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About us Organization Services Teaching Academy Groningen Education Festival Education Festival 2022

Participation and programme

The Education Festival 2022 program is available to browse, and you can find the programme of the week here (PDF)! We have offered live synchronous sessions and on-site workshops, showcasing a wide variety of teaching practices, with our lecturers sharing their expertise and discussing ideas and approaches to teaching and learning. Below you will find an overview per festival day. 

Monday, 4th of April

Opening Ceremony | online (12.00 - 12.30)   

Opening Ceremony (12.00 - 12.30)

You are welcome to join us on Monday 4 April for the opening ceremony, during which our Rector Cisca Wijmenga, student Marise Timmenga, and Mellie Pullman, academic leader of the Teaching Academy Groningen, will discuss the theme of making connections and some of the key highlights of the festival program.

Workshops | Location: Van Swinderen Huys (14.00-14.45, 15.00-15.45, 16.00-16.45)

CANCELLED 13.00-13.45 - Global Engagement: challenge-based-learning in practice
Dr. Indira van der Zande and Mariana Venâncio 

The purpose of this workshop is to engage in a challenge-based learning activity, with reference to the theoretical framework of global engagement as proposed by the blended Global Engagement Module of ENLIGHT. We firstly provide the theoretical basis underlying GEM, by which participants enhance their understanding on diversity, inclusion and intercultural competences, and its relation to the digital context. Secondly, we will conduct a nano-challenge in which participants take on the role of GEM students and actively collaborate in small groups on a societal question. Finally, participants reflect on their own collaboration in a diverse team and engage in peer discussion on the opportunities and challenges of this activity as a way to stimulate global engagement skills.

14.00-14.45 Supporting inclusive education
Estelle Meima, Aletta Westra-Hofstee, Sietske Visser, Liga Klavina, Catherine Meissner

In an interactive session, we would like to create an overview on educational support in the area of inclusive teaching and learning that integrates the perspective of lecturers who are seeking for such support. The Education Festival is an opportunity to involve all stakeholders and make a first step towards a better overview on the offer of support at our university. Therefore, we would like to offer a session in which we interactively explore this matter further with a broader group of stakeholders.

The format of such a session should allow to introduce different support options on different levels (central services, projects, expertise in faculties, individual expertise) and provide the opportunity for participants to ask questions. A potential outcome of this session could be a flowchart or mind map that illustrates support options on inclusion and diversity in education.

This would be a first step to facilitate informed choices of lecturers and improve transparency on the support available in the context of inclusion and diversity in education. The resulting overview on existing support for inclusive education could also indicate potential gaps and overlap which could lead to more collaboration and exchange between units.

15.00-15.45 - Diversity in University: how to meet your learning outcomes using UDL?
Sietske Vissers, Student Service Center

In this interactive, peer consultancy based session, participants will explore possibilities of flexible and diverse education design within the quality agreements and criteria of university education, by using each other's experiences, knowledge and insights. Outcome:  Participants have a rich understanding of how to design flexible education for a diverse population of students that still meets the quality agreements and criteria.

16.00-16.45 - The role of language in the inclusive classroom
Carole Fuller, EAP Lecturer & Estelle Meima, EQUiiP Curriculum Developer

Language plays a vital role in the classroom; it is an integral part of the teaching and learning experience. In a teaching context that uses English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI) with students from a variety of language backgrounds, there is a strong need to consider the role that language plays in achieving our Learning Objectives. For example, students often need concrete language support and feedback (Zhang-Wu and Brisk, 2021), despite lecturers' lack of language teaching expertise. In fact, there is evidence that lecturers do not feel fully prepared to teach in an EMI  context and provide linguistically responsive instruction (Mahalingappa et al, 2021). Additionally, operating in a second language poses extra cognitive load for the learner, which can hamper their engagement in class. However, these challenges can be somewhat mitigated by the use of active learning strategies in the classroom. This workshop aims to raise awareness of simple yet effective approaches that can address this context through purposeful use of language. Active learning strategies have been defined as, “instructional activities involving students in doing things and thinking about what they are doing” (Bonwell and Eison, 1991). Therefore, this workshop will consider learning activities that promote student engagement and the language necessary for doing so, as well as activities that encourage students to reflect on their performance. An exercise from the EQUiiP programme will assist in exploring this topic. Participants will leave the workshop with an enhanced understanding of the role that language plays in an inclusive, international classroom.

Short sessions |online (13.00-13.30, 13:30- 14.00, 14.00-14.30, 15.30-16.00)

13.00 - 13.30 - Activating students by using continuous assessment based on randomized exercises
Dr. Bram de Jonge, FEB

Link to online session

I will present a blended learning approach with continuous assessment that I have developed for a quantitative first-year course. During the course students watch short videos online and attend on-campus sessions for further explanations and asking questions. Instead of having an exam at the end, the assessment is based on 25 randomized exercises that students solve throughout the course. An online system is used for generating the exercises, for students to submit their solutions, and for staff and teaching assistants to assess the solutions and to provide feedback. By using continuous assessment students are activated during the course and receive formative feedback.

