Open Education: interdisciplinary learning-working projects


Preparing students and lecturers at senior secondary vocational education (MBO), higher vocational education (HBO) and university for a future with digital and chip technology, is the goal of the OpenEducation (OpenEd) programme. OnePlanet Research Center is developing learning-working projects, together with teachers, SMEs, care institutions and social organizations in Gelderland, in which students from various disciplines and levels will acquire future-proof digital and cooperative skills.

If tomorrow’s professionals were already acquainted with digital and chip technology, and were comfortable working together in interdisciplinary teams, they would be better prepared for the professional world of tomorrow, after graduation. With the rise of digital and chip technology, digital skills are becoming increasingly important, as are creativity, entrepreneurship, co-creation and cooperation in teams with people from different backgrounds and educational levels. The challenge for educational institutions is to design their curricula in such a way that students can develop these skills now.

Unique learning environment

With this in mind, OnePlanet is creating a unique, open learning environment for students at MBOs, HBOs and universities in Gelderland via the open education platform, OpenEd. Together with teachers, SMEs and other organizations in the field, a method is being developed that can be applied in learning-working projects. Students from various programs, disciplines and levels will work together on complex issues (challenges) concerning digital technology, working with real clients. For example, they might do benchmark research, test prototypes or develop new applications. The projects link with OnePlanet’s innovation areas – Precision Health, Nutrition & Behavior, and Precision Agri(culture), Food & Environment – and with the core themes of the various study programs.

Bringing parties together

OnePlanet brings together the various parties, helps them to formulate a common challenge and individual learning goals, contributes technology, monitors progress and maintains contact with the clients. This might be an SME, but also a care or social institution. Each student works on their particular part of the assignment, guided by their own tutors. For example, the application of a technology (MBO), application-oriented research (HBO) or the development of a strategic plan (WO).

From Parkinson’s disease to fruit farming

The first apprenticeship projects started in September 2019. One of them is Activating Parkinson’s Patients with Sensors (APPS). Here, industrial design students work together with future product designers and nurses on wearables to make the lives of people with Parkinson’s safer and more pleasant. Meanwhile, another group of students has taken over the baton. Besides OnePlanet, Rijn IJssel, ROC Nijmegen, HAN University of Applied Sciences, Radboud University and Radboudumc are involved in the project.

Another example is the GO! Digital challenge, in which obese children are coached towards a healthy lifestyle. Students in nursing, nutrition and dietetics and social work are investigating how digital interventions can be used to achieve this. Rijn IJssel, HAN University of Applied Sciences, Christelijke Hogeschool Ede and Radboud University are involved in this project.

A third example, a collaboration with the Fruit Tech Campus, is conducting experiments with sensors, aimed at non-destructive methods for determining the quality of fruit.


Would you like to set up challenging learning-working projects together with OnePlanet and other parties for students at MBO, HBO and university? Or share a challenge? Please contact Karien Vermeulen.

Insights and innovations


Would you like to set up challenging learning-working projects together with OnePlanet and other parties for students at MBO, HBO and university? Or share a challenge?