Four elements of CEPHEI Project
There are four main elements in the CEPHEI Project:
- leading the development of innovation in industry;
- building connections between universities and industry;
- taking a flipped approach to education;
- providing a freemium model of education available to all.
Innovations in Industry
Innovation is at the heart of growth for business and industry; when businesses grow, employment opportunities grow. This leads to an increase in personal income which supports an increase in the well-being of individuals and to the progress of society. Innovative new products and processes also meet the changing needs of populations. This leads to better standards of living. Without innovating, nations will start to lag behind. Thus, the development of courses in innovation is at the heart of the CEPHEI project.
Links between Universities and Industry
At the core of the CEPHEI Project is the aim to link universities to industry. Linking universities to industry brings many advantages. Mutually beneficial links between universities and industries can support students in acquiring the skills and knowledge they need for the workplace. Furthermore, linking with industries provides many benefits such as:
- research into commercially viable products or processes;
- increased prestige;
- profit through royalties;
- shifting the responsibility and cost of in-house training from industries to universities;
- providing authentic experiences;
- preparing students for the corporate world;
- increasing the employability of a university’s graduates;
- and creating a talent pathway between universities and companies.
Such a connection also enables universities to gather information on the skills and competencies that industries currently require and incorporate these into degree and course outcomes. Moreover, industry internships and mentorships can be set up. Therefore, universities that place the needs of industries at the heart of their educational programs will create mutual benefits, for both students and industries, through connections and hiring pathways. This is one of the key aims of the CEPHEI Project.
A Flipped learning Approach
CEPHEI believes that the best educational approach for today’s students in flipped learning.
Then, in class (a real class space or a virtual class space) the instructor provides student-centred, active learning activities through which students put the information they have learnt into practice. Practice activities often include authentic projects, experiments, designs and presentations. Thus, while technology plays a major role in flipped learning, at the heart of flipped learning is active learning – learning by doing. The flipped learning approach aims to reduce time spent on information transfer and to use the time that has been freed up to increase hands on, active learning in class.
There are many advantages to flipped learning:
- It provides students with the benefits of online learning whereby they can work at their own pace and revisit material if required.
- It also affords the benefits of face-to-face learning where students have access to the personal attention of their instructor as well as peer support from their classmates. Instructors can meet students individually or in small groups, provide specific concepts, skills, questions, or learning problems, and focus on more creative aims.
- As students are required to use digital technologies in flipped learning, they have the opportunity to acquire greater technological literacy and confidence in using those technologies.
- The flipped learning approach is also more similar to how students will operate in the workplace on graduation, whereby employees are expected to work mainly on their own towards certain goals before checking in with superiors or their team. As such, flipped learning affords students the opportunity to develop the skills they will need in their future, such as organization, self-motivation, and self-discipline.
For these reasons, the CEPHEI Project takes a flipped learning approach to education.
A Freemium Educational Model
Freemium educational models provide educational content and fully online courses free of charge. On completion of the course, should they wish, individuals can pay for an accredited certificate as evidence of their learning. Thus, the CEPHEI Project provides open access to a freemium version of its courses.
To meet the needs of today’s students, industries and societies, the CEPHEI Project brings together four major elements: innovations in industry; links between universities and industry; a flipped learning approach; and a freemium model of education.