Teaching European Studies

Across the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) there is a vast range of pedagogic practice in the field of European Studies (ES), but this is largely generated in a bottom-up fashion, without systematic efforts to review and evaluate practice elsewhere.

The INOTLES project harnesses the innovative pedagogical trends, driven both by technological change and inter-institutional cooperation. It aims at creating a model of curricular reform that builds on local and international expertise to produce adaptable pedagogical resources that can be taken into a wide variety of ES courses.

The starting point of INOTLES project is the investigation of the current academic literature on innovative teaching methods and tools at the national and international levels, with a specific focus on the field of European Studies.

This step is complemented with an international survey on teaching ES, mapping existing provisions in ES teaching and pathways and gaining practical understanding on the courses taught within the ES field, as well as the traditional and innovative teaching methods and tools applied.

The literature review and the survey on teaching ES will build a broader picture of both provisions and short-comings in teaching ES and will form the foundation for the rest of the project, identifying best practice, key challenges and mobilising partners for the creation of new resources.

The review of INOTLES partners’ pedagogical provisions, needs and expertise constitutes another important element of this project. The needs analysis within Partner Countries (PCs) - Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine - will be followed by the matching of the needs of the PC partners with the academic and pedagogical expertise of EU partners, notably problem-based learning (Maastricht University), e-learning (IES, VUB and Maastricht University) and simulations (University of Surrey).  This will also facilitate the design of INOTLES teachers’ training in innovative pedagogical approaches to the ES.

INOTLES project focuses on reforming the ES curricula across its partner institutions by designing and implementing several core ES courses. Given the diversity of provision and administrative constraints, the curricular reform is structured to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach. 

INOTLES  builds demonstrator courses to show how different teaching methodologies and innovative tools can be operationalised in a variety of contexts.

The purpose is to show both the benefits and the challenges of specific teaching approaches and tools identified during the literature review and the mapping of ES pedagogies. INOTLES adopts the methodology of collaborative module development and implementation. Partners will work together in mixed, inter-university groups, to develop a set of modules that can be then used by any of the partners.

In addition, the consortium will develop and implement a blended learning inter-university course, involving teachers and MA students from all its member institutions. While most of activities will be carried out online, the course will also comprise a mobility period in Brussels, allowing a face-to-face exchange between consortium academics and students.

By promoting convergence of ES courses between EU partners and East European partners the project will provide local examples of best practice, following the Bologna agenda and will enable wider dissemination across the region. Moreover, INOTLES aims to increase the competitiveness and flexibility of learners in accordance with the requirements of the job market by ensuring that new ES courses make use of e-learning tools and transfer innovative skills to students.