first 2 years, leading to the final Bachelor Project in the third year, are designed in such a way that the basic disciplinary knowledge for them is taught beforehand. These projects are to synthesize and apply the previously learnt knowledge and skills. They show an increase in technological difficulty as well as in complexity concerning users and potential business settings. These projects serve an integrative function between the two technological tracks, as well as between individual competences and interests of students.
•developing communication and presentation skills
The graphics design-related study units explicitly address (visual) communication and human perception and (design) argumentation issues. This knowledge will be exploited in assignments and presentations in all other (technological) study units and Creative Applications (CA). Moreover, at all occasions of oral or written presentations during the study, the quality of presentation will be assessed. As to the mental qualities essential for successful communication with potential users and clients as well as experts, many components of the curriculum contribute to training this. The (group) assignments with mutual peer-reviews in technological courses, the Creative Exploration (CE) study units and, particularly, the CA projects provide the vehicles to learn these skills with ample opportunities to exercise, also at occasions showing results in public events as well as in the student’s own portfolio.
•minor and elective courses
The minor and non-technological electives give the students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge in business, design or human-related issues, and acquire extra technological knowledge needed for their Bachelor project and/or for further study, or just simply broaden their knowledge in topics for which the Creative Technology Bachelor simply had no space (e.g., computer music, image or language processing).
Study units, though driven by a single person, are developed in close cooperation to assure this cohesion concerning content, illustrative examples, learning materials and teaching methodology. For CAs, multiple parties (staff with different background and/or external clients) may be involved to assure proper multidisciplinary support and assessment. Staff will be also available on a consultancy basis, whenever needed for specific input.
The formal study load of the bachelor programme is 180 EC. This is the standard study load for an academic bachelor’s degree.
The actual study load is feasible for all participating students. In the aims and objectives of the programme, in the design of the programme and the intake procedures, in the use of teaching methods and in the tutoring and mentoring approach, we find the following precautions to obtain and maintain a feasible programme.
The aims and objectives of the programme are ambitious; it will clearly require an effort of the students to reach the final qualifications. But each final qualification in itself is feasible and so is the combination. In fact we expect and encourage that most students will choose a direction where they will eventually meet higher qualifications than the qualifications set for the programme.
From the very beginning, starting at admission, students are assessed (and assess themselves) to have a clear view of weak and strong points, and of potential difficulties in meeting the attainment targets. Students will have tutoring support to help them improve especially on weaker points. (Of course, the time for extra attention for one subject, must sometimes be found by reducing the time allocated for another subject. Students whose assessment shows too many weaker points, will be advised not the enrol for the programme).
Entry levels for individual courses are tuned to the target level of prerequisite courses and (where applicable) VWO education. The programme is fully coherent in this respect.
The teaching methods (essentially teaching by example) and the curriculum design (combination of traditional courses and Creative Applications and Explorations), stimulates attention and active participation of the students. This learning attitude will help to go through the programme without meeting obstacles.
We aim at Creative Technology students with the following characteristics:
•Thrilled by Information and Communication Technology from a user perspective.
•Creative in nature, developers of ideas, inventors.
•Intrigued by the impact of smart technology and new media.
•Eager to contribute to new applications.
These characteristics can be found among all Dutch VWO students. Admission is therefore granted to persons with any Dutch VWO diploma, regardless of their ’profile‘ (see also 4.1 and 6.2.1). The choice for admission of students of all profiles reflects our interest in teaching a type of engineering that emphasizes application and not pure science. Of course, an emphasis on application is the essence of engineering, but traditional engineering disciplines focus strongly on science and on technological realization/feasibility alone. The Creative Technology programme wants to add to pure science and emphasize application. A first indication of this admission criterion to be successful arises from a study by NEWCOM among VWO students [NEWCOM06] showing that there is interest for a Creative Technology programme among students with all profiles (see Part C.6).
Admission is also granted to foreign students who can show a certificate of their secondary or other education outside the Netherlands, at the same (or higher) level as Dutch VWO. The university's admission office will verify these certificates.
There will be no additional requirements on the English proficiency of Dutch students; VWO level is sufficient. In line with the university policy on the admission of foreign students, such students can be asked to take a test to prove that their English language IELTS score is at level 6.
We envisage an elaborated intake procedure. Each student will have to send a motivation letter and to appear for an intake interview. Diagnostic tests and/or participation in an intake event (which may take a day or more) will be organised as well.