13.30 - 14.00 - Using video to humanize (online) education
Laurent Krook, MSc, FBSS

Link to online session

In this talk I would like to offer some concrete tips&tricks, but also pitfalls how to use video to humanize (online) learning. Expanding on the ESI small experiments podcast with Tracy I plan to dilute the talk into a more concrete presentation for colleagues who are interested in using video in their courses, with specific attention to (personalized) feedback and time saving usage

14.00 - 14.30 - Leveraging testing to fuel students' and teachers' learning loops
Dr. Nicolas Mangin, FEB

Link to online session

This activity would be a demonstration of an application developed in the context of a SURF project grant (project EPIFFANI). This application integrates the design and maintenance of online teaching materials, the creation of formative and summative online assessments, and the exploitation of test results to send detailed individual feedback to students and produce statistics orienting the continuous improvement of teaching materials.

15.30 - 16.00 - How to Activate Student Learning with Project-Based Courses
Petros Milionis, FEB

Link to online session

In this webinar I would like to share my experience from instructing project-based courses at the University of Groningen for more than decade and provide ideas to other instructors who are interested in incorporating elements of project-based learning in their courses. I will be discussing how project-based courses can be very effective in activating student learning and they can be easily adaptable in an environment where course instruction is provided in a hybrid or blended fashion.

Tuesday, 5 April

Keynote |online (9.00 - 9.45)

Questionology as a learning strategy: the power of inquiry to spark breakthrough ideas
Dr. Natalie Walsh, Director of Entrepreneurial Development at National University of Ireland, Galway

Link to online session

The power of inquiry to spark breakthrough ideas is often overlooked as a skill within the innovation domain. The art of questioning, the ability to talk and test with humans are vital life skills. In a world where we are so anxious to act and to do, this presentation takes time to question.  

Research on the importance of questioning as a learning strategy is well documented (Chin & Osborne, 2008; Graesser & Olde, 2003). In the primary school environment approximately 50% of class time effort is spent on questioning with between 300-400 questions asked per day (Graesser & Person, 1994). As students move through the educational system due to lack of resources and bigger class sizes this sometimes diminishes. However, studies including Redfield & Rousseau, (1981) determined that there was a positive relationship between the use of higher level questions and that students derived benefit in their university experiences from using questioning to drive critical thinking and factual recall(Ennis, 1993). As a skill, questioning forms the foundation of design thinking and innovation and is pervasive to the process. Questioning provides a bridge between the current and desired future state in terms of building solutions. Through the introduction of ‘Questionology’ students can reflect on their own questioning styles, be introduced to new ways to question and craft beautiful questions that generate beautiful answers.

Panel |online (11.00 - 11.45)

Perspectives and Results from Problem-Based Learning at the FSE 
Cormac Larkin (TA)
Prof. dr. Steven Hoekstra (Instructor)
Dr. May Lee (Education Researcher & Moderator)
Dr. Rifka Vlijm (Instructor)
and students

Link to online session

We propose an introduction and panel discussion based on Problem-Based Learning (PBL) and how it has been applied to courses at the Faculty of Science and Engineering over the last two years. PBL stimulates learners to define and tackle problems of their own design in teams. It is a powerful tool for developing teamwork, practical problem-solving skills and deeper understanding of curriculum material. First, we will introduce PBL and give specific benefits, examples and results from two years of courses (15 min). Afterwards, a moderated panel composed of education researchers, instructors, teaching assistants and students will discuss their experiences and views on PBL (30 min). To promote engagement, the audience will be able to propose and upvote topics and questions via PollEverywhere.

Lunch Session |online (12.00 - 12.45)

Curious about the new learning environment? Ask all your burning questions here!
Question and Answer - information meeting
Josien de Boer (CIT)

Link to online session

In this lunch session, teachers can (virtually) walk in and ask questions about Brightspace. We will show a showcase video of Brightspace, which will contain elements of the first lecturers who participated in the pilot Brightspace. 

