What is a Hackathon?


“Hackathon” combines the terms “hacking” and “marathon”, and, in its original terms, it implies an intense, uninterrupted, period of programming. More specifically, a hackathon is a highly engaging, continuous event in which people in small groups produce a working prototype in a limited amount of time. Hackathons vary wildly in their purpose and execution but generally have a common structure and characteristics. These continuous events are made to engage people in small groups to solve a problem in a limited amount of time, typically in the 1 to 3 days range. Hackathons became popular in the 2000s when technology companies started using them as a means of promoting exploratory coding, new idea generation and, overall, low-risk prototyping.

Hackathons as learning tools


Various studies have found that Hackathons provide “a strong venue/method for learning, especially regarding the whole process rather than special skills.” Traditionally, hackathons have been used as a pedagogical tool to deepen important concepts for the area of Software Engineering, encouraging the student to practice the concepts learned in the classroom.

Who is the Trustworthy AI Hackathon guide for?


  • The guide will be of great benefit for HEI teachers and students across Europe and beyond.
  • For HEI teachers, the Guide will introduce them to a new pedagogical strategy that allows the consolidation of learning and skills through the practical application of acquired knowledge.
  • For students who have participated in Trustworthy AI related activities, participating in a hackathon allows them to apply their knowledge to real problems encountered in society and democratic life, thus reinforcing their values.
  • The Guide will ensure a rigorous approach so that Hackathons really do contribute to skills development and can be used as part of the student assessment.

Trustworthy AI Hackathons in Action!


Watch and learn from the experiences of 3 of the Trustworthy AI partners in organising a Trustworthy AI Hackathon