About - Its21 - interdisciplinary teamwork skills for the 21st century
The conference is organised by NTNU Experts in Teamwork and SFU Engage, with support from the Nordic EiT-network.
What is EiT?
Experts in Teamwork (EiT) is a compulsory master’s course at NTNU, in which students apply their academic competence in interdisciplinary project work to learn collaborative skills that can be transferred to the workplace. Students work in teams with participants from diverse study programs. Relevant problem areas from civic and working life form the basis for their teamwork, and the results achieved by the teams are used to benefit internal and external partners. Currently, 3200 students take the course annually, taught by 110 teaching staff members and 240 learning assistants (students) from all disciplines and professions. In 2021, NTNU Experts in Teamwork received the prestigious award for quality enhancement in higher education granted by the Norwegian government.
The Experts in Teamwork Academic Section at NTNU is responsible for the professional foundation for facilitation as a core pedagogical method for learning collaborative skills, and for training academic staff and learning assistants. It is located at the Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management (IØT). However, since the subject of EiT is part of most master’s study programs at NTNU, the section collaborates across all faculties at the university.
What is Engage?
Engage, Centre for Engaged Education through Entrepreneurship, is a centre for excellence in education. Its ambition is to ensure that the ability to identify new opportunities, the will to act and the knowledge to acquire the resources needed to exploit opportunities for the better becomes fundamental elements in all disciplines at the higher education level. The strong consortium consisting of the NTNU School of Entrepreneurship, Nord University Business School, NTNU Experts in Teamwork, and Spark NTNU has provided the foundation for developing the educational context towards a student-driven experience-based education. The vision is to increase the number of students in Norway and around the world with entrepreneurial skills and mindset to become change agents and innovate for the better. Engage is organized in three focus areas: Engaging Students, Engaging Educators, and Engaging Research. These three focus areas all have distinct stakeholders, who we can conversate with to develop state of the art within entrepreneurial education. Sustainability gets embedded into these three focus areas, which makes it possible to integrate it as a natural part of the Centre’s activity.
What is the Nordic EiT-network?
This network’s main objective is to train students in utilizing their academic competence in interdisciplinary settings – nationally and internationally – in order to reach enhanced project outputs and contribute to solving complex problems. This is achieved by focusing on teamwork skills, i.e. increasing the students’ awareness of how they contribute as collaborative members in a team. The development of such social skills is important both for their future workplaces and in life. By training the students’ interpersonal collaborative skills, we believe, the training may also facilitate innovative processes.
The partner institutions bring various experiences to the network. While some emphasize cooperation skills, others are particularly strong on innovative processes. The network meetings have given participants “hands on” practical experience as well as theoretical aspects. This has contributed to a deeper understanding and a greater commitment among the participants, and established a platform for long-term cooperation.