Workshops | Location: Marie Loke room (Harmony building) (13.00-13.45, 14.00-14.45, 15.00-15.45, 16.00-16.45)

Location: Marie Loke room (Harmony Building)

13.00 - 13.45 - A Keynote on the Theoretical Framework of Active Learning Classrooms
Greetje Timmerman, PhD, prof.em. and Hans Beldhuis, PhD

Over the past decade a transition is taking place in higher academic education towards student-centred, active, collaborative and engaged learning. Some research evidence indicates that active, collaborative and engaged learning is better and deeper learning and a (strong) predictor of academic success and retention rate. Therefore, many universities have taken initiatives to promote active learning. However, the promotion of active, collaborative and engaged learning is not an isolated development, as it asks for a transition of teaching conceptions, teaching strategies and classroom design too. For ages, teacher-centred education dominated in higher education, grounded in the idea that student learning takes place by knowledge transmission in a one-way process from teacher to student. Teacher-centred learning was facilitated in classrooms that positioned the teacher in front of the classroom and the students in rows. As such, there was a clear link between conceptions of teaching, learning, and the classroom space. But educational times are changing. Now that a worldwide transition towards active, collaborative and engaged learning in higher academic education is taking place, it is important to reconsider the link between learning, teaching and classroom space and ask ourselves: what strategies, changes and innovations do teachers need to encourage active learning, and what features does the classroom’s design need to facilitate active learning.

From this perspective, we will give insights into the steps the UG has taken and will take with regard to education and real estate. The basis for these strategic developments is the current project with experiments by teachers in different types of ALCs and research into effects.

14.00 - 14.45 - Teacher Experiences with Active Learning Classrooms
Bas Blom, MSc and Kirsten van den Bosch, PhD, FBSS

Active, engaged and collaborative learning in higher education is on the rise. Knowledge is dawning that traditional scientific education based on knowledge reproduction is often not the best way of learning. Students learn more and better by being actively involved in the learning process, by learning collectively in groups and by interacting with teachers and other students. Such new teaching strategies ask for new, non-traditional classrooms, which can properly facilitate active teaching and active learning, so called Active Learning Classrooms (ALC’s). 

ALC’s are characterized by modulair furniture and many technological facilities to support lots of different teaching activities and setups. Flexibility is the keyword here. Since 2020, the University of Groningen has invested in several of these ALC’s and from the start, we studied the experiences of our teachers with the ALC’s. In this talk we will present our first results. What expectations did the teachers have and were they met? Which challenges and opportunities have risen? Does an ALC really lead to active teaching and learning? And how can you best prepare yourself for teaching in such a classroom?

In addition to sharing the latest scientific insights and their practical implications, we aim for a teacher (and/or student) to be present who has taught in one of these ALC to share their firsthand experiences. Naturally, this session* will be as active as possible and there will be ample time for Q&A.

15.00 - 15.45 - Effective use of Active Learning Classrooms
Dr. Marlies Venhuizen-ter Beek, drs. Wytze Koopal

Since 2020, the University of Groningen has several active learning classrooms (ALCs) in use. These rooms consist of multiple digital screens and flexible furniture. There is no fixed setup and everything is on wheels and movable. Working in these classrooms enables teachers to implement active learning, a didactic method supported by the Universities’ educational strategy since 2015. Teachers who have already taught in these ALCs are very enthusiastic about it! Maybe you are curious or willing to experiment with active learning as well.

In this workshop, you will dive into active teaching and learning activities. But apart from your students, we want you to be actively involved as well. You will discover and discuss the possibilities of active learning with your peer lecturers. You will experience that active learning should not be hard; it is quite possible that you already apply some effective active learning activities. Please share these ideas with your colleague participants.

Our aim is that you will leave this workshop with some practical ideas that you can apply in your course right away, whether or not this will be in an Active Learning Classroom.

16.00 - 16.45 - Roleplay  privacy in research: asking the right questions
Mr Esther Hoorn, Office of the University, Comenius Senior Fellow

In this workshop we will explore the active workform of a data protection impact assessment to empower students to ask the right questions about privacy for relevant research scenarios in their field. Read more at

Short sessions |online (13.00-13.30,  13:30- 14.00, 14.00-14.30, 15.00-15.30, 15.30-16.00) 

13.00 - 13.30 - Fostering and stimulating student wellbeing in higher education
Dr. Marjolein Deunk & Prof. dr. Hanke Korpershoek, FBSS

Link to online session

The increasing pressure and need to achieve in higher education has negative effects on student wellbeing. Student wellbeing is related to their level of academic and social integration in higher education (Tinto, 2012). That is, it is important that students connect to the content of the study program as well as the people (e.g., teachers, staff, peers) within the higher education institution. We conducted a systematic review study to identify what higher education institutions, study programs, and teaching teacher(teams) can do to foster and stimulate student wellbeing. Based on 52 studies, published in peer-reviewed journals from 2000 onwards we describe 3 main types of approaches that institutions and educational professionals can apply, namely (a) approaches focusing on didactics and study program organization, (b) relational approaches, and (c) person-oriented approaches. In this lecture we present our findings and would like to discuss with you the responsibilities and possibilities we, as teacher(team)s, have to attend to the wellbeing of our students.

