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Professionalization & Innovation in Education Team (PIE)

Our Mission

The mission of PIE (Professionalization and Innovation in Education) is to support the teaching community of the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) in improving their educational practice. We do this through professionalization of teaching staff and supporting and fostering educational development and innovation at the course, programme and faculty level.

Who are we?

We offer Faculty-specific educational support and are the first point of contact for teachers at the Faculty of Science and Engineering for questions related to educational development and innovation. All our team members have a background that combines educational expertise with one of the disciplines within the Faculty of Science and Engineering, which makes it possible to also connect with you, teachers, on the disciplinary level.

Our Staff



Educational developer and team leader PIE


Educational developer


Educational developer


Educational developer


Educational developer

C.M. (Christa) Lankhaar


Educational Developer Active Learning Classrooms

Educational Developer

More info

What do we do?

Teacher development

PIE provides in-house development opportunities with a focus on STEM education beyond the basic level of the University Teaching Qualification. The offer is based on the community’s needs and policy developments. Feel free to contact us (fse-pie when you have suggestions for further training.

PIE for lunch

PIE for lunch is a monthly one hour seminar over lunchtime (12-13h, online or hybrid). We invite teachers from our Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) to share tools and strategies that they have implemented in their teaching in order to inspire you to implement them in your own practice. We cover the most relevant and current topics in education, e.g. formative assessment, active learning and support for TAs. Do you have suggestions for a topic? Do not hesitate to let us know via fse-pie

Next sessions:

Thursday September 19 2024, 12:00-13:00
Tuesday Ocober 15 2024,12:00-13:00
Thursday November 21 2024,12:00-13:00
Tuesday December 17 2024, 12:00-13:00
Thursday January 16 2025, 12:00-13:00
Tuesday February 11 2025, 12:00-13:00
Thursday March 20 2025, 12:00-13:00
Tuesday April 15 2025, 12:00-13:00
Thursday May 22 2025, 12:00-13:00
Tuesday June 24 2025, 12:00-13:00

Workshops and training for FSE teachers

More info coming soon!

Since 2023, the University Teaching Qualification (UTQ) is organised centrally for all university teaching staff (register here).

PIE will soon start offering workshops and training that go beyond the basic training of the UTQ. We hope to offer professional development opportunities that are in line with the needs of FSE teachers. Feel free to send your suggestions to us via fse-pie

TA and PhD Training

TA Training

The training is designed for BSc and MSc students who will work as TAs and want to learn not only how to facilitate and guide the learning process but also how to create a safe, inclusive, and constructive learning environment. The training is held three to four times per academic year and is set up as follows:

The training is divided into: 

  • A basic block, where all sessions are obligatory. In this part, we offer 4 sessions. Each session has a specific focus: the first is dedicated to the basics of didactics and facilitating the tutorials; the second, to group dynamics and constructive feedback; and the third and fourth sessions focus on intercultural competencies and culturally inclusive teaching. All tools and strategies discussed in the sessions are evidence-based and reported in the peer-reviewed literature.  

    Upon the completion of a basic block, TAs are able to :

    Explain the role of tutorials and TA in supporting learning during the course
    Demonstrate the use of the Learning Objectives of the tutorials in designing their teaching activities 
    • Apply the tools and strategies to engage students in the learning activities
    • Generate discussion during tutorials by asking critical and open-ended questions
    • Apply constructive feedback to increase the quality of learning          
    • Recognize the students’ needs/ability to learn/ understand the subject 
    • Facilitate a group discussion and group dynamics
    • Use assessment tools to monitor the learning progress of students 
    • Promote inquiry practices by giving feedback and formulating open questions
    • Interact with student working groups to address logistical aspects of the laboratory practicals
    • Recognize cultural and academic differences and their impact on the learning of culturally diverse students
    • Apply tips and show commitment to enhancing cultural inclusion in group interactions
  • A STEM module block, where students must follow a minimum of 2 elective modules. Based on the description of the modules (HERE), TAs are asked to select the best-suited sessions for their needs as a facilitators. Since the capacity of the groups is limited, we will prioritize: 
    TAs who are active in the semester and blocks that follow the training (1a,1b, and 2a/2b); 
    TAs who enroll first based on the date of enrolment: first come = first served.

The total workload amounts to 21 hours approximately. Before the start of each session (both blocks), TAs are expected to complete preparation assignments. There is no final assignment. Upon successful completion of the training (see rules), each student will receive a certificate.

Table 1. Overview of all the sessions available in both blocks. 

Title of the session
Sessions in hours
Preparation in hours
Group size
B1: Didactics
Max. 60
B2: Feedback and Group Dynamics
Max. 60
B3: Culteral Diversity Part 1
Max. 60
B4: Cultural Diversity Part 2
Max. 60
STEM Module
M1: Facilitating Solving Case Studies/Problems
Max. 20
STEM Module
M2: Facilitating Laboratory Practicals
Max. 20
STEM Module
M3: Facilitating Skills Development
Max. 25
STEM Module
M4: Summative Assessment
Max. 60

All sessions follow the flipped classroom set-up, which means that they are used to apply the knowledge gained during preparatory assignments. Thus, preparation is essential for this course and for a TA’s certification. All sessions are interactive. Students will work in groups, to discuss and reflect on the subject.


The next TA training will take place in semester 1a and will be mainly dedicated to TAs facilitating tutorials in semester 1a. Please register for the training in 1a and select electives and dates by filling out the registration form:

The deadline to register is 16th August at midnight. Upon acceptance to the training, we will enroll you in the Brightspace course. 

We will offer two additional trainings for 1b and 2a/2b. The enrollment for training for TAs facilitating in 1b will be available in the end of August/beginning of September. 

