5 ways to encourage innovation on campus

Behind the buzzwords, what does an innovative culture actually look like?

Writing for University Business, Ronald Machtley, president of Bryant University, shares one answer to that question. Bryant has worked hard to instill a campus-wide culture of innovation. Machtley shares several lessons they learned along the way.

1: Immerse students

Give students an opportunity to practice design thinking and innovation so they can use these skills in their careers. Bryant has established a one-credit-hour course that challenges students to solve real-world problems.

2: Create idea factories

Ensure there's a physical environment where ideas can be generated, Machtley suggests. It doesn't have to be futuristic, as long as faculty set a creative tone in the room, he writes.

The low-tech heroes of the active learning classroom: Group tables, swivel chairs, and whiteboards

3: Keep experimenting

After launching your active learning spaces or other initiatives, ask faculty how they're working out. Make changes based on their feedback—and keep communicating and tweaking over the long term.

4: Seek faculty input

Machtley writes that to create an innovation-focused classroom experience, faculty have to be key stakeholders in the process. He suggest asking them for feedback on classroom equipment and other factors.

5: Adopt from others

A culture that promotes innovation creates both tangible and intangible benefits. Students graduate with greater creativity, perseverance, and grit, Machtley writes—but they'll also be able to invent the next big thing (Machtley, University Business, 8/24).

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