before and after the experience - a new collaborative teaching concept

«befter» – a new teaching and learning method

«befter» project
before & after the experience

The Goal

Creating a team experience for building a relationship to the «real world» and in collaboration between teams across the world.

The «befter» method or steps are a living concept that has grown over time. We are open and interested in developing and incorporating new ideas and ways. You are cordially invited to participate!

The Reason Why

Through a self-made experience students can reach a deeper learning, activate their prior knowledge and acquire new knowledge. The new teaching and learning concept is an alternate approach for Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL). Furthermore the students can get confidence in their abilities and improve their social and media competencies.

Seven lighthouses point the way

When so many captivating things beckon, how quickly one can lose sight of the essentials! To prevent this, there is an orientation aid, our so-called «befter» method (before & after the experience).
This consists of seven proven steps, which have emerged over the years: Imagination, Research, Experience on Site, Shape & Create, Reflection, Publishing, Promotion & Getting Feedback. These lighthouses point the way to the common goals for all participants.

before the experience

Step 1 – Vision & Imagination

Ask yourself and imagine
Close your eyes – reflect on your own about a chosen topic (e.g. life cycle of a cable) without any tools or aids. Take your time and think about it freely.
Now write down all that came into your mind by contemplating about your subject! Give it a try and imagine “how it might work”, just invent, guess and fantasise

* Result: Posts from the students involved from all over the world written on our closed (account protected) teaching and learning website called «The horse» (more on

Step 2 – Festival of ideas and team building

Brainstorm and research: Project ideas are collected and communicated by the students using the closed teaching and learning website «The horse». A focus topic can be determined in advance by the project leaders (e.g. “food and climate”).
Festival of ideas: The students present their ideas as a post on «The horse» and give each other comments and ratings.
Meeting and discussing: students and student teams get in contact and meet each other e.g. by video conference and discuss their favorite topics. They connect and interact.
Team building: the goal is to find students or student teams with a similar topic to start a transnational collaboration

* Result: Topics and teams are known. Starting a collaboration between teams across cultures and around the world. Building up a collaboration network.

the experience

Step 3 – Experience on site !

Perform your experience (research project related to your research question). For example the team could visit a company and do an interview on site! There are different ways to perform something new: For example designing an experiment, doing an interview or survey, asking questions to an experienced person or scientist which explains and shows you exactly how it works. (No ideas? There is a toolbox on «The horse»)

* Result: A collection of impressions & insights, media (video, audio, images, text, etc.) and maybe new evolving questions.

after the experience

Step 4 – Shape & create

Edit and produce your own content and media collected during step 3: text, pictures, audio (voice recording), video, graphs, etc.

* Result: A team’s contribution (draft) resp. a collection of self-made materials on «The horse», ready for publishing on the public students’ project website

Step 5 Reflection

Reflect and compare with step 1 and 2. What happened to you personally and/or to the team in between? What kind of knowledge and experience could you achieve? How biased has your perception of the “real world” been? Did your guesses correspond?

* Result: A student’s and/or team’s post on «The horse»*.

Step 6 – Publishing

The web contributions are going to be published on the students’ project website
It’s an approach towards sustainable education linked to the UN goals of sustainable development: The students’ engagement, effort and insights are “no wasted energy” in the sense of “fulfilled” but contribute to the many little knowledge/experience drops building a vivid ocean and fertile soil for the present & future generations (e.g. upcoming classes of environment & technology).

Step 7 – Promotion and getting feedback

Asking for feedback and initiating discussions. Our aim is to encourage the students to think independently (e.g. questioning the media, when talking to experts); to see their work in a larger context (“my own life, the world”); to make decisions affecting their own behaviors in daily life and to discuss issues rationally. As such discussions may lead to conflict, the students are asked to discuss along certain guidelines of goodwill, respecting others’ opinions and cultural differences.

* «The horse» is the login-protected teaching and learning web called «The horse». We developed it for co-working across classes, across borders, across cultures. Further information » (

To the befter projects (18/19) »
Projects since 19/20 follow all the befter approach.


Would you like “to befter” in collaboration? There are experiences, results, teaching & planning materials as well as self & team assessments for students.

Just get in contact:

☷ See the project teams here »
☵ Some words about the contributions »

One thought on “«befter» – a new teaching and learning method

  1. A great and engaging way to learn and teach ! I am really glad we were part of the team ! I do recommend the cooperation to my colleagues.

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