Honours College and Classes
Honours College is a multidisciplinary programme that is taught to small groups of undergraduates who are willing and able to achieve more. One of its focal points is teaching innovation. Innovative topics and working methods are thus an integral part of the Honours programmes and classes.
There are two Honours options for undergraduates. Many students choose to follow a faculty Honours track (30 EC) at their own or another faculty. They must follow at least one Honours Class (5 EC) in this track. These Bachelor Honours Classes are also available to students who do not wish to follow an Honours track. This is the second Honours option for undergraduate students.
The Honours Academy fosters innovation in its teaching and encourages lecturers to try out new modes of instruction. As the Bachelor Honours Classes and programmes are taught in small groups, this makes them an ideal testing ground that can share best practices with the rest of the University. Lecturers on Bachelor Honours Classes and programmes are therefore encouraged to collaborate with other faculty or inter-faculty teaching projects and partners who are also working on teaching innovation.
To find out how virtual reality can be used in teaching, the Honours Academy offers an annual Honours Class ‘Learning through virtual reality’. This introduces students to the possibilities of virtual reality, and how it can then be applied to the teaching (news article). In 2016, the Honours Academy made virtual reality films of special University locations and gave virtual reality glasses to the students and staff (news article).
The Law, Power and Inequality Summer School that took place in the summer of 2017 was a good example of teaching innovation. Students from Leiden and the University of Maryland took part. To prepare for a joint week of classes in Leiden, the students followed three online classes that made use of the Global Classroom. Here students sit in a virtual lecture hall and can ask questions, hold discussions and work together on assignments.
It is important that the Honours College is multidisciplinary. This creates a learning environment in which students and lecturers from different disciplines can share their knowledge and broaden their horizons. Five of the seven faculty Honours tracks are therefore accessible to students from all disciplines.
The Bachelor Honours Classes also aim to be multidisciplinary. With lecturers from different disciplines working together on the classes and students from different faculties taking, this helps ensure that they are multidisciplinary. The students and lecturers then take their experiences with them to their regular classes.