The intake procedure will result in a well-motivated advice for the student, allowing support for a well-founded decision on whether to start with the Creative Technology curriculum. It is mandatory that counselling of the Creative Technology students is extensive during the first half year, to help students who made a wrong choice find an alternative educational programme within UT or a programme with similar objectives but of HBO-level in the region.
6.7.2The challenge of an engineering programme for both M and N profile students
An engineering programme with a mixed intake in the sense that also students with VWO Society-profile participate is novel and daring. Apart from the programme contents and the programmes relationship to the Creative Industry, it is this aspect which makes the programme especially exciting.
But it raises a question also. Why do we think we should and can meet this challenge?
In 6.7.1 we argued that there is every reason to believe that a programme like Creative Technology will attract qualified students both with M and N profile.
In the introductory chapter 4, with the Key characteristics of this initiative, especially in section 4.2, we argued an even stronger point: not only will qualified students of both profiles be attracted, it is essential for the programme that both participate. Collaboration across a M versus N-profile boundary is indispensable to reach the aims and objectives of the programme.
Among the related programmes we discussed in chapter 5 (in particular section 5.2), there are quite a few that have mixed intake. This supports the conviction that a programme with mixed intake can be a success. It should be noted, however, that the examples are either foreign (so difficult to compare) or at master or HBO bachelor level, making comparison difficult..
In 6.7.1 (and in 6.6) we indicated that we expect not every student who is formally admissible to be fully qualified. The match between the student’s strong points and the programme contents must be established beforehand. There is an intake procedure to do just that.
In the Key characteristics chapter (chapter 4, in particular section 4.1), and in 6.2.2 we argued that the approach to teaching will be tuned to the needs of the mixed student population. This is not a matter of paedagogics only; the novel teaching approach also naturally fits in with the Creative Technology contents and objectives.
In 6.6 we argued that each student must deal with his or her weaker points. The appropriate individual learning strategy requires extensive mentoring and counselling. Additional staff capacity for this task is foreseen, as we argue in 7.2.
In 7.3 the staff quality issues raised by the choice for the intake of students of all profiles are discussed. There is ample budget to invest in the development of staff to deal with these issues.
The programme has a time schedule of 3 years. In each year the student takes 60 credits. This is the standard time schedule with the standard total number of credits for a full time academic bachelor programme. The UT has a compulsory minor in the third year of 20 EC.
In this chapter we deal with the Staff aspect of the accreditation framework. The sections 7.1-7.3 discuss the three framework standards: Requirements for academic orientation (7.1), Quantity of staff (7.2), and Quality of staff (7.3)
7.1.1Staff already employed at the university
The staff members have been active in teaching in other programmes (Industrial Design, Mathematics, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science), with an NVAO accreditation. The staff quality has been judged adequate for the WO requirements aspects.
The staff members in the programme development committee have demonstrated sufficient authority to develop and implement processes for the evaluation, assessment and continuing improvement of the program, its educational objectives and outcomes.
Dr. van der Hoeven, the programme educational director of Create, has long-term experience as a director of EWI Computer Science educational programmes.
The actual teaching of the programme will be based in present chairs of the faculty. EWI has 25 chairs, not all close to CreaTe, but all will provide input, certainly to projects, and staff will share responsibilities. Some chairs are close to CreaTe and will carry a larger volume of responsibility:
Control Engineering, Pervasive Systems, Short Range Radio, IC-design, Human Media Interaction, Computer Architecture and Embedded Systems, Software Engineering, Signals and Systems, Systems Theory, Applied Analysis and Mathematical Physics, Numerical Analysis and Computational Mechanics, Design and Analysis of Communication Systems.
It is not the intention to define a new chair Creative Technology, but Prof Van Amerongen, chairman of the Control Engineering group of EWI has been given nearly full time to devote to CreaTe, assisted by several staff members in his group for whom time is allocated. Dr Ruttkay and Dr Eliëns also have full assignments for CreaTe. Dr Mader is made group member of Prof Van Amerongens group.
Many of the full and associate professors involved with Creative Technology are leading figures in their research fields. Fifty percent of their available time is allocated to research and personal development, which guarantees a continuous refreshment and enhancement of knowledge and skills. There is a program for sabbaticals in which lecturers have the possibility to leave to perform research elsewhere for a period of three month once every five years.
The faculty and the university have careful procedures for the selection of new staff members. The faculty and university policy is that to be employed in a staff position, candidates must have proven research qualifications. Each staff member will participate in teaching and research.
The student-staff ratio for the Creative Technology programme will be 20:1. This figure applies equally to teaching duties in each of the programme areas, for Design, for Mathematics, for Smart Technology, New Media as well as for Computer Science.
