The Tec 21 educational model encourages students to complement their knowledge and collaborate in a multidisciplinary way in real problematic situations.
What can we learn by making a music video? Maybe this question could be considered unimportant from the standpoint of a traditional educational model based on the acquisition of knowledge. However, from the standpoint of the new Tec21 model, learning by doing has taken on a deeper meaning.
Tecnológico de Monterrey’s Tec21 model seeks to use challenge-based learning experiences to develop competencies and skills that equip students with the tools they will need to face the complex world they will have to live in. The main objective of this model, as well as its pedagogical components, is that each student should be responsible for managing his/her own learning, applying multidisciplinary knowledge in a practical and collaborative manner to solve real problems or situations.
"The Tec21 educational model seeks for students to become learning managers applying their knowledge of multiple disciplines in a collaborative manner in the face of real problems."
An example of this type of project is "Audiovisual Mathematics," a block of three disciplines designed for participants to complete a project in which three types of languages interact: mathematics, music and English. The first version of this challenge involved generating a proposal for a music video of a song in English, produced in slow motion, for the Mexican band La Gusana Ciega. Disciplinary knowledge of the following subjects was required: language and audiovisual narrative; mathematics and physics for design; and English for business.
As part of the undergraduate degree in communication and digital media, this block is designed to help first-semester students, in conjunction with three professors and a challenge coordinator, develop the ability to project prototypes for applying multidisciplinary knowledge, which, on this occasion, involved making a music video. Such goals could also be developed in other products that reflect a similar interaction of different fields of knowledge.
The competencies students develop in the project are:
1) To create audiovisual and interactive digital projects adaptable to different contexts and reproducible through different channels and platforms.
2) To apply models and practical mathematical and physical calculations to design elements in the creation of a music video.
3) To express themselves orally and in writing in English, at an intermediate level.
To demonstrate their level of performance, each participant is evaluated through the delivery of evidence produced both in the challenge and in the learning modules, which include a written proposal, a filming plan, an executive summary, a script log, and a free-body and cinematic diagram, among others, as well as the music video in its final edition and behind the camera.
"The world where future professionals will work is not only complex, but also multidisciplinary and diverse, this must be seen as an opportunity to live collaboration from training."
It took the team of teachers and collaborators five months to prepare and design the project and define the students’ work, to be implemented in the August - December 2018 semester. The entire team’s experience in this project exceeded expectations.
It should be noted that, as teachers, the relevance of this type of project lies not only in the ability to develop our students’ skills, but also to help students see the competitive advantages of understanding the interaction of knowledge and the collaborative networks they can generate in their professional activities.
Unlike traditional educational models, in which knowledge is acquired in an isolated, passive way and whose subject areas are rarely related, this type of teaching practice is constructed from reality and for reality. The world where future professionals will work is not only complex, but also multidisciplinary and diverse, which should not be seen as an insurmountable challenge, but rather as an opportunity to experience collaboration hands on during the educational process.
We would like to invite our colleagues to be open to this kind of multidisciplinary experience. Although the challenge may seem great, the reward is even greater. Projects like the one proposed here demonstrate the richness of collaborative work that is sorely lacking in the preparation of future professionals.
About the author
Arturo Alberto Hernández Medina (firstname.lastname@example.org) has a degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and a Master’s in Education with a specialization in Applied Linguistics. He is currently the Director of the Regional Department of Languages of Tecnológico de Monterrey in Guadalajara.