Despite the popularity of hackathons as organized competitions both on and off the university campus, there is relatively little scholarship on the pedagogic application of hackathon-style challenges in the classroom — especially where the hackathon is integral to the course curriculum.

Given the anticipated diversity of students that might be attracted to PLAN 211, and the momentum towards “hands-on learning” / “learning by doing” / “experiential learning” in higher education, the Ideathon Challenge is crafted with those two factors in mind. As an alternative permutation of the traditional hackathon, the Ideathon Challenge is also for pedagogic consideration in the built environment disciplines and, by extension, other allied fields.

A key subset of the Ideathon Challenge is the weekly 1-hour tutorial session, conceptualized and referred to as an “Incubator”. The Incubator is a supportive learning environment for in-depth discussions on course topics, while also providing a creative outlet for significant team-based tasks. Incubator sessions are facilitated by PLAN 211 teaching assistants who are graduate students in the School of Community and Regional Planning at UBC.

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