NESTA's idiscover project, piloted in London, Manchester, and the Highlands of Scotland, gives students £200 of online credits each, to spend on learning experiences of their choice - chosen from an online menu. These learning experiences are all offered by organisations outside traditional education, ranging from theatres to engineering firms.
Obviously, these providers are not, for the most part, experts in pedagogy. That's where the Innovation Unit came in: we designed a set of resources for people without experience in education, so they could design great learning experiences.
At the heart of this is the idiscover learning framework
Asking great questions of learners makes it more likely that they will develop a good understanding of ideas and practice; tackle problems at a deep level; extend their thinking; and grow in independence in the way they think and learn.
Really effective feedback enables learners to judge the success of their work, understand what they need to do to improve further, and take responsibility for their progress. Frequent, helpful feedback is critical to a good learning experience.
Great group work requires learners to develop some important skills including collaboration, negotiation, listening and empathy. Groups are also a good context in which to generate ideas or solve problems.
Learning to ask really good questions is an essential skill for enquiry and problem solving. In framing questions, learners are required to speculate upon the answers they are looking for. It makes them think hard about what it is they want or need to know about a particular issue, problem or design.