The teaching and learning approach, and the choice of entry level, will require extensive ‘mentoring’ of students. For this mentoring task additional capacity will be necessary, in a ratio 60:1. (Mentoring is NOT the support by a student counsellor, explained elsewhere in this report). So effectively, the programme needs 1 fte (full time equivalent) for every 15 students
Staff is available and possesses the competencies to cover all of the curricular areas of the programme. Staff from different faculties and departments is involved: Mathematics, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Industrial Design, Behavioural Sciences, and Management Sciences.
In the EWI faculty, staff is (subject to NVAO approval) available for the “technical” programme areas in sufficient number. This has to do with decreasing numbers of students in the traditional EWI programmes. (However, see also the staff quality section below). If the traditional EWI programmes recover (which the Faculty hopes for), the faculty’s financial position makes it possible to recruit new staff. The members of the programme development group and of the advisory board have extensive networks among colleagues with sufficient quality to trust that such a recruitment effort will succeed. The faculty has 300 PhD students/post docs on temporary employment from which group excellent candidates can be selected for tenure positions.
The rapid growth of the Industrial Design programme puts pressure on the availability of staff for the Design area. The faculties involved will work together to improve the staff capacity for Design. An effort to move some staff from the EWI core subjects to Design is planned.
Finally, extension of the academic staff on a temporary basis is planned. In cooperation with the Advisory Board, temporary staff from outside UT will be attracted with a complementary background, particularly, coming from industry or the arts. They may contribute (e.g. as guest lecturers) to courses led by a staff member, or they may be invited to run a project (e.g. as artist in residence), or they may be responsible for an entire (elective) course. Also, we intend to attract foreign academics as guests to enrich the choice of topics and views in courses.
Due to the skills and project-oriented education, it is important that substantial technical support is available for the teaching staff and the students. Dedicated technical support, approximately 20% of the entire academic staff capacity, is planned.
Table 8: Teaching staff (preliminary)
Primary responsibility in Creative Technology
Dr. Zsófia Ruttkay
Prof. dr. ir. Job van Amerongen
Prof. dr. Ir. Bernard Geurts
Dr. Angelika Mader
Ir. Hans Scholten
Smart Technology/Computer Science
Ir. Wouter Eggink
Dr. Ir. Maarten Bonnema
Dr. Anton Eliëns
The group will be strengthened by the addition of technical staff and Ir Dertien. According to further needs, the group can be strengthened more and/or capacity in existing chairs will be involved. This will certainly happen when teaching duties are divided over these chairs.
Previous quality assessments of teaching (and research) have been positive about staff quality in the departments.
The faculties involved have a strict policy to help maintain the relationship between teaching and research in their course programmes. Members of staff always have a dual task: they are active in research and in teaching. Moreover, they always perform teaching duties which connect to their research (and preferably even vice versa). Staff members recruited for a permanent position must have a PhD degree (with a very few exceptions) as proof of their research qualities.
The university has a strict policy to maintain staff quality for teaching. Teaching qualities are an important aspect in recruitment; courses for staff with teaching duties, especially the starter’s course DUIT (mandatory for all new staff) are a central tool in HRM.
The favourable judgements on staff quality, and the university policy to maintain quality, are an asset for the Creative Technology programme.
It needs to be stressed, however, that the Creative Technology programme is innovative in a number of aspects, and these may ask for staff qualities which have not been assessed on previous occasions.
Firstly the programme puts an emphasis on application, design and creativity which differs from the focus in the existing EWI programmes.
This shift in emphasis has been discussed in meetings of the EWI department’s full professors. They plan to participate in projects for Creative Technology students. They are well aware that the relationship between such projects and their ongoing research differs from the relationship between “traditional” assignments and research. Generally they meet enthusiasm among their PhD students to help think in this new direction. There is a clear stimulus to further develop qualities among staff which are important for Creative Technology. There is no doubt that we can deal with this aspect of the innovation.
Secondly, the intake for the programme will differ from the intake of any other programme in technical sciences on campus. The presence of students without the usual background in maths and science from their secondary education will present a challenge, especially to the staff members who will teach the basics of mathematics, computer science and smart technology. And working with a mixed audience (there will be many students who do have the ‘normal’ background as well) makes this challenge even bigger.
With the following four observations we explain why the staff has and will further develop the qualities to meet the challenge of teaching M-profile students.
1.Staff members have proven qualities in teaching their (sometimes even advanced) subjects in courses to laymen. They do so for instance in post academic courses. Of course the audience there consists of professional adults, and not university freshmen, but a lot of paedagogical questions about how to explain and illustrate your point, and about what is intellectually feasible as a target level for a lesson or lecture are comparable.
