European Project Semester (EPS) | AP Hogeschool Overslaan en naar de inhoud gaan

European Project Semester (EPS)

    Projects Spring 2021

    • A-city Teachers
      Client?

      Onderwijstalent, a public partnership focusing on jobs, information and training for teachers in Antwerp.

      CONTEXT?

      For teachers, Antwerp is an equally challenging and fascinating city to work in. Teachers in primary and secondary schools face a range of challenges such as cultural diversity (more than 50% of children in Antwerp primary schools have a migrant background, many of them grow up in non-Dutch-speaking families), deprivation passed on from generation to generation, and so on. At the same time, this multicultural reality is an asset for Antwerp, as numerous social organisations are developing inspiring initiatives that fight poverty, promote social cohesion, etc.  

      GOAL?

      How can we bring future teachers into contact with the multicoloured and socially challenging neighbourhoods in which they will later be active as teachers in an exciting, innovative and interactive way during their teacher training?

      You will continue to work on an 'A-city Teachers' game app prototype that a team of EPS students developed last year Thanks to your creativity, knowledge of social work and/or education and/or technological know-how, this prototype will be even more interactive, dynamic and visually attractive.

      The end result of your project will potentially be embedded in the curricula of the Antwerp teacher training programmes. 

      FOR WHOM?

      Students with a heart for education, social cohesion and diversity, and a study background in

          •  
      • ICT-Electronics and Applied Informatics
      • Teacher Training
      • Graphical and Digital Media
      • Storytelling
      • Product Development
      • Social work
      • Game design
    • Arts & Mindfulness in Education
      Client?

      Speel je wijs, a Dutch company specialised in educational innovation.

      CONTEXT?

      Mindfulness is slowly but surely finding its way into pre-primary and primary education. Teachers who experiment with it, experience the beneficial effect that mindfulness has on children who grow up in a world full of digital and other stimuli. Artistic teaching methods (making use of image, music, drama, movement and media) appear to be a good way for children and young people to become familiar with mindfulness.

      GOAL?

      Together with your EPS teammates you continue to work on a mobile website prototype (conceptualised last academic year by a team of EPS students) with inspiring tools and teaching methods that teachers can use to work with arts & mindfulness in their classroom and school context. A special focus is on children with behavioral problems: a target group that, possibly more than others, can benefit from a thorough training in mindfulness.

      This EPS project is pioneering work in education. The results of your project will be tested in several schools in Flanders/Belgium.

      FOR WHOM?

      Students with a heart for education, psychology, mindfulness, arts and/or digital innovation social and a study background in

      • Teacher Training
      • Applied Psychology
      • ICT-Electronics
      • Applied Informatics
      • Graphical and Digital Media
      • Fine Arts
      • Product Development
    • Escape from social exclusion
      Client?

      Handicap International, an international non-governmental organisation known for its fight against anti-personnel mines and cluster munitions. Handicap International prevents disabilities (through training, awareness-raising campaigns, etc.), supports people with disabilities and enables them to participate fully in society.

      Context?

      In order to make young people between 14 and 18 years of age aware of disabilities in their many facets and the need for social inclusion, Handicap International intends to develop an innovative training module tailored to these target groups. This module will also enable young people to learn more about the specific approach of Handicap International, an organisation that was co-founder of the International Campaign against Landmines and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997.

      Goal?

      Conceptualise and create a prototype of a digital ‘escape game’ that promotes, in an innovative and playful way, youngster’s learning on themes that are central to Handicap International's mission and vision (prevention of disabilities, support for people with disabilities, full participation in social life by people with disabilities, etc.).

      As an EPS team you develop learning content that is adapted to the target groups. You develop a storyline, game scenarios and characters that appeal to the imagination of young people. The graphic design and technological conceptualisation lead to a prototype that a next generation of EPS students and Handicap International can further develop.

      For whom?

      Students with a  heart for, and a study background in

      • ICT-Electronics and/or Applied informatics
      • Design (Graphical and Digital Media, Interaction design, Product design, Art): designing, prototyping, conceptual thinking, storytelling, etc.
      • Teacher Training
      • Occupational Therapy
      • Applied Psychology
      • Social Eductional Care Work
      • Product Development
    • It’s (international) Fika Time!
      Client?

      AP’s International Office

      Context?

      As an internationally oriented University of Applied Sciences and Arts, AP welcomes hundreds of international exchange students every academic year within the framework of Erasmus+. Whatever international exchange programme they choose, during the international welcome weeks organised by AP International Office at the start of each semester they all get to know each other to a certain extent.

