Bridging DOCS Innovation

The Bridging DOCS is an innovative project because it brings an extremely positive side of online education, the incredible diversity of perspectives, to on-campus classrooms. We believe that this international contact will enrich the debate and production on the on-campus course Methodology for Urbanism. Studies have shown the importance of having a more diverse perspective on planning education (Frank et al., 2014). We want to bring the active discussions of the MOOC to on-campus courses, include the master students on the online discussion forums and increase the exposure of their assignments. 

 Additionally, the project innovates because the platform connects the students in Delft directly to practitioners following the online course, as the results of the Rethink the City MOOC have shown (more than 40% of the participants of the MOOC were working professionals). According to Ratnayake and Butt (2017), the gap between theory and practice is one of the biggest challenges in planning education and this is directly challenged in the Bridging DOCS project. 

The analysis of the results from the pilot project will indicate how much interaction was promoted by on-campus students and also how many comments they received from this global audience. The project will also be evaluated by the master students, to understand how they experienced this interaction with online students. Additionally, based on this pilot project we will be able to adapt the and integrate the Bridging DOCS platform to another master courses of the faculty. We aim that after the lessons learned from the first year of the Bridging DOCS financed by the Comenius Teaching Fellow, we will be ready to take the platform to a second master course of the faculty. The final result at the end of the Bridging DOCS project is a single platform that could be used to integrate the work of online and on-campus students from different courses of the faculty.

After the end of the Bridging DOCS project, the platform can serve as a reference for other TU Delft faculties that would like to have a higher interaction between their students and a global audience. The platform has a higher potential to succeed in courses that can benefit from a diverse range of perspectives. Two seminars after the run of the pilot and its analysis can help to disseminate this tool to other courses.

Published by Roberto Rocco

I am an Associate Professor at the Section Spatial Planning and Strategy of the Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands. Our chair is one of the leading research centres in spatial planning in Europe. I am the editor of the Routledge Handbook on Informal Urbanisation. If you want to contact me, please write to

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