Heraclitus of Ephesus
Life is like a river that is constantly changing
The world has become liquid in many dimensions, including economic, social, geo political, environmental and technological. In order to support the dynamic lives and unique needs of students in an emerging unpredictable, fluid, and fast changing world, IE University has launched their ‘Liquid Learning Model.’ Liquid learning is a transformational, comprehensive, holistic and interactive educational experience that transcends single learning methodologies and platforms by blending together physical and digital learning ecosystems in innovative ways. This ensures students obtain the highest quality of education no matter where in the world they are and what their current situation might be. It is all about the richness of the experience.
At IE, Liquid Learning is based on the following five principles: Multi-Channel, Real World, Active and Social, Faculty Excellence, Personalized
5 Principles of Liquid Learning
Dr Nick Van Dam presents the five principles which guide Liquid Learning at IE University.
Increased investment in school computer labs and computers in the classroom. Issue rises with disadvantaged areas not being able to provide students with computer access, marking the start of the digital divide.
The Internet becomes more prominent but remains a generally static resource – providing information for users more than allowing users to create their own content.
The Internet becomes more dynamic, allowing users to interact online and create content. IE creates its first e-learning unit in 2002, curating and creating content as interactive whiteboards and learning management systems begin to be implemented in education.
The portability of smartphones and tablets changes how online content and resources are experienced and accessed, on-the-move, instant updates become the norm.
MOOCs and micro-degrees become more prevalent and begin to gain traction as alternatives to traditional education. IE develops the WOW room in 2017, using AI and advanced software to track student participation across 48 screens.
Blended programs and liquid learning come to the forefront of education. Technology allows for a more personal education experience as location and physical barriers begin to disappear, allowing for increased student diversity.
Implementation of Liquid Learning
Begoña González-Cuesta, Dean of Communication and Media at IE School of Human Sciences and Technology
Professor González-Cuesta has been working with faculty to help shape and implement curriculum for the new liquid learning model across all programs at IE University
Learning in the classroom becomes more effective when accompanied by both reflective and active learning experiences that happen outside the traditional hallowed halls of universities. Team-based learning is particularly impactful because it deepens the process and helps students develop social-behavioral skills by replicating the experience of working in a company. Furthermore, while theory is a critical foundation of education in every field, the development of practical skills is equally important and should be developed in real or simulated contexts.
Now is the time to take the step forward in innovating higher education, transforming it into a more experiential, immersive, team- and project-based, and practical experience. Liquid learning is IE University’s vision for what education can be: fluid and adaptable, bringing the human, digital, and natural worlds into a seamless and continually evolving whole.
It is not every day that the education process undergoes such a revolution and thus training faculty in this new liquid learning model is an essential and ongoing process. In order to support our professors and students throughout this journey, IE University has implemented processes to continually reflect and improve upon the concept and implications of the new model, including ways in which professors can create, implement, and evaluate courses and projects for their students. In addition to workshops, one-on-one coaching sessions, best practice videos, and step-by-step guides for redesigning syllabi and lesson plans, professors have access to real-time feedback from students who are in their class, whether physically in the room or online.
Liquid learning is a new education model that transforms the way students learn and the way professors teach – and ultimately how we all contribute to the world.
Liquid Learning In Practice
Professor Patricia Gabaldon looks at how the Liquid Learning Experience has been for students and faculty in practice.
"We need a new educational model for the digital age."
Diego del Alcázar Benjumea, Executive Vice President of IE University.
Trends in Higher Education
Sustainability is now a guiding
principle in higher education, with
institutions building more
responsive and responsible
practices and environments.
Educational institutions are focusing
on providing support for students
who report experiencing concerns
with their mental health. Faculty and
administrators are concentrating on
students’ well-being to help ensure
they are successful in academic and
The demographic of students is
becoming more diverse as
learners can connect to courses
from around the world, enriching
the educational experience.
Students are increasingly taking
‘alternative’ paths into education
competency-based programs and
benefiting from institutional
The increasing use of Artificial
Intelligence and Virtual Reality is
enhancing student learning and
How We Can Move Toward The Future of Education
Santiago Iñiguez, the President of IE University, analyzes current trends in education and looks at how the Liquid Learning experience brings the future of education closer.