News

20 February 2019

March is (Peer) feedback month

To get teachers excited about enhancing their teaching, Educate-it will be organising monthly themes. March is the month of the (Peer) feedback. Feedback is an important part of the educational process. It shows students where they are in the learning process and what they need to improve. Good feedback bridges the gap between the student’s current level of ability and the level they need to achieve. For feedback to be effective, it must be aligned with the course’s learning objectives and it must motivate students to strive for the ability level that is expected of them. With peer feedback, students receive most of their feedback from their classmates. Teachers interested in learning about (peer) feedback and the best ways to use them in education will be invited to take part in various workshops, online trainings and IT tools. A comprehensive list of our offerings can be found on the Educate-it theme page. Are you interested in knowledge clips but too busy right now to take part in any of our activities? There will be another Month of the (Peer) feedback in September 2019. Naturally, the online training courses are available year-round and you can always get in touch with us to get the support you need. Next month, our theme will be Skills. Educate-it Academy Educate-it has collected all its courses, tools and resources for teacher development and student involvement into one place to make it more accessible. From now on, all of it can found on Educate-it Academy. Teachers looking to enhance their teaching will see themed overviews of our online trainings, workshops, tools and background information. The Academy Circle consists of six themes, all relevant to teachers in their daily practice: Engaging education, Knowledge clips, Collaboration, Assessment, (Peer) feedback and Skills. Here, you will find many valuable resources. The circle also contains three overarching themes: Enhance your teaching with blended learning, Engage your students and Study your teaching.

22 January 2019

February is Knowledge Clip month

To get teachers excited about enhancing their teaching, Educate-it will be organising monthly themes. February is the month of the Knowledge clips. A knowledge clip is a short, 5 or 10-minute video explaining a single, specific subject. In preparation for classes, students watch knowledge clips online and complete any included assignments. This means they arrive at their lecture, tutorial or practical well-prepared to participate. This frees up classroom time for in-depth exploration of the subject matter. Using knowledge clips in education increases the motivation of students, they are given (even more) responsibility for their own study process (any time, any place). Once recorded, knowledge clips can be shared and reused by teachers within courses, within curriculums, throughout UU or even with the outside world. 3,000 knowledge clips were used in the 2017/2018 academic year. 1,000 were freshly recorded this year, and 2,000 were reused and/or repurposed existing recordings. Teachers interested in learning about knowledge clips and the best ways to use them in education will be invited to take part in various workshops, online trainings and other activities such as Meet the Expert and Open Studio. A comprehensive list of our offerings can be found on the Educate-it theme page. Are you interested in knowledge clips but too busy right now to take part in any of our activities? There will be another Month of the knowledge clips in June 2019. Naturally, the online training courses are available year-round and you can always get in touch with us to get the support you need. Next month, our theme will be Feedback. Educate-it Academy Educate-it has collected all its courses, tools and resources for teacher development and student involvement into one place to make it more accessible. From now on, all of it can found on Educate-it Academy. Teachers looking to enhance their teaching will see themed overviews of our online trainings, workshops, tools and background information. The Academy Circle consists of six themes, all relevant to teachers in their daily practice: Engaging education, Knowledge clips, Collaboration, Assessment, (Peer) feedback and Skills. Here, you will find many valuable resources. The circle also contains three overarching themes: Enhance your teaching with blended learning, Engage your students and Study your teaching.

14 January 2019

Advantages and considerations of co-creation in student-teacher partnerships

In the effort to make education connect to the student’s current proficiency level and requirements, the focus is increasingly shifting to the role of students in the course design process. They can be involved in the process of designing exercises, courses and programmes through student-teacher partnerships and co-creation. That’s what the Educate-it programme is working on with the Student Engagement project. To engage with students and align with their needs, it is important to assign them an active role. Involving students in the process of their education can improve their academic outcomes. One way to increase student engagement early on is to communicate to them how the design of the course will affect them and what they can expect from you as their teacher. You can involve your students in the (re)design of your course. This is called co-creation. There are various ways to approach co-creation. Educate-it Student Involvement project leader Suzanne van Hoogstraten performed a literature study on co-creation. Co-creation in this context is the collaboration between student and teacher to improve the quality of education. In late December, an article about her study was published in the online journal for Educational Innovation by Open University. The article (Dutch only) describes the value of co-creation and a number of important considerations for the process. One important advantage of co-creation is that it results in education that aligns better with students’ current proficiency levels and life experiences. Other advantages include the fact that both student and teacher learn news ways of looking at education, that students become more engaged, and that the relationships between teachers and students change. At Educate-it, our educational scientists can help you incorporate co-creation in your courses. Educate-it can also help you increase student engagement with blended learning. We have materials available to prepare students for blended learning or for the use of a specific online tool.