2.In this university and many others, mathematics and computer science subjects are taught successfully to students in programmes with an ‘alpha’- or ‘gamma’-character and with students with only that background. We can rely on experience, here and elsewhere.
3.In the year between the conception of this plan and the actual start of the programme, the staff involved meets weekly to develop their teaching plans and instructional approach. Visits are planned to other universities (e.g. Portsmouth) to learn from their approach. The same holds for courses on instructional approach to be followed by staff members involved at other universities (RUN). Experts from the teacher training department (ELAN) and the teaching support department (Educational Centre [in Dutch: Onderwijskundige Dienst]) are involved.
4.And finally, temporary staff is recruited with a relevant background to help develop skills and quality in this area, and to set an example when possible.
Note: in the development budget there is room for training of lecturers, visits to example universities, and temporary staff to help the development. See chapter 10.
This chapter addresses the Facilities aspect of the accreditation framework. The sections 8.1 – 8.6 discuss the facilities and support for teaching and students.
8.1.1Facilities within the faculty
The faculty has good facilities for students and staff. These facilities will be further developed in 2008-2009, especially for students (see the development plans in appendix C) in the Creative Technology programme.
Since the programme aims at creative applications of the newest technologies, these technologies must be omnipresent in the classrooms and the labs, throughout the curriculum. At the same time, physical presence is important for group work. Experience with similar design-oriented studies showed that students like and use the possibility to work together in their ‘own space’. The plans aim at providing such a dedicated location for the Creative Technology students. Besides the working locations, also surrounding space (in corridors, but also around the building) will be used to showcase student works on screens or as realised prototypes (similarly to the practice at Industrial Design Engineering).
The Creative Technology students will share their workspace, lab and showcase facilities at least partly with researchers. The plan is to integrate the Creative Technology facilities as much as possible with the Smart XP lab in the ‘Hal A’ building, connected to the Zilverling.
The Faculty has allocated a budget of k€ 400 for creating this Creative Technology home base (see chapter 7).
Supplementary facilities are available, in the Carré building, which is now under construction opposite the Zilverling and in the Horst, connected to the other two by bridges.
At least one lecture room is incorporated in the Creative Technology home base. Other lecture rooms are nearby, in Carré, Waaier and Horst.
Smart Experience Lab
The Smart Experience Lab will be equipped with experimental equipment for new media studies, an audio and a video studio with editing facilities, and so on. The Smart Experience lab is well equipped for new media applications. In addition to the dedicated working places, it also has a room for experiments and demonstrations.
Projects with an orientation on Smart Technologies can be carried out in the “Westzaal”. This room is already used for Electrical Engineering projects and has ample working places, equipped with measurement equipment, oscilloscopes, and computers and, among others, labview software. This is an excellent environment for the hardware-oriented projects and for practical training related to the various smart technology study units.
8.1.2Other facilities on Campus
In the Horst building there is an impressive facility, called the T-Xchange, which can be used for, among others, virtual reality-related projects.
8.1.3Computer, network and software support
UT has an excellent and fast campus-wide computer network, including at the student housing.
It will be required that each student has his/her own notebook for which a uniform software environment will be provided by UT. For a number of assignments and projects, in particular in the area of game development and digital content creation, a number of high-end PCs, with hardware support for video, 3D and audio and at least two server machines, are essential. The costs for computer hardware purchases are in the development budget ( see chapter 10).
For both workstations and servers, we intend to use Open Source solutions, whenever possible.
Computer, network and software support includes technical staff for maintenance and help. In the budget there is room for employing additional specialized support staff.
Staff offices are adequate and enable faculty members to meet their responsibilities to students and their professional needs. The staff offices will be close to the workplace of the students (Lecture rooms and Smart Experience Lab), allowing easy contact and advice.
8.3.1ICT for learning and lecture support
Central among the teaching methods of many study units is practical computer work. Core of the ICT facilities for learning are the facilities that are available for this practical work. Both quality and quantity of the facilities for practical work are very good. The same holds for the support for maintenance and security offered by the central support service. Some practical work will be organised in such a way that students can make their work at home, using their private computer and network facilities. The university and the students association offer interesting license agreements for software to students.
All permanent lecture rooms are equipped with network facilities and allow the use of portable computer equipment and beamers in support of classroom activities.