13.30 - 14.00 - Examining the Implications of a Predictive Processing Account of Critical Thinking for Teaching
Dr. Christopher May, Associate Professor, UCG

Link to online session

In this interactive lecture, I will first give an overview of a paper I recently published with colleagues, in which we proposed that an increasingly regarded theoretical framework in neuroscience—the predictive processing framework—can help to advance an understanding of the foundations of critical thinking. This framework can also provide a mechanistic hypothesis for how education may increase a learner’s subsequent use of critical thinking outside of an educational context. After presenting the main tenets of this paper, I will then unpack and give examples of its implications for teaching. Finally, I will ask participants to think about and share their own examples of how they do (or could) incorporate the insights from this proposal into their classroom.

14.00 - 14.30 - Queer in STEM: The experiences of LGBTQIA+ individuals in STEM learning and working environments
K.M. (Nelly) Marosi (PhD Candidate - ISEC, FSE), prof. Dr. Lucy Avraamidou (Director - ISEC, FSE), Dr. Monica Lopez-Lopez (Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences)

Link to online session

In this webinar we will be discussing issues of belonging and well-being of LGBTQIA+ (queer from now on) students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). This research responds to the urgent call for inclusive and equitable quality education (SDG 4) (United Nations, 2022) and therefore perfectly fits the main theme of the next Education Festival. During the first part of the presentation, we will be presenting the findings of a systematic literature review that synthesizes the existing knowledge on the experiences of queer people in STEM majors. A synthesis of the findings indicated that STEM culture was associated with cisheteronormativity, homophobia, sexism, and hostility. Queer students in STEM fields experienced several forms of harassment, discrimination, social exclusion, negative emotions, e.g., feeling not welcomed or accepted, feelings of isolation and exclusion, and negative health and wellness. As a result, queer people enacted coping mechanism in order to navigate STEM environments, including hiding their identity, covering cultural traits associated with queerness, working harder than their peers, and separating personal from academic life. The second part of the presentation we will be presenting a synthesis of recommendations coming from the authors, the participants of the studies reviewed and us, on how to create a more welcoming and inclusive university. We aim to provide a brief training to the terminology needed to understand and discuss queer issues as well as simple guidelines on how peers, supervisors, and faculty can better understand the experiences and support students with queer in STEM.

15.00 - 15.30 - Growing as a Teaching Assistant                                                  Karolina Gruzel and Marise Timmenga, Teaching assistants (CIT)

Link to online session

Working in such a multi-disciplinary environment like the UG provides many opportunities to grow and learn. In this brief talk, two TAs from Educational Support and Innovation will address how working as TA has contributed to their growth, both as students and as employees. They will address how the job as a TA made them feel more connected to the wider academic community and allowed them to develop transferable skills applicable in many contexts.  They will also address some concrete examples, such as their contributions to the transition to an online/hybrid learning environment, and what this meant for their development both as staff and as learners. 

15.30 - 16.00 - Writing a successful ICT Innovation Fund proposal
Zuzana Kubinova, MSc, & Yara van Nigtevegt, MSc, CIT 

Link to online session

RUG established a fund for ICT Innovation that is open to ideas from all UG communities (any staff member can apply). I'd like to give a workshop guiding people through how to turn their ideas into an application as well as spread awareness of the possibility.

The scheme was created in order to make teachers (as well as researchers and other staff members) involved in developing the ICT services (innovate the services) as that has many benefits (engaged community, diverse portfolio of projects, etc. ). The workshop shall include a guided session on how to translate one’s idea into a project proposal for the ICT Innovation Fund.

Wednesday, 6 April

Keynote  |online (9.00 - 9.45)

The Intentional Centering of Wellness & Belonging in DEI  (Diversity Equity and Inclusion)                       
Professor Janet Thompson Jackson, Washburn University and Visiting Professor with the University of Groningen Law Faculty

Link to online session

This keynote will focus on the importance of creating a foundation of wellness and belonging upon which meaningful and sustainable Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives can be built.

Panel  |online (11.00 - 11.45)

Experiments with bringing mindfulness and contemplation into academic teaching
Dr. Chris May, UCG
Dr. Brian Ostafin, BSS
Dr. Maya Schroevers, UMCG
Dr. Andrea Sangiacomo, Philosophy
Dr. Marieke van Vugt, FSE

