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Iris Vis researches logistical solutions for personalized education

30 October 2019
Iris Vis

Education is currently undergoing a big change – namely, from classroom-based to personalized learning. To this end, made-to-measure teaching and flexibility when planning learning activities is crucial. However, the organization of personalized education is not an easy task and requires a new concept for educational logistics.

Under the leadership of Professor Iris Vis, and together with schools in the Zo.Leer.Ik! network , researchers at the University of Groningen (UG) are aiming to take the next step in the development of new logistical decision-making rules for personalized education. To conduct this research, they have received a grant from the Netherlands Initiative for Education Research ( NRO ), part of the Dutch Research Council (NWO), intended for a project that fits within the ‘Knowledge circulation’ pilot programme.

No longer an annual lesson schedule

In current secondary educational practice, we are used to the long-term planning of logistical activities, such as annually established lesson schedules. In personalized education, the coordination of learning matters will take place through the interaction of pupils and teachers and lesson activities will subsequently be planned flexibly.

‘The creation of this flexibility is a big challenge for which new logistical decision-making rules are necessary. In the project that has been approved, a design study has been conducted in which the central questions are about how learning topics can be clustered and how teachers can be assigned to these in a smart way,’ explains Vis, Professor of Industrial Engineering at the UG. ‘On the basis of a design for a specific school and by then researching the practical applicability of this design in other schools, we will work towards developing concepts that can support schools in taking decisions about the organization of personalized education.’


The UG’s research into educational logistics for personalized learning in secondary education began in 2011. Back then, the chair of the Zo.Leer.Ik! network, Wim Kokx, asked Vis whether inspiration and knowledge from the world of logistics could help to solve the logistical issues posed by personalized learning. Since then, they have worked together on this issue with the support of researchers, students and representatives from a large network of secondary schools. Kokx and Vis share the insights that they have gained through conferences in practice and workshops for the secondary education sector.

More information

  • If you would like to know more about earlier research projects into educational logistics for personalized learning, listen to this podcast with Iris Vis or read previous publications .
  • Contact: Iris Vis , Professor in Industrial Engineering
Last modified:30 October 2019 10.28 a.m.
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