For all study units the lecturers offer support through a website. These websites usually show the detailed timetables for the study units, course material and exercises for the study units, references to literature and to related sites, and they are often combined with facilities that make e-mail contact and e-mail discussions between students and between students and lecturer easier. Many of the course supporting web facilities are available under central management, provided by the university’s TeleTOP system. (In the near future BlackBoard will replace TeleTOP. It offers the same facilities.)
8.3.2ICT for teaching support
Programme rules, information about contents, objectives and entry requirements for all courses, timetables for all courses, registration facilities for participation in courses and for participation in (interim) examinations are all available via Internet. Internet spreads all additional information that becomes available during semesters, like information about changes in timetables, about additional possibilities to sit examinations, about illness and or replacement of lecturers etc. is spread by Internet
A lot of course material is also available in printed form, but production of the course material is entirely computer supported.
8.3.3ICT for student registry and for student files
All student files are digitized, and so are the records showing the students results for tests and interim examinations.
Students can have access to their own results via a web interface.
On the basis of the digital student records the support staff monitors the progress of individual students and of groups of students, as well as possible bottleneck subjects in the course.
8.3.4ICT for students
The university has a central service for ICT-support for students, which is partly run by university support staff (ICTS) and partly by a student foundation (SNT).
The university offers alls students enrolled the following
1.Fast (on campus even very fast) internet access.
2.Ample disk space and a home site.
Students enrolled for a programme within the faculty are provided with extra facilities in addition to the university facilities. This means in particular that they have access to the laboratory environment for their computer exercises, that they have additional disk-space, and that they can access additional printing facilities.
All students sign a user agreement to access the computer and network facilities.
Over the past decade, we may observe a steady decrease of direct library usage among all levels of students. Also, printed syllables become more and more an exception, as these are commonly being replaced by online learning material, study guides and references. For the Creative Technology bachelor, this will be no different. In order to stimulate effective usage of digitally available material, we will invest in providing a well-documented overview of
1.what material is available, and
2.how it is to be used.
More in particular, we will stimulate from the beginning (starting with CA1) students to gather their own material, and to Creative Technology augmented biographies and references in a shared wiki, analogous the AVWIKI.
However, we will collect and make available on spot a small dedicated library that provides one or more copies from both technical and theoretical reference books, journals and proceedings, such as given in Part C.10.
For a number of the courses, and this includes most of the New Media courses, there is plenty of material available online, that may be used for self-study, and as a reference for more advanced projects. For other courses, in particular the more traditional mathematics, computer science and engineering courses, learning materials will be adopted from existing courses. This also holds for courses in design, for which a considerable part of the material is borrowed from the Industrial Design Curriculum (see course descriptions in Part B.1).
For more advanced Smart Technology and New Media courses, and even more so for the Creative Applications, we will develop suitable material that fits our needs, including inspiring examples, and technical references.
We shall obtain or develop online course material for all courses, in line with the MIT Open Course Ware Initiative, which already offers a wealth of courses from which the material as reference material for our courses.
In Part C.10, we list other sources of information ranging from technology overviews (New Media Consortium), complete courses on a variety of topics, including for example media Theory (MIT Open Course Ware), to annotated bibliographies dealing with elementary principles of human-computer interaction and technical interface development (HCI Resources). The availability of all this material, obviously, does not mean that all work is done. To make effective use of it, the staff (and also, students) must make a careful selection of the material relevant for specific courses and projects.
The faculties and the university as a whole have instituted services to support staff and students to improve their academic performance.
Among those services are the support services for teacher training and improvement of teaching methods and for the easy and effective use of library and ICT-facilities (Educational Centre, ICT Service Centre), and the support services for student counselling, for student facilities for sports and culture, and for the improvement of learning habits (S&O). For the admission and support of international students and for international exchange programmes there is an International Office, which gives guidelines and help for the appreciation of foreign diplomas and degrees, for establishing levels of competence in the use of English (Language Coordination Point, part of S&O), for applying for grants and funding, and which organises admission, visa application and the introduction to the Campus for foreign students.
At the departmental level, the academic support facilities for students are organized as follows:
There are departmental student counsellors available for students to give advice and support in all matters concerning their personal situation and their personal development
For the international students additional arrangements have been made both at the university level and the departmental level. In the student registry and teaching support office of the department there is a special officer dealing with problems international students may encounter with respect to grants, visa, health insurance etc.
This chapter deals with the Internal quality assurance system (the fifth aspect of the accreditation framework). Section 9.1 is an introductory section. The sections 9.2-9.3 discuss the three framework standards: Systematic approach (9.2), and Involvement of staff, students, alumni and professional field (9.3)
The aims of the internal quality management are:
•to achieve and maintain a high level of quality in all fields;
•to have reliable mechanisms of quality control that ensure that quality is maintained once it is achieved, and that quality is improved where improvements are necessary;
•to let the mechanisms of quality control be an inspiration for the staff and not a burden.
