The University is proud of its commitment to Social Innovation and Social Impact. This web area explains how we are working to embody themes around positive social change within our learning and teaching activities.

Our Changemaker in the Curriculum initiative is a series of ongoing projects looking at ways to make our Changemaker narrative a meaningful, lived narrative for our student body. On this page, you can find out more about the various projects and initiatives that we have delivered to date. These projects are now being built upon and developed in the ChANGE project (Changemaker Attributes at Northampton for Graduate Employability (ChANGE)) which will explore how we develop key skills, behaviours and capabilities in our students and how we define our graduates through the development of a graduate attribute statement and a framework for the development of graduate attributes.

Completed Projects

This page contains a summary of the various projects and initiatives that ILT have delivered to support the embedding of social innovation in the curriculum. We have also published a series of case studies looking at how Changemaker has been developed within the curriculum (click the image to find out more):

Changemaker in the Curriculum Case Study poster

You might like to start by watching this short video about our 2013/2014 approach to Education for Social Innovation and Social Impact.

Education for Social Innovation and Social Impact

As an AshokaU Changemaker Campus, we are encouraged to understand and embrace our own definition(s) of what it means to be a Changemaker.

In April 2014, we carried out a phenomenographic study with academic staff to discover our different understandings of Changemaker. Five qualitatively different ‘ways of knowing’ Changemaker were found:

  1. Changemaker as institutional strategy
  2. Changemaker as employability
  3. Changemaker as critical thinking, problem solving and perspective shifting
  4. Changemaker as social betterment
  5. Changemaker as personal transformation

We theorised an ‘outcome space’ to look like:

Assessing for Changemaker diagram

Fig 1. University teachers’ conceptions of Changemaker (n=30)

Read paper 1 online (Alden Rivers, Nie and Armellini, 2015)

What skills, attributes and behaviours are associated with Changemaker?

Understanding the different ways we conceptualise Changemaker gives us a foundation from which to consider what skills, behaviours and attributes we relate to social innovation and social impact. A second study (Alden Rivers, Armellini and Nie, in press) led us to propose Table 1, below or available to download.

Changemaker attributes for social innovation and social impact table

Table 1. Attributes for Social Innovation and Social Impact

We are excited to pilot these 14 attributes in our curriculum development and new programme design over the next academic year. Please feel free to refer to Table 1 in creating aims, objectives and learning outcomes for your own programmes. Further guidance will continue to emerge from the project as it progresses.

Copyright Institute of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, University of Northampton.