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WWF'S First experiences with Master Digital Design students

30 Jan 2018 15:39 | Faculty of Digital Media and Creative Industries

We asked Jalbert Kuijper who is the CMO of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in the Netherlands about his first experiences with Master Digital Design student projects. A small group of these Master students have been working on two issues being tackled by WWF.

One is the importance of making people aware of the meaning of food, and in particular of the wasted food that represents an enormous global environmental burden. The other is increasing the digital profile of WWF projects being carried out in the Netherlands; not everyone knows exactly which projects the WWF, an international nature organization, is carrying out in this country.

Valuable collaboration

Jalbert Kuijper is enjoying the collaboration with the Master’s programme. In September he greatly appreciated the fact that students could quickly turn their ideas into designs, and he still values this. However, since then he has noticed that the work pressure of the programme is so high that students’ attention for the key partners’ assignments sometimes slackens as a result. “And that’s a pity, because the WWF offers an independent work environment – and it expects a pro-active attitude.”

Jalbert likes seeing students taken outside their comfort zones. The WWF, which is a key partner of this accredited Master’s programme, has provided several assignments on which students work in groups. “Up to now the groups that had to deal with the most internal frictions produced the best results, while those that got along well were less successful.” Jalbert has therefore called on teaching staff to keep re-mixing the groups. “Groups of students learn the most when they have to keep switching teams, so they’re always working in a new environment.”

Deeply involved

If it were up to the WWF, as a key partner it would expand its role in the Master of Science. “We see students working on our assignments, we see them around the building, but we’re not being asked about their individual progress and development”, explains Jalbert. He would prefer to see the programme’s business partners deeply involved and giving feedback. In Jalbert’s view it’s all about the principle of ‘learning on the job’: after all, the Digital Design lesson programme is designed to support real-world problem-solving.

This is why the WWF has set real-world assignments, looking at real problems being faced by the organization. If the students find workable solutions to these problems, the WWF will definitely use them, says Jalbert. “As long as these solutions are of adequate quality."