In order to make the mechanisms for quality control as reliable as possible, we
•identify objects for Deming or PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act-)cycles,
•carefully maintain the cycles for these objects, and
•ensure that the entire organization participates in going through those cycles.
Objects that have been identified for PDCA cycles in teaching are:
•goals and objectives of the degree programme,
•the course programme,
•the individual study units in the programme,
•match between teaching staff and teaching duties (qualitative and quantitative),
•adequacy of supporting facilities.
Quality assurance for education is (by law) the main responsibility of the director of education, who is assisted by his support staff and programme and quality committees.
At university level the Executive Board monitors the quality control systems which operate at faculty level as follows:
It may ask for midterm reviews (half way the 6 year accreditation cycle) and analyses the outcome of this review with dean and director of education.
It checks self-assessment reports at the start of the formal re-accreditation process (once every 6 years).
It registers actions to be taken by the director of education to handle issues addressed in the midterm review and/or the self-assessment and/or the outcomes of external peer review or accreditation results, and monitors progress in these actions in the annual meeting between Board and Faculty.
We discuss the organization of the five PDCA-cycles of 9.1. The standards that have been identified with each cycle are standards originating from the guidelines of the Netherlands Flemish Accreditation Organisation.
In some cycles we indicate threshold values. If the actual value is and remains below this threshold, there is a serious threat for continuity and success (of the programme or the study unit). Special measures are in order to repair the problem. Threshold values are a lower bound for target values.
9.2.1Goals and objectives of the degree programme
The cycle for the goals and objectives of the degree programme covers the following standards:
Standard 1: Domain specific requirements,
Standard 2: University level, and
Standard 3: University orientation.
The cycle has a 6 year length.
Table 9: Activities, products and actors in a 6 year cycle.
(is the same here)
To state objectives of the programme and competencies graduates of the programme should have
A list of objectives and competencies
Programme management with advisors from inside and outside the programme, in particular also advisory board
Comparison with international standards and guidelines
Consultation of relevant industry and other employers
Consultation of alumni
Data from the various sources that have been consulted
Potential employers and industry professionals
Analysis of data collected during check
Repair discrepancies between objectives and results of the check by adjusting objectives, or accept discrepancies and motivate why this policy is followed.
Consolidating new objectives by incorporating them in the rules for the programme
Analysis of data from check
Proposals for dealing with the results of the analysis
New syllabus with programme rules
The cycle for the course programme covers the following standards:
Standard 4: The general requirements of academic education,
Standard 5: The relationship between contents and objectives,
Standard 6: Internal coherence,
Standard 7: Study load and feasibility for students,
Standard 8: Intake and entry requirements,
Standard 9: Duration of the programme,
Standard 10: Coordination between contents and teaching methods, and
Standard 11: Examination and marking.
The cycle has a 1 year length.
The table shows activities, products and actors in this cycle.
Table 10: Activities, products and actors in a 1 year cycle.
Curriculum design (goals, subjects, cohesion, teaching methods, examination criteria, assessment etc.)
Planning communication and intake
Setting targets where possible
Making improvement plans
Teaching plans (for the entire course programme, for each year, for each semester, for each study unit)
Projects for improvement
Explaining the programme to prospective students
Assessing students at intake
To record the actual execution
Registering students results
Support staff (in particular also the Communication Bureau)
Input from employers (Standard 4, 5, 6, 11)
External judgment of graduation theses (Standard 4, 11)
Programme evaluation among lecturers
Graduates and students doing graduation work
Analysis of data
Improvement plans and actions
With this cycle we adopt one threshold value: 80% of the intake must start with a positive advice after the intake procedure.
9.2.3The individual units of study
The cycle for the units of study covers the following standards
Standard 4: The general requirements of university education,
Standard 5: The relationship between contents and objectives,
Standard 7: Study load and feasibility for students,
Standard 8: Prerequisites
Standard 10: Coordination between teaching methods and contents, and
Standard 11: Examination and marking.
The cycle has a 1 year length.
The table shows activities, products and actors in this cycle.
Table 11: Activities, products and actors in a 1 year cycle.
