Learning Landscape

Faculty: Impact at the Core
Educational theme: Education
Project lead: Almar Bok & Joe Binetti
Duration: Continuous
Status: Ongoing


As a university, we want to take our public (or civic) role and responsibility seriously. The society we are part of is wrestling with many complex and intricate challenges and struggles to find ways to deal with them. Erasmus University Rotterdam wants to contribute to having a positive impact. This ambition works its way into how we organise our education, our research and our societal engagement.

Impact at the Core places learners, teachers, and the broader community at the heart of education. At Impact at the Core, we develop education that encourages students to learn how they can produce positive value for and with societal partners. Along these lines, Carl and Menter (2021) argue that recent societal challenges call on universities to consider social questions and to stay relevant to society. With the community of stakeholders, teachers, researchers and students, we identify the knowledge, skills and attributes that learners need to acquire to influence the complex societal concerns of today and tomorrow. We argue that the impact of higher education lies in the ability to teach students how to deal with wicked problems by utilising resources and knowledge with which they can contribute to society. To achieve this goal, the way we teach in higher education settings needs to be reassessed; we should aim to bridge the gap between the real world and the university classrooms. Impact-driven Education provides the arena to grow while addressing authentic problems experientially, integrating ‘knowing how’ with ‘knowing what’.

To streamline and facilitate this development, we designed a framework for the internalisation, integration and operationalisation of impact-driven education using its principles formatted in a learning landscape model. By using this model, faculty members can contextualise the philosophy of impact-driven education, enabling the creation of their own vision, using the principles as a guideline and means of scaffolding. 


To integrate Impact-driven Education within faculties, across faculties and beyond faculties, we need to avoid the creation of set protocols and fixed parameters. Such an approach would produce a straitjacket for the educators, learners and stakeholders who wish to implement a new vision of learning. On the contrary, Impact-driven Education needs to be a fluid and living concept that can be adapted to the most diverse contexts while at the same time providing the values and the guidelines to implement it. For this reason, it shall be interpreted in terms of values, purpose, and principles that inform a pedagogical approach.

In this context, our Learning Landscape provides the inspiration, tools and guidelines to implement Impact-driven Education.

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