Universiteit Leiden

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Activating teaching and learning

We encourage our students to have an active approach to learning, and we offer them more classes within small-scale learning communities in which students participate (inter)actively.

Integration of research and teaching also means by definition active learning: involving students in teaching and research. This calls for intensive, activating teaching, where students are the main focus, working together in groups and communities, both real and virtual. Students not only research existing questions, but also look for relevant questions themselves, facilitated, supported and motivated by their lecturers. Students take the initiative in the learning process and are consequently better prepared for their further study career (master’s programme and possibly PhD) and are more challenged to contribute creative research questions.

Integration of research and teaching

Active participation by students requires our teaching to be structured differently. It has to focus less on the consumption of knowledge and move towards smaller scale teaching through more efficient use of contact hours. This calls for radical forms of ‘flipping the classroom’, where lectures and preparation are exchanged so that contact hours can be devoted to research, projects or discussions: lectures recorded on video are watched at home, while class hours are reserved for practice, research or discussion. The time that the lecturer spends with students can thus be used more effectively.

Students feel more involved with their discipline and their programme because the learning process better reflects their wishes and their social environment. This in turn increases their enthusiasm to learn. Optimum use can be made of technological innovations to further strengthen this process of activation.

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