      How can we introduce international exchange students to each other in a virtual environment prior to these international welcome weeks? How can this virtual environment contribute to a close-knit community of international students, no matter which study programme they choose? How can regular AP-students make virtual contact with our international guests as part of a buddy programme? A team of EPS students will help answer these and other questions.

      Goal?

      You conceptualise and develop a FI(I)CA prototype, which stands for: Friendly Informal Immersive Cloud Alternative. FI(I)CA is inspired by the Swedish fika-ritual: a popular and above all socially connected coffee break ritual, a daily recurring moment in which interpersonal relationships are informally strengthened while drinking coffee, tea or lemonade and while enjoying all kinds of snacks and cakes. Gamification is part of the essence of this virtual platform. You create avatars that can be personalised by the participating students. You come up with storylines, virtual events, etc. that encourage users to immerse themselves on a very regular basis in this imaginative virtual environment in which real information is exchanged at the same time.

      You lay the foundations of a unique platform with which AP University of Applied Sciences and Arts Antwerp wants to set an example in terms of welcoming and connecting international exchange students and regular AP students who want to expand their international network.  

      For whom?

      Students with a heart for, and a study background in:

      • Product Development
      • ICT-Electronics & Applied informatics
      • Graphical and Digital Media
      • Game Design
      • Product Development
      • Communication management
    • Inclusive Playtime
      Client?

      KBT nv (nv = public limited company). KBT nv is active as a supplier of industrially produced components, both for residential activity toys as for public playgrounds. They are currently engaged in a companywide research project with the central goal of rethinking KBT’s offer in terms of both inclusive play products and (important in the context of AP’s European Project Semester) new inclusive solutions that shift away from traditional playground activities.

      If the designed solution fits in the current offer and business model of KBT, they may decide to develop the design further into a marketable product. This will ultimately be depending on marketability, technical and financial issues related to the design.

      Context?

      Playing is a right for all children, including those with a disability. Yet we see that, having a disability severely limits the opportunities for children to experience challenging play and to engage in fulfilling social interactions.

      Traditional playground installations are typically not designed to be fully accessible or challenging for all children. Children with all kinds of disabilities experience various barriers while accessing or using the available playground toys. Constructions are often made for activities such as climbing, crawling, swinging. For children with reduced mobility or limited sensory abilities, these activities themselves may be impossible barriers to overcome.

      By introducing new technology into playgrounds, we aim to design new types of play affordances. This way we create new opportunities for play and social interaction and thereby try to remove existing barriers.

      Goal?

      In the playground industry more and more individuals and companies have started to address this issue by investigating the situation and by designing new products that are aimed to be more inclusive. Still we notice that most of these new products are quite traditional in the sense that they mimic existing constructions and activities and solve only some technical limitations but do not add any new ideas to the table. In this project we try to aim further, not only by introducing electronics as a field of solutions, but by starting the discussion from the angle of designing new play affordances that are more inclusive by the nature of their design.

      In this project you will first investigate the current situation for children with different disabilities. What barriers are there and - on the other end - what are the existing capabilities for play for different children? You will work out and test new play affordances and finally you will use these in the design of a functional public playground toy.

      The target group of the design are children between 3 and 12 years of age, who may or may not experience some kind of disability. A core aspect of the project is to design inclusive solutions and come up with new ideas to bridge the gap between able and disabled children. The difficulty in this regard is to design affordances that are equally challenging for both groups.

      For whom?

      Students with a heart for, and a study background in:

      • Product Design and Product Development
      • Marketing and Business Development
      • Occupational Therapy
      • Social Educational Care Work
      • Sociocultural youth work
      • Applied Psychology
      • ICT-Electronics
      • ...

       

    • Virtual role-playing in kindergarten classrooms
      Client?

      Teachers from AP's Kindergarten Teacher Training programme are the client of this project.

      Some of AP’s current Kindergarten students can serve as a sounding board for the EPS team that will take up this project challenge. Visits to Antwerp kindergartens can provide additional inspiration.

      Context?

      Making optimal and varied use of the spatial possibilities offered by a classroom is didactically of great importance to a teacher in kindergarten (which is also referred to as pre-primary, preschool and/or nursery education). The same applies to the use of the many and varied didactic materials used by kindergarten teachers.

