Background and motives
The purpose of Tracks is to create and test a new educational model where the structure of the education is developed to
- give students the opportunity to create cross-disciplinary competencies,
- meet the students' expectations and need for a more individualized study plan and
- shorten the lead times for changing the education offer
The new educational model is based on the creation of Tracks with different current themes between existing educations. As part of Tracks, there will also be a major investment in Chalmers' learning environment.
Today, Chalmers’ educational model is designed as a programme leading to a professional or general degree. The degree objectives are in line with national educational objectives. Each programme has its own programme plan and they are grouped together through quality assurance processes in which examinations take place according to the rule of law. Today's programme design allows some limited individualization for the student. The introduction of a new course element, from idea to full impact, takes up to two years. To be able to offer the students an up-to-date and relevant education, the way to develop the education also needs to be adapted.
Studies within engineering- and architecture have historically been organized by discipline: mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, etc. Deep knowledge in these subjects is necessary for qualitative engineering work, but engineers also need to develop knowledge and skills in teamwork, ethics, communication, entrepreneurship, so-called "professional skills", without compromising the deep subject knowledge.
The initiative is financed by the Chalmers Foundation and has a budget of 200 million SEK over a span of ten years. It started formally on February 18, 2019 and runs until 2028. It is one of the biggest investments in education that has been made in the 190-year history of Chalmers.
Tracks consist mainly of two parts: learning and learning environment.
The idea of the project is to create individual and flexible study opportunities by introducing Track-courses to Chalmers students. These courses are optional and address specific challenges. They lie "between" the programmes, where the student will meet students from other programmes and prepare to solve the complex problems of the future. A Track-course has one theme, and more courses with the same theme are intended to be available in the other years. In this way, each theme forms an optional "track" with at least one Track-course per year.
Tracks also include a large investment in Chalmers' learning environment. In order to meet the needs of the Track-courses, Chalmers shall create a prominent and flexible learning environment in which you can form project spaces both physically and digitally through a high degree of interaction with industry representatives and other parts of the society. A modern work environment is also needed, for example with computer resources for machine learning and artificial intelligence, AI. Other examples are lab and hybrid virtual-physical environments where students can model, build, test and evaluate prototypes, as well as open creative areas for group work and informal spaces for meetings etc.
The plan for 2019
In 2019/2020, within each theme one course will be held at the basic level and one at the advanced level. The three themes for the first pilot round was decided to be Health and Sport technology, AI and Sustainable transportation. Proposals for project courses to be included in these first themes will be collected during the spring and then the pilot round will be announced to the students.
At the same time, an inventory of the learning environments at Chalmers is underway, both to create an overall picture of what is currently available, but also to identify possible premises for a unified Track environment. During the spring, an operational plan will be written.