- Course: Learning and Innovating in Organisations
- Programme: minor Lifelong Learning, Bachelor's in Educational Sciences
- Group size: 27 students
- Study load: 9 EC
- Year: third-year Bachelor's students
In this project course students from diverse disciplinary backgrounds collaborate in consultancy teams of a ‘pop-up’ consultancy firm on real questions from clients that concern lifelong learning and call for new, innovative solutions. Coordinator and teacher Frank Cornelissen noticed that students really want and need to practice consultancy skills before they actually talk to the client. He wanted to provide a software tool to support students in consultancy conversations. He developed four scripts together with consultancy experts: a consultancy meeting with a client and negotiating with a client, both in Dutch and English. The scripts were tailored to the context of lifelong learning, but can be used for other courses as well because they include general consultancy skills, such as opening the conversation, identifying the needs of the client, creative thinking and how to give advice. Before students went to the client, they practiced with the online tool in their own time and consultancy skills/approaches were discussed in work groups. Afterwards, reflecting on their experiences both in the simulation and the actual conversation, stimulated deep learning. Another special feature of the course is that the teachers teach from a collegial pedagogy -- during the course they act as (senior) colleagues in the consultancy firm. Following this approach, they also co-construct the assessment rubric for grading the course assignment together with the students.
Students ask very basic questions about consultancy. With the online tool students can already practice, before they actually engage with the external client.Frank Cornelissen