Smart Solutions Semester
Saxion Smart Solutions Semester involves students from different degree programmes working together to resolve complex issues faced by our research groups and the professional field. These are problems that cannot be resolved by one discipline on its own. This is why students work in interdisciplinary teams focusing on collaboration, innovation and creativity.
Why Smart Solutions Semester?
This all sounds very interesting, but what does it actually involve in practice? In this video we explain how our students will get to grips with your assignment!
Everything you need to know
For businesses and research groups that may be interested in joining, we have compiled the Smart Solutions Semester’s key information:
- Take a look at the FAQs for all you need to know about taking part in the Smart Solutions Semester;
- Look at the information folder for each participating degree programme to discover how their students can contribute to your project;
- Look at previous projects for inspiration;
The concept is actually very simple: third and/or fourth year students spend five months working on the Smart Solutions Semester (18 term weeks of 32 hours per week and two assessment weeks), perhaps finding the solution to your challenging assignment!
Project teams consist of six to eight students from different degree programmes. This gives each team a unique mix of experience, skills and talents.
The project teams are free to decide how and where they work. This can be online, using workspace available at Saxion, or,when mutually agreed, occasionally on your premises, for example when they need access to specific facilities.
Each project team is also part of a Learning Community, which serves to further increase the impact of interdisciplinary crosspollination. Each Learning Community consists of three or four projects with the same or similar research questions. This means that you, as client, get maximum benefit from collective knowledge development and sharing.
The project teams will be formed by the Project Office based on, amongst others, the project descriptions provided on the Application Form, and the number of participating students per study programme.
The composition of the project team will be shared via Microsoft Teams just before the start of the semester. You will receive more information about this before the start of the semester.
Project teams are free to decide how and where they work. This can be online, using workspace available at Saxion, or, when mutually agreed, occasionally on your premises, for example when they need access to specific facilities.
Microsoft Teams is available to facilitate online collaboration. At the start of the semester we will add all clients to the Teams environment. You will receive an email with an invitation to participate. In the Teams environment there is a general channel that is accessible to all students, clients and tutors in the Learning Community. No project-specific information is shared there. There is also a project channel that is only accessible to you, the students, tutor and first examiner of your project.
The next Smart Solutions Semester is SPRING 2023 – 2024. This commences on the 12th of Febuari 2024. Students are actively working on the project for 18 weeks. The last two weeks are focused on the assessment of the project.
It is important that you, as client, are available to the project group throughout the semester. The first few weeks in particular are crucial, when you will be asked to help students get the project up and running and make a project plan. About halfway through the semester students will submit their current work and pitch it to you. In week 18 students submit their final work and present it during a group presentation (cluster presentation). The remaining weeks are used for assessment.
You will receive more information about the schedule and what exactly you can expect during the semester in the Get Started mailing sent after registration.
During the semester, the students are ‘in the lead’ and will take initiative in contacting you and scheduling appointments. Each team will be coached by a Saxion tutor, who is there to guide the process and assess the students.
As the client, your role is that of content expert when guiding your project team. In fulfilling this role, we expect that you are available to students for appointments and questions during the semester. Naturally, we assume that you will do everything possible to facilitate your project team in carrying out the research and project.
Next to this, we would also like to know your evaluation of the final product delivered by the students, and your perception of their professionalism. The tutor will contact you as soon as this feedback is necessary. If you have any questions or wish to discuss any issues during the course of the semester, then feel free to contact the tutor as well. He or she will be your first point of contact concerning your project team.
The students will contact you in week 1 or 2 to schedule an appointment. Keep in mind that, especially at the start of the semester, students need your (substantive) guidance in order to formulate a good project plan. During the rest of the semester, you can expect invitations to group meetings and presentations.
Third and/or fourth year students from a variety of degree programmes take part in the Smart Solutions Semester. Curious to know which programmes and what these students have to offer? Look at the information folder on participating degree programmes.
International students and programmes also take part in the Smart Solutions Semester. This may mean that your assignment might be carries out in English. For questions on this, feel free to get in touch with your Smart Solutions Semester contact person or send a mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each team is coached by a Saxion tutor. As the client you have the role of content expert and facilitate the team in carrying out research and work during the project. Right from the start of the semester you are available for questions and/or meetings and give feedback to the team. You will also need to be present at a number of Learning Community meetings and you will advise the tutor when assessing the team.
Clients cover all project-related expenses (such as travel expenses, material costs and trade fair visits).
Each team and client signs a Smart Solutions Semester project agreement at the start of the semester. This agreement covers matters such as confidentiality and liability.
Do you have a suitable interdisciplinary project for the Smart Solutions Semester? Then contact us using the ‘Register and contact’ button above and we will provide you with a contact person and application form.
The project will be screened for interdisciplinarity, complexity and independence. Whether your project goes ahead depends on its suitability as well as the number of students who actually sign up. We will inform you of the status as soon as this is known, approximately 6 weeks before the semester starts.
Once your project gets the go-ahead, you will receive further instructions and information from us to prepare you for your participation in the Smart Solutions Semester.
Smart Solutions captured
Curious about projects from previous years? Then watch our talk-show video hosted by Brecht van Hulst!