Making a teaching plan (goals, material, timetable, assessment, threshold values for acceptable assessment results)
Teaching plan, descriptions
Teaching materials, Tests
Teaching the course
Registering students results
Analysis of data
Reports on subject and class evaluations
Improvement plans and actions
With this cycle we adopt the following thresholds
Study unit dropout rate should be below 20%, 80% of the students sit the interim examination at the end of the course (or are assessed in another way);
Study unit pass rate should be above 60%, no more than 40% of the students who start the course drop out or fail the assessment;
In the evaluation among students at most 30% of them are negative (score 1 or 2 on a 5-point scale) about one of the 5 main standards: perceived relevance of the course, quality of study material, quality of teaching, difficulty of the course subject, and perceived quality of assessment (in particular coherence between contents and assessment).
9.2.4Match between teaching staff and teaching duties
The cycle for the match between teaching staff and teaching duties covers the following standards:
Standard 12: University requirements,
Standard 13: Quantity of staff, and
Standard 14: Quality of staff.
The cycle has a 1 year length.
The table shows activities, products and actors in this cycle.
Table 12: Activities, products and actors in a 1 year cycle.
Announcing courses for lecturers
Balancing the teaching load among lecturers, assigning the proper teaching duties to each lecturer.
Annual overview of teaching duties
Sending lecturers to courses
Certificates in personnel files
Staff assessment interviews
Recording actual teaching load for lecturers
Improvement plans and actions
Faculty and programme management
A threshold value for this cycle is that the time available for teaching must match the number of active students in a ratio of 1:15. (the equivalent of one full-time teacher/mentor for every 15 full-time students)
9.2.5Adequacy of support facilities
The cycle for adequacy of support facilities covers the following standards:
Standard 15: Material supplies, and
Standard 16: Student counselling and tutoring.
The cycle has a 3 years length.
The table shows activities, products and actors in this cycle.
Table 11: Activities, products and actors in a 3 year cycle.
Making long-term plans for the availability and use of rooms and equipment, and for access to other facilities for teaching and learning
Planning of student counselling and tutoring tasks
Long-term plans and activity planning
Counsellor and tutors
Providing tutoring and counselling
Equipment and other facilities
Counselling and tutoring activities
Facilities management, Counsellor and tutors
Interviewing students (Standards 15 and 16)
Interviewing counsellor and tutors (Standard 16)
Interviewing lecturers (Standard 15)
Analysis of data and making plans for improvement
Improvement plans and actions
Counsellor and tutors
A threshold value for this cycle is that the time available for counselling must match the number of students in a ratio of 1:150 (the equivalent of one full-time counsellor for every 150 students).
The department measures the results of the degree programmes. Both the effectiveness and efficiency of the programmes and the study units are monitored, as well as the competence level of the graduates. The results of monitoring are input in the various cycles discussed before. From the various cycles threshold values are derived. Not reaching those thresholds is an important signal in checks in the various cycles.
9.2.7Monitoring quality control
The department monitors its own system of quality control for the degree programmes, as outlined above. In monitoring the quality control for degree programmes there is an important role for the programme committee (consisting of staff members and students). They perform regular checks that products of the various phases in the cycles are available, and that the people responsible take the necessary actions. Of course this committee also has an active advisory role especially in the plan and check phases of the various cycles.
The following paragraphs outline the involvement of employees, students, alumni, potential employers and industry professionals in quality management.
Employees are involved in quality management in various ways.
In class and subject evaluations they discuss teaching results and possibilities for improvement with students, support staff and (sometimes) colleagues.
In their annual assessment they can discuss their role in teaching, their own satisfaction with this role, their plans for the near future, their ambitions and their qualifications with the faculty and course management.
In (annual) meetings they discuss various issues regarding programmes and study units, like internal coherence, goals and objectives, teaching methods used, entry requirements, study load and feasibility. These are discussions with colleagues, support staff and programme management.
Through their representation in the programme committee, they can give advice on decisions regarding courses and subjects, and contribute to long- and short-term plans for the curriculum.
In the Examination Board they take responsibility for the quality of assessment.
Students play a role in quality management as follows:
They organise student panels for study unit evaluation; they communicate the results of those panels with the support staff and the programme committee.
They answer questionnaires on classes (regularly), and questionnaires on other issues (like coherence, study load, etcetera).
They are organised in a students association with a complaints desk (e-mail and web) and an officer for education issues.
They participate through their representatives in the programme committee and can give advice on course programme and study units, and contribute to long- and short-term plans for the curriculum
Involvement of alumni is traditionally organised via the alumni associations. It is somewhat unusual to have an alumni organisation for a bachelor degree programme. We plan to build (or to help the students build) a CreaTe community with the possibility of a lifelong membership. For alumni this may amount to membership of a virtual “Friends of Create Society”. In such a society we plan to organise discussions regarding programme issues.
