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University of Groningen Lecturers Awarded Comenius Teaching Fellowships

19 June 2024

Four lecturers from the University of Groningen were awarded a Comenius Teaching Fellow. The Comenius programme is vital in enhancing higher education in the Netherlands. The grant empowers education professionals to implement their innovative ideas directly in teaching.

Awarded projects

It is a pleasure to congratulate our colleagues who succeeded with their Comenius grant application! In the 2024 Comenius round, the following projects were awarded:

Dr. Michael Lerch (FSE): Taking charge together - collaborative co-creation of puzzles for a more equitable classroom

Teaching Fellow - Dr. Michael Lerch (FSE) - Taking charge together - collaborative co-creation of puzzles for a more equitable classroom.

A diverse and technologically skilled workforce starts with an education that empowers everyone to grow and contribute their unique perspectives. However, the educational reality for science students remains far from ideal. Too often, standard teaching materials implicitly signal that a successful scientist is white, male, and from a privileged background. As a result, many students feel they do not belong, disengage, and some dropout. Teaching materials need diversification, and students need space to contribute their authentic selves and learn to collaborate effectively with others. Yet, in basic science courses, large group sizes, tight schedules, high-performance pressure, and fixed curricula make it difficult to address diversity in a way that aligns with scientific content. This project introduces an integrative approach to address diversity and belonging in basic science courses focusing on the individual and group: students encounter inspirational stories of underrepresented chemists connected to the course and, besides traditional assignments, collaboratively design and play diversified chemistry escape games fostering the course content, while learning to problem-solve in diverse teams. Supported by experts on escape game team dynamics, we will provide students feedback on their collaborative strategies and diversity. Belonging and learning are therefore addressed synergistically: enhanced representation in course materials and community building through collaborative game-based learning. Our experiences developing and implementing more inclusive science teaching and diversified educational resources, workflows and puzzles will be documented online and shared widely.

Dr. Frans Bianchi (FSE) - In charge of your own learning experience in skill-based practicums

Teaching Fellow - Dr. Frans Bianchi (FSE) - In charge of your own learning experience in skill-based practicums

Revolutionizing BSc practicums, our project aims to empower students by allowing them to plan and design their experiments in a biochemistry practicum. Current evaluations highlight issues like exhaustion and low motivation in traditional practicums due to the lack of student agency. To overcome this, we plan to implement a modular platform of different laboratory methods, enabling flexible individual experiment design in large cohort practicum courses. Anticipating a transformative shift, we believe this initiative will address current shortcomings, impart crucial planning skills, and align practicum experiences with students' career aspirations to become an independent researcher, fostering engagement and motivation.

Dr. Suzanne Manizza Roszak (Arts) - Teaching toward linguistic equity: Multilingualism in the poetry writing classroom

Teaching Fellow - Dr. Suzanne Manizza Roszak (Arts) - Teaching toward linguistic equity: Multilingualism in the poetry writing classroom

Students in English-language creative writing courses often hesitate to employ a language of personal relevance in their work, whether Dutch, Frisian, or another minoritized language or dialect. They fear confusing or alienating readers by identifying themselves as multilingual speakers, especially when writing for publication. Yet readers and publishers are increasingly

hungry for texts that employ translanguaging, incorporating vocabulary and grammatical elements from the writer’s native or heritage language(s), even when they are primarily written in English. Furthermore, the ability to draw on one’s multifaceted language background without fear of discrimination is an essential right of multilingual student authors that promotes feelings of belonging and facilitates the cross-cultural sharing of previously overlooked perspectives within a globalized society. We, therefore, seek to change how language diversity is handled in our creative writing pedagogy, starting with an English-language poetry-writing course. Drawing on research from heritage language classrooms, we will foreground multilingualism in the course description and learning outcomes, exclusively assign readings that exemplify translanguaging practices, offer ongoing direct instruction in strategies for effective multilingual poetry writing, and incorporate translanguaging tasks into writing assignments co-designed by the students and lecturer. Students will strengthen their translanguaging skills and experience decreased anxiety about multilingual writing. An online toolkit introduced at a gathering of creative writing lecturers from Dutch universities will encourage the application of the innovation nationally and to other genres. More broadly, the project will empower a new generation of professional writers to publish work that reflects their cultural heritage.

Dr. Tamás Görbe (FSE) - Personalized learning via interactive knowledge clips

Teaching Fellow - Dr. Tamás Görbe (FSE) - Personalized learning via interactive knowledge clips

This project aims at creating open educational resources (OERs) for university teachers involved in STEM courses. The final product is a combination of new and existing technologies consisting of the following components: A) a library of interactive knowledge clips, B) an adaptive question generator providing students with a personalized learning experience, and C) an analytics tool for monitoring student performance and giving early warning signs. These tools are to be used and tested in Calculus courses, one of the most typical university courses offered in STEM programmes.


We congratulate all colleagues who applied for the Comenius grant in the 2024 round. We wish all laureates the very best in implementing their projects. We look forward to seeing the impactful results of their work being applied in classrooms. Interested in applying? The University of Groningen is proud of putting forward innovative and competitive projects each year. If you are considering applying for a Comenius fellowship or other grants available at UG, please consult the Teaching Academy Groningen grant support services.

Last modified:19 June 2024 2.29 p.m.
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