See the website of the project for further details.
Since the outbreak of the COVID19-crisis, Mieke van der Bijl-Brouwer and Rebecca Price, both researchers and teachers at TU Delft’s Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, have been investigating the wellbeing of students. Find Mieke’s blog post on promoting wellbeing at the university here and Rebecca’s posts on graduate students motivations here and here.
When looking at graduate students specifically, it was found that they face various challenges now that they have to work from home on an intensive individual project. Even when corona is not in the picture, most students feel pressured as this project is their ‘master piece’. Common challenges include a lack of routine and motivation, an unhealthy focus on performance, difficulties in making decisions in the design process, insecurities and so on. Some of these challenges have been exacerbated by the COVID19 crisis but the outbreak has also added new challenges, such as difficulties to separate study from life and relaxation as everything happens in one (bed)room.
Call for action
As a response to COVID19 and these findings, some small experiments have taken place, targeting graduate students and staff at TU Delft’s Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. Because every graduation student shapes their own graduation journey, these experiments are set up to be co-creative and have an action-oriented approach. By running different interventions and evaluating them, we learn from each other what works and what not.
The aim is now to scale up this approach, so more students and staff within our faculty can be supported and also experiments at other faculties are planned. The aim is to have impact beyond the immediate ‘COVID19-response’, and to develop initiatives that promote wellbeing, engagement and inclusivity in the TU Delft graduation process. Therefore, this project will also become part of and contribute to the TU Delft’s Study Climate programme, as it has potential to increase the subjective wellbeing and learning outcomes of graduation students, reduce graduation-stress and limit delays in graduation. This project will also focus on promoting inclusivity by including students with disabilities.