9.3.4Advisory Board and professional involvement
Involvement of industry professionals and potential employers is through the advisory board (see chapter 2 of this document) and through industry participation in student projects. As is outlined in the programme, many of the projects will be carried with industrial partners. In the region there is a network that will support this (FRIS foundation) and it should not be underestimated how much useful feedback results from such a proliferation of contacts. This feedback is largely unstructured, but the mechanism is strong: eventual negative experiences by external partners stir a very strong internal force for change because credibility needs to be maintained.
Involvement of other universities is also organised through the advisory board.
This chapter treats the final aspect of the accreditation framework: conditions for continuity.
The continuity of institutional commitment and financial resources is guaranteed through the choice for Creative Technology as a focus area for beta and engineering education at the levels of faculty and university. The university’s focus on Creative Technology appears most clearly from the fact that a k€ 700 budget (chargeable to the “Universitaire Stimuleringsmiddelen Onderwijs”, the university stimulation funds for education) has been awarded by the Executive Board for the development of the programme and the teaching facilities.
Moreover a sufficiently high number of full-time faculty members with primary commitment to the programme exists to warrant continuity and stability.
In line with customary procedures in The Netherlands, there will be no provision of guaranteed graduation for individual students as such. However, the university guarantees that all students starting the programme will have ample opportunities for completion. Courses and exams are offered with sufficient frequency for students to complete the programme in a timely manner.
Sufficient intake and cost-effectiveness is crucial for the long-term stability of the proposed programme. The table below depicts an overview of the cost and revenue expectations for the first nine years of the programme.
Faculty and university together have awarded a 1.4 M€ budget for the necessary investments over a 2-year start-up period. Half of this budget (k€ 700) is provided by the “Universitaire Stimuleringsmiddelen Onderwijs”.
The first year is the development year; no students are enrolled. In year 2 – year 9 students are active. Year 4 is the first year in which the programme will be fully running (there are students active in each of the three programme years).
The following facts and assumptions underlie the table.
The development costs will be high in the first four years. We estimate a cumulative difference of k€ 950 between development/management and facility costs over the first four years, and the costs in the stable situation (year 5 and later.) The additional costs are covered by the budget the Executive Board has awarded for the Creative Technology development (see the introduction of this chapter, letter of 11 August 2008, S&C/383.607/sl). The EWI faculty uses its financial reserves to cover remaining development costs.
Part of the development costs are for attracting new (temporary) staff, and for training and development of staff members already employed.
The total income estimate is based upon the university’s internal standard for “yield per credit”. There is a delay of 2 years between the moment the student takes credits and the moment where the “yield per credit” appears in internal budgets. The faculty’s financial reserves of the faculty will guarantee that the programme will live through this period.
The estimated intake to start with is 20 students, growing rapidly (in fact immediately) to 60 students in the stable situation. (In a second scenario the programme starts with 20 students and grows to an 80 student’s intake in year 2. The results of that scenario are in italics.) The intake estimate is based on experience with the comparable programme Industrial Design Engineering on Campus, and a survey under potential students by Newcom research. The survey suggests the intake could even be much higher; we have chosen for a more conservative approach.
The estimates of costs and income depend crucially on pass-rates and speed of study of the students enrolled. The relevant assumptions are in the upper lines of the table. The scenario is not too optimistic. We assume that the average student will take 45 EC per year (nominal would be 60), and that 40% of the students will drop out in the first year, and another 10% in the second. We assume that 10% of the original intake will take the degree at the end of the third year (which is nominal), that 40% will finish successfully in 4 years, and that the final 10% (the others are dropouts) will complete the programme in 5 years.
The staff-student ratio is to be 1:20, so 20 student hours are matched by a single staff hour. 20 student hours roughly correspond to 0.75 EC. This measure (1 staff hour for 0.75 EC) underlies the teaching staff hours estimate. The costs are calculated by taking the average cost per hour for professors and lecturers, which is €71 (“semi-integral”).
The situation of year 9 is the stable situation. Costs stabilize at k€ 1022, income at k€ 1471.
In year 6 we almost break even (costs exceed income by k€ 38). In year 7 there is a profit: income exceeds costs by k€ 230.
Table 12: Financial analysis.
Effective ECs per student
Dropout rate (year 1)
Dropout rate (year 2)
Degree in 3
Degree in 4
Degree in 5
total nr of active students
total nr of credits earned
Teaching staff hours (1512)
1 hour staf/ec
scenario 80 students intake
Teaching rooms and equipment
scenario 80 students intake
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