      This is particularly true in the Antwerp metropolitan context, which is characterised by a very high degree of cultural and social diversity. The increasing attention to inclusion in education also poses major challenges for teachers: along with the increasing number of preschoolers with specific educational needs, there is also a growing need for differentiated teaching methods.

      Teachers and students of AP's Kindergarten Teacher Training programme would therefore benefit greatly from a virtual classroom environment in which they can experiment during didactics lessons. The didactic insights that can grow within this virtual environment can then be tested by the students in professional practice, especially in the context of traineeships.

      Goal?

      You conceptualise and create a virtual environment that simulates a kindergarten classroom provided with numerous didactic materials. Virtual preschoolers and teachers designed by your team are also part of this digital classroom environment. Students of AP's Kindergarten Teacher Training programme  can attribute physical, but above all mental, characteristics to these virtual characters. Students can set up didactic experiments within this virtual environment that benefit their learning processes. In this way, they are trained as didactically highly educated teachers and are optimally prepared for both traineeships and their later professional career as kindergarten teachers.

      For whom?

      Students with a heart for education and diversity and a study background in

      • Teacher Training
      • Pedagogy
      • Social Educational Care Work
      • Occupational Therapy
      • Graphical and Digital Media
      • Product Development
      • ICT-Electronics
      • Game Design
       
    • Transcending language barriers in Flemish & South African schools
      Client?

      A team of researchers from both AP University of Applied Sciences and Arts Antwerp and the University of Johannesburg is the client of this project.

      The project result of this EPS team will make a valuable contribution to both the ongoing research project STaalvaardig and the South Initiative STEM-CALP, in which both higher education institutions as well as Flemish and South African secondary schools are participating.

      Context?

      Although teachers have numerous of interactions with their students, they often don’t understand each other as they wish. Teachers use a specific academic language when giving instructions and going in interaction with their class. Mainly in the non-language specific courses (e.g. math, science, gymnastics, drama, etc.) this problem occurs. This mismatch is even larger when the language of instruction is not the mother tongue of the students. This appears to be the case in the Flemish context for students with an immigrant background, but also for as many as 80% of the students in South Africa.

      This project combines experiences from both contexts and focusses on supporting teachers to become more effective and better understood by their students. After all, understanding and using academic language contributes significantly to better study results at higher education level.

      Goal?

      With an international and interdisciplinary team of students - and with the support of a Flemish and South African researchers - you will develop a user-friendly online tool for teachers in both Flanders and South Africa. in close cooperation with the University of Johannesburg. This tool will support teachers in Flanders and South Africa in developing high-quality teaching materials with specific attention to academic language use.

      What makes this EPS project even more exciting is the cooperation with students and researchers from the University of Johannesburg, as well as with teachers from South African schools. Through distance cooperation, the EPS team will be in contact with these South African partners and stakeholders. An international experience within your international experience, an example of 'internationalisation 2.0'.

      For whom?

      Students with a heart for and a study background in:

      • Teacher Training
      • Pedagogy
      • Linguistics and/or Language Education
      • Graphical and Digital Media
      • ICT-Electronics and Applied Informatics
      • Social Educational Care Work
    • Plan Academy
      Client?

      The client of this project is Plan International Belgium (international website: https://plan-international.org/), Founded in 1937, Plan International is a development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. The non-governmental organisation strives for a just world, working together with children, young people, supporters and partners.

      In 2019, Plan International was active in 77 countries. 21,6 million girls and 18,9 million boys were reached by the NGO’s work.

      Context?

      “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” This quote from the late Nelson Mandela shows why Plan International also attaches so much importance to education.

      Under the name 'Plan Academy digital', the NGO will focus on e-learning about children's rights and gender equality in the coming years. The objectives of this digital learning offer:

      • Promoting knowledge through information, awareness and learning.
      • Promoting empathy through, among other things, sharing experiences.
      • The further development of a close Plan community consisting of Plan parents, volunteers, teachers, supporting companies and new Plan members.
      Goal?

      With this EPS team, you are at the start of the development of 'Plan Academy digital':

      • Your team will shape the content of digital educational modules that focus on children's rights and gender equality.
      • Your team will help ensure that these educational modules are pedagogically underpinned in the field of blended learning.
      • You will make maximum use of your team's knowledge of graphic and digital technology to help develop the digital platform on which these educational modules will be offered.
      • Together with your team, you will be able to provide strong added value to the educational objectives of Plan International.

      You will be supported by a team of experts who are all involved in 'Plan Academy international'.

