16.11.2022 Staff Training at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University

Learning, Teaching and Training Activity 07. - 09.11.2022

Photo: David Curran

For the project's "Integration of Work-based Learning in Peace, Conflict and Security Studies (INCOPS)" third meeting on site this year, the project members traveled to Coventry (UK). This fourth staff training was organised by the partner of the Centre of Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR) at Coventry University. It was designed as a three-day event in which also project-external educators, researchers and administrative staff of the partner university in Coventry took part.

The following people participated and contributed at the staff training: Ana Pantea (Cluj), Christopher Shanahan (Coventry), Daniela Nascimento (Coimbra), David Curran (Coventry), Ezechiel Sentama (Coventry), Frank Grundig (Kent), Jonathan Shaw (Coventry), Koen Hoogendoorn (Utrecht), Lena Runge (Marburg), Luuk Slooter (Utrecht), Michaelina Jakala (Coventry), Miho Taka (Coventry), Paula Duarte Lopes (Coimbra), Raquel Freire (Coimbra), Stéphane Voell (Marburg), Sylvester Arnab (Coventry).

It was a very successful meeting in which we focused on a great variety of aspects that concern a comprehensive integration of Work-Based Learning (WBL) practices in the field of peace, conflict and security studies (PCS). The report of the second project phase (Intellectual Output 2) was presented. Learnings from the focus group interviews enriched the idea of designing a Service Learning approach for integrating theory and practice in PCS. As partners presented during a workshop session, Service Learning is a concept and educational method that focuses mainly on incorporating volunteering, combining volunteering and institutional learning. For this, Service Learning activities are distinguished by four fundamental characteristics: i) activities with a relevant contribution to society, ii) a linkage to academic contents, iii) continuous process of guidance regarding these activities and iv) activities outside the university.
Based on these four main principles of Service Learning, the consortium is convinced that Service Learning can be adapted for other WBL activities - like internships - as well. A first concept for Service Learning inspired internships was presented and discussed at this staff training. A particular focus was placed on digital methods to integrate theory and practice. The great potential and challenges of digital tools for WBL and Service Learning inspired WBL activities were elaborated and best practices presented and discussed.

Furthermore, the workshop continued in the coffee breaks and evening programs as we profited from the RISING Global Peace Forum 2022 taking place at the same time. Moreover, the team seized the opportunity to visit the inaugural lecture of Joel Busher, Professor of Political Sociology at the CTPSR. In addition to that, the colleagues at Coventry guided us around the large campus spread across the whole city and the historical town of Coventry. We also visited the Coventry Cathedral, the famous symbol of the city of peace and reconciliation.

In general, the meeting had several objectives. The workshop provided a valuable opportunity to gather input and discuss preliminary suggestions on how to make use of the potential of digital tools in the integration of theory and practice. For this, the presentation by Assistant Professor Research at the CTPSR at Coventry University, Michaelina Jakala, gave valuable insights and perspectives on different tools, implemented digital solutions and best practices. In the subsequent discussion we gathered first inputs for a successful and inclusive integration of digital tools for accompanying, reflecting and assessing WBL experiences for (former) students.

Moreover, educators and researchers of both the CTPSR and the Coventry University introduced the partners to their work and experiences in the field of Game-Based Learning and Disruptive Learning. These inputs by Sylvester Arnab, Professor in Games Science - Applied Games at the Research Centre in Postdigital Cultures, as well as by Jonathan Shaw from the Disruptive Media Learning Lab at Coventry University inspired some fruitful exchanges on teaching and methodology in the field of PCS. They likewise inspired new ideas with regard to the guiding questions and research priorities for the upcoming outputs.

Eventually, at the coordination level, Marburg and Utrecht - as the lead partners of the recently started fourth and respectively fifth project phase - gave a first outlook on the respective intellectual outputs, their current status and clarified open questions. The further procedure, the partners’ tasks and upcoming meetings in the following months were likewise outlined and discussed.


Cooperation Partners