Teaching at Leiden University is closely interwoven with scientific research. Our teaching methods make use of technological innovations, our lecturers share their knowledge with one another and they are constantly alert to possibilities for innovation and depth in their teaching.
Technological developments represent new opportunities for academic teaching. Digitisation in teaching contributes to such innovations as blended learning (a combination of face-to-face and online contact), the further internationalisation of teaching and the ability to reach new target groups. The University is capitalising on these developments together with other universities and international partners. With the ICT & Teaching (ICTO) programme Leiden University is exploring innovative ways of using technology to strengthen teaching, both online and on campus; for both full-time students and for professionals.
Leiden University also offers open and online courses, for example in the form of Massive Open Online courses, or MOOCs, and Small Open Online courses, SPOCs. These programmes allow students to study wherever they want; independent of time and place. Anyone who is wants to learn can gain knowledge without having to be physically present at a learning institution.
The University firmly endorses the importance of good teaching. We therefore devote much attention to lecturer professionalisation, for instance with the University Teaching Qualification (BKO) which is a hallmark for our lecturers. We also ensure we listen to our students. They express their opinions about the teaching in evaluations at the end of each course, they award teaching prizes to the best lecturers and they have their say in teaching policy in the Leiden University Student Platform (LUS) (information in Dutch) and in the departmental teaching committees.
Innovation in teaching
Increasing diversity in the student population, international classrooms and rapid technological developments demand a lot of our teaching. Where better to conduct research into educational innovation than at a university itself? The basic premise is that improvements in our teaching are based on evidence-based scientific research. This research focuses on the use of new technologies in teaching, effective interaction between students and lecturers and close links between teaching and research.
Leiden University is developing a Senior Teaching Qualification (SKO), meant for academic staff seeking to innovate education.
The aim of the Leiden Teachers’ Academy (information in Dutch) is to make the skills of our best lecturers visible and to further develop, articulate and use these throughout the entire University. The Academy now comprises some 20 teaching fellows with a passion for teaching. It is a platform for knowledge exchange and collaboration between lecturers from different faculties.
Leidens' study system in eight steps