Link to online session

Mindfulness is used increasingly as a tool to improve well-being and reduce stress, but has also been suggested to improve general cognitive skills such as attention and meta-cognition. For this reason, mindfulness has been suggested to be a useful tool in (higher) education. As a group of academics involved in mindfulness and meditation research, we have also been intrigued in trying out these tools in our own educational practice. In this panel, we will discuss what we have learnt from our experiments, both in terms of benefits and challenges. Specifically, Dr. van Vugt will discuss her experiences offering a short mindfulness practice at the end of online lectures, as well as her involvement in the Embodied Critical Thinking Erasmus+ project. Dr. Ostafin will discuss mindfulness groups he has offered for psychology students and University of Groningen employees as well as mindfulness interventions delivered in research settings. Dr. May will discuss a similar initiative at the University College Groningen. Dr. Sangiacomo will discuss his experience leading a study group on Buddhist philosophy that combined study and practice at the faculty of Philosophy and emerging ideas on sustainable happiness. Dr. Schroevers will discuss her experiences with offering mindfulness-based workshops to medical students and practices on mindful self-compassion and mindful communication with students and researchers. We are looking forward to brainstorming together on how to integrate contemplative practices into academic education, and to hearing your thoughts, critical comments and suggestions.

Lunch Session  |online (12.00 - 12.45)

Working with Brightspace - Q&A with lecturers
Tom Spits, CIT

Link to online session

Meet some of the colleagues that have already created and taught courses with the help of our new learning environment, Brightspace. Find out what their experiences are and what kind of advice they have for you when it is your turn.

This Q&A session, moderated by ESI’s online learning expert Tom Spits, will give the lecturers a few minutes to talk about their experiences with Brightspace after which you can ask them anything.

Workshops | Location: Van Swinderen Huys (13.00-15.45, 16.00-16.45)

Location: Van Swinderen Huys

13.00 - 15.45 - Creating Wicked Students: Redesigning Courses for a Complex World
Professor Paul Hanstedt,  Director of the Houston H. Harte Center for Teaching and Learning at Washington and Lee University

We know our students need to master content, and we know we need to test them on that mastery. But what happens when, instead of content delivery and testing driving our courses, we design courses that focus on the kinds of complex and unpredictable problems our students will face when they graduate and enter a messy world?

This hands-on workshop will provide participants to explore these ideas in the context of their own classes and teaching. More particularly, we'll think about how courses might be redesigned around "Wicked" problems--those dynamic, complicated challenges that dominate our world today. Attendees can expect to come away with both some new ideas and some new practices they might incorporate in their teaching.

16.00 - 16.45 - Improvise your way forward!
Jenifer Yáñez Villahermosa, Honours College 

Improv is a theatre genre in which characters, dialogues, and reality are all made up on the spot, usually based on the audience’s suggestions. In order to improvise new scenes, players need to learn how to be in the moment, how to listen actively, and how to react to each other’s ideas by building upon them, instead of blocking them. They achieve this by working on two simple rules: “here & now” (be mindful of the present) and “yes, and” (accept and use what is being offered, leaving judgment aside).

The result of an improv scene is always unpredictable, just like most aspects of life, and for this reason, using Improv in the classroom is a wonderful way to help our students deal with the ever-changing reality we live in. Improv training helps individuals become adaptive and resilient, but also spontaneous and creative when faced with unexpected or unwanted outcomes. The “improv mindset” can allow our future generations to embrace the unknown with a positive attitude through accepting what is being offered to them and making the most of it, which can be applied to personal and professional settings, contributing to their overall well-being.

During this workshop-presentation, participants will also be able to experience improv through some practical exercises.

Short sessions |online (13.00-13.30, 13:30- 14.00, 15.00-15.30, 15.30-16.00, 16.00-16.30)

13.00 - 13.30 - Online language learning
Gerbrich de Jong, Faculty of Arts

Link to online session

The course Frisian language proficiency I is an online course that aims to teach Frisian students how to write their mother tongue. With this digitized course, that can be followed by anyone with a Blackboard-account, students learn behind their pc's, at their own pace, in different ways, in contact with other students and a teacher. Elements of gamification are implemented for extra motivation. The way this course is set up and structured, might inspire other designers of online (language) learning. In the workshop, I would like to show this course as a good practice of online learning.

13.30 - 14.00 - Tool for Measuring Students' Attitudes towards Learning Science
dr. May Lee, Cormac Larkin, prof. dr. Steven Hoekstra

Link to online session

We will introduce a tool (validated survey) we used to see how students' self-reported attitudes towards learning physics (e.g., conceptual understanding, problem-solving, personal interest, connections to the real world) changed in two introductory physics courses. (This tool has also been adapted for chemistry, biology, and experimental labs.) During the talk, we will also share how we administered the tool, scored the students' responses, and used this information to inform our planning for next year's courses.

15.00 - 15.30 - 5 ways to use active learning strategies without extra prep!
Carole Fuller, Lecturer of English for Academic Purposes, Faculty of Arts

Link to online session

Teachers are encouraged to use active learning strategies in class, in order to increase student engagement with the learning material. This has become ever more important as we grapple with online, hybrid, and blended education. Yet, it is often overwhelming and tiring to consider another way in which we, as educators, might change our classroom practice. This session aims to showcase 5 simple ways to use active learning strategies in class without needing any extra preparation. Participants will leave this session with some tools that can be immediately implemented.