If you have questions regarding the TA training, please contact us at fse-ta-training 

Training for PhD students

How to Supervise

This training is for PhD students who will be involved in the supervision of BSc and MSc students. The aim of this training is to develop competencies and skills to effectively supervise BSc and MSC students in the context of FSE and take part in the assessment procedure of the project. We recommend following the training in the same semester as supervision activities are taking place.

You can find more information on the course, its objectives and how to register on the website of the PhD Academy (GSSE).

How to teach

This training is for PhD students who will be involved in teaching tutorials for bachelor and master courses. The aim of this training is to develop competencies and skills to prepare and teach tutorials in the context of FSE and take part in the assessment procedure of the course.

You can find more information on the course, its objectives and how to register on the website of the PhD Academy (GSSE).

Programme and teaching support

You can consult our team for tailored support on course and curriculum design, assessment and teaching. We discuss your needs and requests together and we will draw up a plan to see what is possible and how we can support you.  

Below you find some examples and testimonials of collaborations with programmes and individual teachers from the past. Interested? Or do you have another idea? Don’t hesitate to contact us via fse-pie

Staff meetings within a programme to discuss educational vision

The (applied) physics programme wanted to develop a vision on the teaching style within the programme: what do we think is good educational design? How do we see active and blended learning in a physics context? What is already happening in our programme and what do we want to change in the future?

In order to facilitate these discussions, PIE was contacted by the programme director and some committed teachers to collaboratively set up staff meetings.

“In the physics and applied physics programmes, we have been discussing the role and benefits of active and blended learning for some time. To exchange experiences and gather support for these modern teaching approaches, we have organised four topical meetings for and by colleague lecturers. The expertise and involvement of the PIE team was a tremendous help - in setting up these meetings and by providing background material, research literature and possible examples. This really helped to move these meetings to a higher level.”

- Diederik Roest, programme director bachelor (applied) physics

The Pharmacy Game, an innovative tool for training pharmacy students

The pharmacy programme wanted to develop a module in the existing Pharmacy Game course ( PIE was involved in the design phase, where we advised on setting up Learning Objectives (LOs), followed by aligning the assessment and activities to the LOs. One of the PIE team members joined all meetings on design, gave feedback on the written proposals and guided the process of setting up the constructive alignment of the module. After the module was finished, PIE supported the project team in setting up and reflecting on a student evaluation. This led to an improvement plan for future editions.

"The focus on pharmaceuticals found in water has increased. Pharmacists are an important link in the chain of reducing medications in water. However, its role is not yet sufficiently addressed in the study programs. Therefore, at the PharmacoTherapy-  Epidemiology- and Economics department, we aimed to develop an educational module to increase our students' knowledge concerning this issue and train them to become leaders who take initiatives in the future to reduce pharmaceuticals in water. This process was supported by various partners, including the PIE colleagues who helped us structure this module, set the core learning goals, and provided us with advice and materials in each step of the module development. Their excellent support is very much appreciated, and we are already looking forward to the final stage, where we will gladly work with them around the evaluation phase."

-Dr. Tanja Fens, responsible for the development of the educational module ‘Reducing pharmaceuticals in water’, part of the Pharmacy Game course at the University of Groningen

Educational projects

Educational projects

The Faculty formulated a set of projects to achieve their educational vision and goals, as outlined in the FSE Strategic Plan for 2021-2026, in a transparent and structural manner. PIE contributes to or leads multiple of those projects, in close collaboration with the involved stakeholders (educational management, teachers, coordinators, programme directors,...).

Professionalizing TAs

The project aims to develop and implement support for all BSc and MSc TAs at FSE. We already offer basic training (see TA training), and in a second phase, more advanced topics will be offered as electives so that TA's can professionalize in line with their needs and context. More information on this project can be found at the website of the FSE Education projects.

The new assessment policy

The project aims to guide and support the implementation of the UG 2021-2026 assessment policy at FSE. It does this by providing a framework for implementation to programmes according to the new assessment policy while keeping sufficient opportunity to maintain and strengthen programme specific assessment practice. More information on this project can be found at the website of the FSE Education projects.

Blended learning

Coming soon.

Active Learning Classrooms

The Active Learning Classrooms (ALCs) project aims to support FSE teaching staff who use or wish to use these classrooms to facilitate and expand active learning activities in their course(s). PIE can help you, for example by guiding you through the possibilities of the rooms, thinking along in your redesign and helping you train your TAs to facilitate in these classrooms. We are the first point of contact for any questions related to the ALCs for FSE teachers. General information about the ALCs can be found on Feel free to contact us (fse-pie if you would like to make use of this support.


For teaching staff of our Faculty that wish support in any of the above, please visit PIE's internal website. They are here to help you develop your teaching practice, course or programme into an effective, inclusive, blended or evidence-based learning environment.

You can contact us at our PIE email address: fse-pie We welcome all questions related to educational development or innovation. If needed, we can connect you to other support services in- or outside of the Faculty.

Partners and useful links

We collaborate with different teams and organisations within and outside of our Faculty and University. Please find some examples below:

  • EDU Support: This database provides both technical and didactical educational information and support related to teaching at the UG.

  • University Teaching qualification: Do you need to obtain your University Teaching Qualification (UTQ)? On this website you can register for the UTQ.

  • Teaching Academy Groningen (TAG): Are you interested in improving education at a wider level than your own context? Become part of the TAG: an interdisciplinary and interfaculty Community of Practice for lecturers, by lecturers. Read more on their website and join one of the communities.

  • ENLIGHT : ENLIGHT stands for European university Network to promote equitable quality of Life, sustaInability and Global engagement through Higher education Transformation. ENLIGHT is a European University formed by nine comprehensive, research-intensive universities from Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden. There are many options for international teaching collaborations and teacher professional development through the ENLIGHT network.

Last modified:02 July 2024 10.38 a.m.