Learning by Developing is a pedagogical model pioneered by the Laurea University of Applied Sciences that structures the learning experience around real-life problems. It allows students to engage with issues outside academia and facilitates their development as self-directed learners with a range of complex problem-solving and personal leadership skills as well as intellectual and methodological skills.
Edinburgh Living Lab has implemented a Learning by Developing approach in two courses that it has developed: Data, Design and Society (undergraduate) and Design for Informatics (postgraduate). These courses emphasize interdisciplinary teamwork around open-ended problems. The instructors provide training in essential skills and serve as a mentors, while encouraging students to develop their own expertise, learn to work together, understand and respect others, and work out how their knowledge and skills can contribute to the joint project.
The Living Lab aims to support and facilitate interdisciplinary and problem-based learning across the University of Edinburgh as well as offering it as a model for online and outreach courses that extend to citizens and organisations in the City of Edinburgh. We see this as an important way that the University can interact with the city and contribute to social innovation.