15.30 - 16.00 - A journey from closed to open: Using open educational resources for quality teaching and education
Mira Buist-Zhuk, Academic Information Specialist (UG Library);
Martijn Blikmans, Academic Information Specialist (UG Library);
Chris May, Associate Professor (UCG, Department of Social Science).

Link to online session

With this session, we want to highlight the value of using open educational resources (OER) in designing and delivering quality education, and try to move beyond the idea that working with OER is only an alternative to working with commercial/copyrighted materials. To help us illustrate this, we will talk with Chris May, a UCG lecturer who has overhauled his teaching to create a more open, student-centered pedagogy. Ultimately, we hope to show how teachers can use OER to connect better with their students and society at large, by creating their own materials that everybody, including peers and learners outside of the classroom, can use to further their knowledge.

In our discussion, we will first outline the many reasons to use OER. We will then consider practical aspects of how to incorporate OER in teaching. Following this, we will consider how OER can reshape the way courses can be taught, and how students can engage with educational materials. We will then discuss how teachers can license and share their own materials using open licenses. Along the way, we will talk with Chris about his experiences which are invaluable for showing how OER can be implemented at our university. Lastly, we will provide information on how the university and library can help teachers with their own journey towards open education, before opening up the floor to questions from the audience.

16.00 - 16.30 - Connecting language learners and teacher trainees through intercultural virtual exchange
Niklas Abel, Iryna Menke-Bazhutkina & Marije Michel, Faculty of Arts

Link to online session

For university students learning a new language, contact with native speakers is essential. For teacher trainees, practical experience with learners is equally important. For any student in higher education, it is indispensable to develop intercultural competences. Using a blended set-up for this project, we connected UG student learners of German (BA European Languages & Cultures/International Relations & Organisations) with future teachers studying at the University of Oldenburg (UOL).

More specifically, we drew on the benefits of virtual exchange to let students from either side of the Dutch-German border meet in pairs to discuss and practice different aspects of their respective courses. The content was aligned with topics of the German language classes at UG, such as the German federal system and Germany's role in Europe. For the UOL students, these meetings created the opportunity to put their didactic skills into practice and to reflect on their competences as a future teacher. Both student populations trained their interpersonal, intercultural and technological skills and critical thinking during the cross-border encounters.

In this presentation we will present our design principles underlying the course, report on the practical aspects of setting up and evaluating the virtual exchange, as well as some preliminary data of student evaluations and staff experiences of the project.

Thursday, 7 April

Kick-off talks assessment |online  (9.00 - 9.45)

Kick-off talks assessment 

prof. dr. Jan Riezebos, FEB & dr. Gerald Jonker, FSE, dr. Bettina van Hoven, UCG

Link to online session

Assessment and feedback are essential to student learning. In these interactive kick off talks, three UG lecturers will give short introductions on important focus areas for assessment at UG: continuous and formative assessment and assessment of group work. This session starts with  a short introduction on what we wish to achieve with assessment in the coming years, as well as why and how.

Panel |online  (11.00 - 11.45)

Large classrooms: Innovations for enhancing learning outcomes more efficiently
Marijke Leliveld, Hati van Kleef-Ruigrok, Mathijs van Wolferen, Tassos Sarampalis 

Link to online session

Large classes provide unique challenges for student engagement and meaningful assessment. In this panel, we will discuss approaches for enhancing the large class experience through course design and methods. This session will be hosted by prof. dr. Mellie Pullman, academic leader Teaching Academy Groningen.

Lunch Session |online  (12.00 - 12.45)

Comenius Grants: Put your ideas for educational innovation into practice
Dr. Maaike Engels, CIT

Link to online session

Information session on Comenius grants for teachers who consider applying for or want to know more about Comenius grants. The programme consists of an informative and an interactive component. The first part of the meeting offers all necessary information about the Comenius programme (structure, grants and themes), and the various steps in the assessment procedure. The second part of the meeting, teachers will be given the opportunity to ask questions (and possibly talk to a UG laureate of the Comenius grant).

Workshops |  Location: Van Swinderen Huys 

Location: Van Swinderen Huys

14.00 -14.45 - Evidence-informed practice in university education: where to start?
Prof. dr. H. Korpershoek, FBSS

To promote evidence-informed practice of university teachers in the context of sustainable quality improvement of university education, in this workshop, the basic principles of evidence-informed practice are presented, and strategies and procedures for Evidence-Informed Decision Making (EIDM) are identified and discussed. EIDM may help to distinguish between “what works” and “what sounds appealing”. From an EIDM perspective, decisions regarding new teaching approaches, instructional strategies, learning materials, and classroom practices, should be based on appropriate theoretical grounding, the best empirical evidence available, and by practitioners’ professional judgement. In this workshop, together we will walk thought an easy-to-follow stepwise approach to apply evidence-informed practice in our own teaching practices.

