A new group of students finished their master study in the master programme: Master in innovation and knowledge development. They celebrated their degree on June 2, 2016.
The PhD Course: METHODS IN PARTICIPATORY AND INTERACTIVE RESEARCH 23th -27th May 2016 is a cooperation between University of Agder and Deusto University, in Donostia-San Sebastian, Basque Country.
The participants in this year’s course have generated data and are now facing the challenge of making sense of the data and communicating back to the scientific community. It might sound like a technical process, but it is not. It is probably the most challenging phase of a research project because it is about constructing a text that will be critically examined by actors in the scientific community. A text where you have to use your data that connects to research questions and theory. A text that demonstrates credibility. A text that adds new knowledge to the scientific community. Writing is a matter of practicing knowledge; of demonstrating knowledge in action. We have therefore decided to focus on this challenging phase in this year’s course. We discuss how to generate theory from data (grounded approach), first, second and third person action research, thick description and the validity issue.
Monday 13. October
09.00: Microsoft Innovation Center
We first went to the Microsoft Innovation Center where we met up with three of the employees at the center. We were told about the work Microsoft do in Brussel and also how they work internationally. Right now, they are working on developing programs that can be used for learning purposes. Also, they have developed a program that can be used in recovery training, and as a virtual physiotherapist. This program is connected to the gaming console Kietic and is designed as a game where the moves required in the game correlates with the movement the person need in his or her recovery training or physical training.
The Microsoft employees also talk about the importance of safety and privacy settings, and how they are constantly working on improving the safety of their users/costumers. Because Brussel is the European centrum for rulemaking it is important for Microsoft to have both a location and lobbyist who tries to influence different politicians to also listen to their thoughts and experiences.
In-between the visit at Microsoft Innovation center and NHO there were individual lunches where the students and the teachers could eat or go sightseeing.
14:00 NHO with Ingvill Sjøvold Nilsen
At NHO we met with a woman who told us about how NHO works in Brussel, and why it is important that they are situated so close to the EU parliament. Because the decisions made in the parliament also affects Norwegian firms and organizations, and how NHO works it is important that NHO are up to date on the things that are happening in the parliament, and what decisions are being made. NHO are also working to have an impact on what are being decided in the parliament.
Last stop of the day was the parliamentarium. This is a place where you can learn about how the EU parliament works, the whole history of the European Union and how the organization has evolved through the decades. The parliamentarium is built as a kind of virtual guided tour. You are given a pair of headsets at the start of the tour, and through the whole tour you can connect them at certain stops along the tour and listen to educational information in your own language. The tour gave a lot of different ways of learning about the EU through different games and exercises along the tour.
In the evening we had a shared dinner with both the classes and the teachers at the Belgian Queen. We had a 3 course meal. It was a lovely evening with everyone togheter.
Tuesday 13. October
08:30 Agder Energi with CEO Jan Pedersen
We started this day with a presentation of the CEO of Agder Energi. He told us about their green project “grønn energi” which have been established using only trainees. He also told us about how the electricity marked are changing and how companies like Agder Energi are working to keep up with this changes, for the private persons them self. These changes are coming as a result of more alternative sources to acquire electricity. Like wind mills and solar panels. This lead the original electricity companies to find new solutions for their costumer, that fit their new and different needs concerning electricity.
12:00 Leuven University with Geert van Hootegem
At Leuven catholic university, we met with Professor Geert van Hootegem, who welcomed us with a nice lunch. He told us about some of the projects that the university has been working on. One of these projects was a project concerning minimizing health risks in certain professions. The university had been working on developing models that would be used to uncover reasons for health risks, and how changing the work environment and how specific tasks were being executed could minimize and limit the health risks and therefor make people able to stay employed for a longer time period. In the end of the session, he opened up for questions and discussions.
14:30 City tour
We wandered around Leuven for about one hour together with Professor Geert van Hootegems assistant, where he showed us the city of Leuven, before we went to the airport.
With the challenges facing today’s job market, it is now increasingly important with qualified people. It is important to use innovative methods and find new solutions that might work better in an ever changing and challenging labor market.
Considering that one of the admission requirements of this program is a bachelor’s degree in social science, economic or administrative subjects, we see a great diversity in our class.
We have some from political science, education, HR, social communication, law and journalism in addition to that we also have some that are already established in the labor market, but who want more depth and new knowledge.
As there are many different backgrounds in our class we find that there are many different perspectives and values. This will entail a good basis for discussion in our class and leads to greater learning outcomes.
We have asked some of our fellow students, why they chose a master in innovation and knowledge developments.
One of the students expressed that innovation is what draw her to this program, “I think being able to be innovative and think differently will help me in a future workplace”.
Another student had a different reason for choosing this program, “I wanted my education to be more business related, as opposed to only be able to work within the government”.
Even though most of the students had different reasons for choosing this program; we all agree that this program will be a good addition to our bachelor degrees.
– Meet the first exchange students
The University of Agder and Kingston University have signed an inter-institutional agreement in the context of the Erasmus+ programme. It involves the universities co-operating for the exchange of students and/or staff. The agreement shall be effective for the period 2015- 20121 and means that 3 students from UiA can study one semester at Kingston each year. In return, UiA are hosting a one-week educational event for a group of students from Kingston. The first two exchange students (Even Fjellestad and Øyvind Frigstad Pedersen) from UiA are heading for Kingston 19th September 2015.
Even Fjellestad (25 years old, Kristiansand)
After finishing his bachelors degree in Marketing at Handelshøyskolen BI, he wanted a masters degree focusing on either innovation or management. This made a masters degree in Innovation and knowledge development, including a semester of exchange with courses in management, ideal. In addition to his studies, Even works with sales, play (and watch) soccer and socialises as much as he can.
Øyvind Frigstad Pedersen (26 years old, Kristiansand)
Has a Bachelor in economics from The University of Agder, Kristiansand. His personal interests and skills include sailing, where he is ranked nationally, and piano, which he studied for two years before the bachelor degree. Øyvind enjoys an active lifestyle with plenty of physical activity, including running, windsurfing, fishing and enjoying nature.
Studying abroad for the first time.
They are both looking forward to be the first exchange students, and grateful and exited for the opportunity to study abroad. Øyvind points out the advantage of different academic environment and perpective, while Even already has met some dificulties regarding housing. «I have spent dozens of hours searching the internet for apartments, calling property agents and sending e-mails, but no one wants to accommodate students for only three months. The only offer we have got is lodgings, which is a room at a resident landlord.» Øyvind shares his worries.
They are able to choose between several courses at Kingston. Both Øyvind and Even have chosen the course «Fundamentals of Business Management». In addition, Øyvind has also chosen «Entrepreneurship in an international context» and thinks the courses will provide him with an international perspective and different ways of looking at things he has already covered in his education. Even’s second course is «Project Management» because he wanted to add some general management knowledge into his degree, in addition to the more specific innovation and knowledge management components it already exists of.
None of them are used to academic writing in English, and they both think that will be the biggest challenge during their stay at Kingston. Still, they focus on the benefits from this exchange.
«I think studying and living in the UK will make me more be comfortable with both working and socialising in an international environment» – Even.
I think the experience I will benefit the most from is living abroad and experiencing a new culture and society. I also think my English will be greatly improved, and I will have a great time enjoying all of the wonderful things about English culture outside of school such as football games and classic English pubs! The experience of studying abroad also looks attractive to employers and could help me secure a job in the future. – Øyvind
We wish them both good luck in their studies and their search for a place to stay.