14 January 2019

Now available: Educate-it – for students!

Next to our extensive site for teachers, Educate-it has now created a website aimed entirely at students. This new site will inform them of exactly what Educate-it is and does. It also offers information about the tools students may encounter – the tools teachers use in their courses. They can learn why a given tool is being used and exactly how it affects them. The site also has an overview of all the tools they can use all on their own. Finally, the site is a way of making students aware of the kinds of support Educate-it can offer. Be sure to check out the new student website and pass on the good news to your students!

8 January 2019

Share your learning material on figshare. UU-wide available now!

Within Utrecht University, teachers work tirelessly to develop new digital course materials. Be it in ‘traditional’ forms like presentations and syllabi or in the shape of more ‘innovative’ e-modules: the amount of digital learning materials is growing. Some materials, like e-lectures, are stored centrally. Other materials are being stored on hard drives and USB thumb drives. But we can do better. Learning materials are often reusable. It saves a lot of time if materials are stored centrally and are well described. The quality of education will improve if teachers use tools that are already available. Exchange of information beyond the boundaries of the degree programme, faculty, and university will enable new collaboration opportunities. Sustainably storing learning material and making it easier to find If you have any learning materials you want to make available for reuse, please store it in the Figshare educational repository, which is now open to all UU teachers. This platform ensures that all learning material can be easily managed and found – all in one tool. In this way, for example, you easily work together on educational materials and you integrate it with one click in your learning environment or on social media. You can get started right away by storing your education material on figshare, by logging in with your SolisID. For more information about figshare you can visit the Educate-it site. Do you need additional support? Register for one of the two workshop figshare. Click here for data and register directly.

20 December 2018

First-ever LERU blended conference at UU

A large group of colleagues from LERU-universities and people from all over the world interested in digital education took part in a blended conference last November. The LERU thematic group Digital Education has organized this first-ever blended conference to broadly disseminate knowledge of and experiences with digital teaching solutions. The blended conference comprises a ‘virtual’ online pre-conference and a face-to-face event in Utrecht. The League of European Research Universities (LERU) is a prominent advocate for the promotion of basic research at European research universities. There’s so much knowledge within all of the LERU-universities. By sharing this and working together all LERU institutes can bring their education to a higher level. And provide this knowledge with institutes from all over the world. Within these new networks it’s easier to collaborate on other interesting topics. That was the main goal of this blended conference.  This blended approach has given a large group of teachers and staff members the opportunity to build networks and hear about the latest developments from the different task groups. Participants from all over the world Over 500 people from more than 45 different countries registered for the online part of the conference from November 1 till November 29. They participated in one or more online activities such as webinars and discussions in our online workspaces. After this online part there was a two day on campus conference in Utrecht with limited places, but open for the world and with the possibilities for online interaction and livestream video. Besides two interesting key notes by Bert van der Zwaan, former rector from Utrecht University and EU-delegate Themis Christophidou, Director-General Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, there were many sessions on each of the 7 task groups. There was also a special programme for vice rectors Teaching and learning with the aim to facilitate a timely discussion on the challenges, opportunities and directions for change for research-intensive universities in the digital age. Adaptation to technological and societal change is needed within a short time span. 15 Vice-rectors teaching and learning discussed the EU ‘Digital education plan’ and will work together on a shared vision on this paper. Research on digital education Another goal is to work together with other LERU institutes on research on education. The more LERU universities work together in this field, the bigger and better the data, the sooner and better we know the effect of digital education. Bringing together changemakers in higher education was one of the ways to achieve this. Collaboration in disciplinary and between interdisciplinary groups is essential for digitalization and to overcome challenges in implementing digital education. The blended conference combined hands-on practice, research based educational change and discussions on a more strategic level. The aim was to build a community of practice and expertise, to foster co-operation between the LERU institutes and to share and develop new ideas and practical solutions. The results of this blended conference are recommendations and guidelines for the benefit of Digital Higher Education. Together with the policy group Vice-Rectors Teaching and Learning we will write a vision paper on Digital Education which will also be a response on the EU Digital Education Action Plan. Interested in the online sessions? Watch the streams on leru.educate-it.nl/. You can watch an impression of the LERU blended conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybBptMoZ_CY