      For whom?

      Students with a heart for, and a study background in:

      • Teacher Training
      • Pedagogy
      • Social Work
      • Social Educational Care Work
      • ICT-Electronics
      • Graphical and Digital Media
      • Product Design and Product Development
      • Marketing and Business Development
      • ...
    • Recap - Projects 2019

      Eager to take a quick peek at the process and results of the 2019 projects? Below you can find the research posters of every project group. Those will certainly provide you an clear and brief insight into each project!

      Research poster project 1 - A way home

      Research poster project 2 - Big city life

      Research poster project 3 - Cohousing with refugees

      Research poster project 4 - Kids in Space

      Research poster project 5 - Story to taste

      Research poster project 6 - Storytelling

    • Recap - Projects 2018

      Eager to take a quick peek at the process and results of the 2018 projects? Below you can find the research posters of every project group. Those will certainly provide you an clear and brief insight into each project!

      Research poster project 1 - Kids in Space

      Research poster project 2: Mobile Learning Game for Antwerp's Port Center

      Research poster project 3: On Discovery in the World of Immersive Storytelling

      Research Poster project 4: Safeguarding Children and Young People in Residential Care and Foster Care

      Research Poster project 5: International Business Corridor

      Research Poster project  6: Every Voice & Vote Counts – An Innovative Megaphone for Socially Vulnerable Groups in Times of Elections

    Programme

    The EPS projects consist of the following parts:

    • Project work by the participating students, with the aim of developing student initiative, individual creativity and entrepreneurial skills. Four to eight students work together in an international team on a specific (multidisciplinary) project while developing their cooperation and communication skills. (20 ECTS)
    • A number of short intensive courses, taught by different (international) lecturers, to support the project work (10 ECTS)

    The project prepares students to be part of a multi-context environment. The problems need to be solved irrespective of nationality and culture. This enhances on the one hand the amount of work to be delivered and on the other hand the quality of the project process and project results.

    Timing and Location

    Start date

    2nd semester

        Welcome Week

    Monday 1st February 2021 -  Thursday 4th February 2021

        Welcome day

    Friday, 5th February 2021

        Start of programme

    Monday, 8th February 2021

        Official end date

    Friday, 25th June 2021


    Holidays

    Spring Break: Monday 15th February – Sunday 21st February 2021 (1 week)
    Easter Holiday: Monday 5th  April – 18th April 2021 (2 weeks)
    Ascension: 13th – 14th  May 2021
    Other days off: 1st May 2021 / 24th May 2021

    Location

    AP Campus Spoor Noord - Noorderplaats
    Noorderplaats 2
    2000 Antwerp

    The EPS projects will be organized on different locations in or near the city center of Antwerp.

    Registration

    Nomination

    AP partner institutions should send the student’s nomination to the AP International Office: incomingstudents@ap.be. More information on the application procedure can be found on the How to apply-page.

    Application

    Please complete the online application form and send your documents to incomingstudents@ap.be.

    We would like to take into account your preference concerning the projects. Therefore, we ask you to fill out a small online survey.

    Projects will be assigned at a later stage, at the latest upon arrival. It is possible that not all projects will be organized as we often need very specific student profiles in order to be able to run certain projects. If that would be the case with the project(s) you prefer, we will propose an alternative project that fits your profile.

    Application deadline: 11 November 2020.
    Selection and final acceptance on 16th November

    Students that apply before 10th August 2020 can receive a decision about their acceptance on 7th September 2020 at the latest in case they ask for it.

    Registration

    Once accepted, please fill in the online registration:

    We will communicate with you by means of your personal email address and your mobile phone number, so make sure you provide us with the correct contact details..

    After your registration, AP International Office will provide additional information pertaining to:

    • Welcome Week and Welcome Day
    • Procedure for registration (residence permit)
    • Invitation letter, for visa purposes
    • Housing, activities, integration & facilities

    Credits

    AP awards 30 credits for one semester. Credits are awarded only when the course has been completed and all required examinations have been successfully taken.

    AP Grading Scale compared to the ECTS scale:
     

    AP

    ECTS grade

    18-19-20

    A EXCELLENT

    15-16-17

    B VERY GOOD

    13-14

    C GOOD

    11-12

    D SATISFACTORY

    10

    E SUFFICIENT

    8-9

    FX FAIL (with possible deliberation)

    0-1-2-3-4-5-6-7

    F  FAIL (no deliberation possibility)