15.00 - 15.45 - What we do to support international students in a Dutch environment and help them feel they belong
Rob Bakels, Renée Bakker, Grazyna Drzazga, Marjan Nieboer, Renzo Tuinsma, UMCG WIOO / Faculty of Medicine  

In this workshop, members of two groups, whose work overlap - the UMCG Committee for Language and Culture and UMCG International Office - would like to invite the audience to share their experience and ideas about supporting international students in a Dutch environment.

In the first 20 minutes of the panel, the speakers will highlight initiatives they undertake to support international students at their faculty. They will present what they consider to be success stories, such as the annual Welcome Event for first-year medicine students or the most recent Christmas Event, during which international students were invited to a holiday dinner at the house of one of the Teaching Faculty. In this initial part of the panel, not only will the speakers summarize the initiatives, but also they will share the lessons learned as well as examples of failed attempts, which might help the audience members to implement similar activities more successfully.

In the second part of the panel, the audience will be invited to share their thoughts and experiences and to brainstorm what else could be done to help international students make connections and develop a sense of belonging.

16.00 - 16.45 - Virtual Exchange: blended learning with an international perspective
Juan Albá Duran (MA), Angelos Konstantinidis (PhD), Gerdientje Oggel (MA), Faculty of Arts

Virtual exchange (VE), is an active, transnational and intercultural pedagogy mediated by digital tools and trained educators. It allows participating students to grow as global citizens by collaborating online with international peers from a university abroad on a common goal or project, while learning to overcome possible cultural, linguistic, and digital barriers and gaining new perspectives on the self, the other and the subject matter. Thus, VE connects and engages students internationally. This makes it a perfect fit for blended education with an international perspective and/or blended mobility: 1. VE supports teachers in their efforts to infuse high quality intentional blended learning in their courses. 2. As a result, it offers all students the possibility to gain meaningful international experiences, either as a complement or alternative to physical mobility.

In this workshop participants will learn the basics of the class-to-class model of VE.

We will also share resources - e.g.the VIS training and funding scheme from the Dutch Ministry of OC&W - for possible implementation of VE in the participants' own contexts.

Short sessions |online (13.00-13.30, 13:30- 14.00, 14.00-14.30, 15.00-15.30, 15.30-16.00)

13.00 - 13.30 - Setting up an interdisciplinary course: connecting disciplines and inspiring students
Dr. Oksana Kavatsyuk, Dr. Laura Kapinga, UCG

Link to online session

"How to set-up an interdisciplinary course? With whom to collaborate? How to decide on topics, stay focused and connect disciplines? We will discuss these and other aspects of teaching an interdisciplinary course on an example of a new Year 1 course at UCG “This is the Sea”.

In this course “This is the Sea” we aimed to show students how many disciplines are involved when we talk about the ocean. And that only considering different sciences, culture and societal issues solutions can be found to global challenges such as global warming, ocean acidification and species extinction.

In addition to vital academic skills (reading academic papers from various fields, presenting ideas and academic discourse) we would like to inspire students to work on Ocean-related topics. And in our course we demonstrate that this is possible with very different academic backgrounds (Physics, Biology, Geography, Art, Journalism and many more). "

13.30 - 14.00 - A new curriculum Dentistry, blended and activated (NL)
I. van Zuijlen (drs.) and B.J.Kooistra-Akse (drs.), Medical Sciences

Link to online session

We like to give an overview about the new concept of education in the new curriculum dentistry. We combine several 'blended' methods with 'activated education' as a basis. Beside that, we found a manner to place dentistry in context throughout the whole curriculum.

Please note that this session will be in Dutch.

14.00 - 14.30 - Meme-ing meaning
Djamila Boulil, MA, BSc,  Faculty of Arts

Link to online session

The new generation of students (gen Z/late gen Y) communicates in a new way. There is also a rising acknowledgement for neuro a-typical students' needs in education, with less words and more visualisations. I'd like to give a small interactive lecture on how I use memes and GIFs to connect with my students and explain scientific concepts in a form that they understand.

