Research on optimal functioning of Learning Communities

Digital changes are rapid and have a great impact on organisations. Continuously keeping up to date and taking staff on board is a big challenge for many. Collaborating and looking beyond the borders of one's own company is increasingly necessary.

In short:

  • UT and Saxion jointly look at optimal operation of Learning Communities in new research

Global Goal

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Learning Communities (LCs), in which companies and knowledge institutions collaborate on new solutions, should help tackle new, complex issues. However, working together in these communities also creates new challenges. That is why the Clic-it project started recently. This study examines what is needed to make such collaborations work best. 

Learning, working and innovating together is important to keep up with complex and innovative developments. In recent years, learning environments in various forms, such as hubs, field labs or expertise centres, have emerged in various sectors. However, they often ran into the same issues: how do we keep all parties engaged, how do we share acquired knowledge and achieve joint goals and results? New developments and solutions demand a lot of knowledge and skills from employees, and organisations have to keep adapting their services and products to them. Keeping up by continuing to learn.


New challenges

"Collaborating well is quite complicated," Professor Maaike Endedijk of the Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences (BMS) at the University of Twente knows. As project leader, she recently started the research project Clic-it for which science financier NWO made a grant of one million euros available. "In our research, we are looking at 15 Learning Communities spread across the country. We want to study them and see how to ensure that these collaborations actually deliver. We hope this will ultimately accelerate the digital transformation within these LCs," she explains.

Research design

The research project itself is again a collaboration between different parties. Saxion University of Applied Sciences, Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen, Fontys University of Applied Sciences and Windesheim University of Applied Sciences are co-applicants for the grant. Fifteen Learning Communities are participating in the research, uniting more than 500 companies and eight knowledge institutions. "We mainly want to use the first two years to gain knowledge by connecting all LCs and taking a close look at how they work and what it yields. The last two years will then be used to set up a platform where tools, methods and other tools can be found that support such collaborations. This should become an online environment that helps (start-up) LCs accelerate digital transformation. The platform should be in motion after those four years and should function as a sustainable network where you can learn from each other. We are now busy finding the right people for the project and planning a lot of interviews. The start is there."

Date: 17 November 2022 |

Source of tekst: Universiteit Twente |

Author: Marloes Neeskens

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