15.00 - 15.30 - The influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on social networks and academic performance of undergraduate medical students
Xiaoming Xu, Yan Zhou, UMCG

Link to online session

In this session we present our study: "The influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on social networks and academic performance of undergraduate medical students". The restriction of physical contact due to the COVID-19 pandemic measures has changed students’ learning environment and limited students’ social interactions. Consequently, it may influence students’ social networks, academic performance, and well-being. To investigate to what extent the influences are, we first compared the size of students’ five social networks between the before- and during-pandemic cohorts, between first- and second-year students, and between international and domestic students. We also present students’ social networks formation by indegree and outdegree centrality and E-I index. Further, we compared students’ academic performance between the before- and during- pandemic cohorts and investigated the relationships among the size of students’ social networks, academic performance, and country of origin. We found the size of social networks of students from the during-pandemic cohort significantly smaller than the before-pandemic cohort. First-year students and international students met more severe challenges. But we did not find students’ academic performance was negatively influenced by limited physical interactions. The size of students’ social networks was positively associated with academic performance but was not related to students’ country of origin. Furthermore, students reported their difficulties in social connections, online learning, and mental health. With the challenges the Covid-19 pandemic brings, this research conducted thorough thinking from aspects of academic performance, social networks, and institutional supports. And provided suggestions in terms of social, educational, and mental supports.

15.30 - 16.00 - Developing an applicable product from a bachelor research project
Dr. Girbe Buist, Dr. Sonja Pyott, Dr. Hanke Dekker, and Dr. Anne Verhallen

Link to online session

Feedback is seen as a key pedagogical tool in higher education but is known to be difficult to implement in large classes. Here we present a way in which we have achieved that goal while also linking the value of the educational output to society.

Third year medical students of the UG perform a bachelor research project (20 EC) as a team of ~4 students. Teams define and study a research question on a selected relevant (bio)medical topic. This research results in a thesis structured as a scientific paper. Based on the outcomes of the study they develop a product that is of value to a targeted (patient) group. The product should be innovative, link with healthy aging, meet the needs of its users. The product can be anything and can take various forms, depending on the team’s creative approach. The generated product must be described in an orderly and scientific manner. The team also pitches their product in a 3-minute video to present the benefits and use of the product. Using an online platform the product description and pitch are randomly divided among students for feedback. Each student provides feedback on the product description and pitch to several teams using specified criteria. Based on this peer feedback teams can adjust their product or pitch.

Peer feedback on the product and pitch has resulted in more self-evaluation and self-criticism of students towards their own work. Developing a product on the basis of a (bio)medical study makes the students aware of the functionality and applicability of a research outcome.

FEB programme - workshops | Location: the Plaza (Duisenberg Building)

FEB 's Inspire & Connect Event 

13:00 - 16:00 uur| Inspire (workshops and inspiration market)

16:00 - 18:00 uur | Connect (drinks and snacks)

Where? Plaza Duisenberg Building 

Workshop | Location: 1312. 0025 (Harmony Building)  (13.00-13.45) 

13.00 - 13.45 - Your first steps into Brightspace
Esther Arrindell,  CIT

In this workshop the attendees will meet Brightspace in an active way: they get to work with some of the basic elements and create their own 'Meet the teacher' Page - to be used in their own courses.

For attendees: If you want to join this workshop, we ask you to bring your own laptop to work on your Brightspace course.

Friday, 8 April

Panel discussion  |online (11.00 - 11.45)

Making Connections between secondary and higher education
drs. Anita Warmelink, Head of the Pre University Academy (Scholierenacademie) prof. dr. Diederik Roest, Rector of the Pre University Academy (Scholierenacademie)

Link to online session

The Pre University Academy (Scholierenacademie) is concerned with the exchange of knowledge and skills between primary (PO), secondary (VO) and higher education (WO). Our activities and materials support PO and VO-teachers in bringing their pupils into contact with the question: what is academia? In order to create support and understanding for (the relevance of) scientific research.

To this end, we develop blended learning products on research skills, based on current RUG research. Recent examples are Expeditie Onderzoek (VO classes 1 and 2) and Knowlands (VO classes 3 and 4). See for more information: and

In these, we worked closely together with academic staff.

To improve the connection between VO and WO, more knowledge of both worlds is needed. How are, for instance, academic skills embedded in VO? And in the light of academic skills: what do you expect from your own first year students? What is realistic? What kind of skills does the student need in order to become successful at the university? But also: how is education organized in both worlds (what happens for example in the field of blended learning), what can WO-lecturers learn from VO-lecturers, and vice versa?

We would like to discuss these kinds of topics with you. We are very curious about the needs of teachers, what problems you identify in your academic teaching and what you think is needed to improve the transition from VO to university

Closing ceremony & Best Practice Award | online (12.00 - 12.45)

The closing ceremony on 8 April will look back on the week and involves the award show of the UG Best Practice in Teaching & Learning Award. This session will be live-streamed; no registration is required.

Video’s of the 11 Best Practice nominees will become available from Monday 4 April.

Last modified:03 November 2022 12.31 p.m.
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