Educational Advice & Assessment
Our didactic experts are here to help teachers. With our knowledge of pedagogical approaches and technologies, we can make your classes and assessments engaging and effective.
To help you get started, our Teaching Support website contains inspiring learning strategies and didactical advice. Topics include:
Blended and hybrid teaching
Customised support or advice? We offer:
Learning design and evaluations
From start to finish, our learning designers and media experts are here to help. We can assess and revise your curriculum. Working with you, we'll create a learning experience with impact for your students.
What that might be? LLInC can, for example, create simulations using VR googles, so students can experience course material in a personal and exciting way. A simpler example is the integration of reflective writing about personal learning goals into self-study assignments.
We can also help after a course or programme is complete. Ask us to create and process student evaluations, or to advise on preparing accreditation meetings.
Lifelong learning opportunities
We use research-based methods to support the development of educational experiences for young adults and lifetime learners. Already our online learning and media experts have produced dozens of MOOCs, Small Private Online Courses (SPOCs) and Flip the Classrooms.
Better links between teaching and research
We've run projects to introduce research seminars, advised on improvements in thesis assessments and made recommendations for the professionalisation of lecturers.
Please reach out to discuss your ideas and challenges — or read more below about our individual services.
As a lecturer or manager of a study programme, you may have to assess the quality of your programme.
This can be a time-consuming process. In our experience, a fulltime employee doing this for the first time will need an entire year to write a self-assessment and prepare for an audit. That's where LLInC comes in. We can assist you through the process of accreditation.
Lecturers and policy managers can be trained in this process. We can critically examine the early drafts of your self-assessment. The result? Concrete and easy-to-implement proposals for improvement.
LLInC can support in writing a self-assessment in many ways:
- by offering feedback on a concept version;
- by writing chapters;
- by creating a final draft;
- by taking over the execution, so that the self-assessment is ready on time and is of a high quality.
A test audit is a good way to prepare for an upcoming audit or accreditation round. After the test audit, we will list your strong points and make suggestions for improvement.
In addition to substantive feedback, we will give you feedback on the presentation. As a result, all parties involved will be able to enter the accreditation process full of confidence and well prepared.
In a quick scan, we quickly and systematically scan programmes to assess how likely it is that accreditation will be granted.
The result is a report in which arguments are given for how ready the programme is for accreditation. Action points indicate what still has to happen.
The best time for a quick scan is approximately two years after an accreditation: in place of a midterm review and just before the process of writing a self-assessment report.
Depending on the size of the organisation scanned, an accreditation quick scan costs €3,000 to €6,000.
Activating teaching methods
Need to revise your curriculum? LLInC can be your sparring partner, project manager, project researcher or course designer.
We can help you to analyze the current situation and needs: based on the results of surveys and interviews with students, lecturers and educational managers. This gives a clear picture of the desired outcome of the revision. For example:
- improving study performance and success;
- more effective use of ICT;
- better connecting research and education;
- integrating activating teaching methods or the latest developments in the field.
The analysis phase also helps with deciding whether to adjust some study components or the entire curriculum.
If a far-reaching revision is required, LLInC can help you define a revision project, create a project plan and schedule and formulate a communication plan.
We also look at choosing a working method. In this context, lecturers play a key role. They are responsible for implementing the revision, developing new materials and putting the new teaching methods into practice.
LLInC can help you to develop sound course guides and block/module guides.
We'll ensure the guide gives students all relevant information, including an overview of required prior knowledge, course learning objectives and practical information on the dates/locations of lectures and the examination.
In the case of a block or module guide, we'll make sure it forms a central thread in the course learning process: a place where students can easily find self-study and workgroup assignments, learning materials and practice examinations.
We can also look at creating suitable assignments to challenge students to self-study, as a preparation for the contact hours.
If a programme's test and examination policy is found to be unsatisfactory, it may not be accredited. This is why study programmes need to formulate testing plans and a testing policy.
A testing policy should focus on your own study programme. It can help you to organise teaching within your study programme effectively and provide guidelines for teaching.
We are experienced in answering questions such as:
- How can we make sure that our tests match our final requirements?
- What does a testing plan look like?
- The Faculty Board wishes to reduce the number of resits. How can we as a study programme deal with this change in a responsible manner?
- Should we give our students the opportunity to compensate for unsatisfactory test results?
- How can we use testing to increase our quality and return?
Developing a testing policy together with LLInC
We can help you to formulate and implement a testing policy and testing plan, with a focus on the practical and professional implications for lecturers and students. This might involve:
- Calculating the effects of compensation measures;
- Implementing a quality assurance system for testing (see also Quality of tesing);
- Introducing variation in test formats, to match the final requirements and teaching methods used;
- Supervising meetings on testing, decisions regarding cut-off points, compensation and resit periods.
Quality assurance of testing requires a lot of attention from study programmes: not only a transparent OER and clear test procedures, but also high quality tests.
Boards of Examiners also have an important role in monitoring the quality of testing.
We are experienced with questions such as:
- How can we demonstrate that we have at our disposal a testing system that meets the current quality norms?
- What support does the Board of Examiners need to fulfil their role as quality controller?
- How can we integrate testing in our quality assurance system?
- How can we determine whether a test is of the required level?
- How can we involve our students more in developing and assessing tests?
What our clients say
The LUMC’s request to our Higher Education department
The Medicine and Biomedical Sciences programmes wanted to improve their testing, in order to introduce lasting improvements in their teaching. There was a need for quality assurance for all tests, in whatever form.
What we did
We appointed a Test Assessment Committee (TBC), in which we also took part. Our department taught the members of the TBC to assess tests and to make suggestions for improvement. We also coached individual lecturers in taking responsible and feasible decisions regarding their tests.
It is now a common assumption within the LUMC that testing is not the sole responsibility of an individual lecturer. It is normal practice for lecturers to look at their colleagues’ tests. There is a system of peer assessment of tests and tests are discussed among lecturers.
Working on quality of testing together with LLInC
We can help you to monitor the quality of your testing and assessment, by creating quality criteria that can be measured, helping you to identify stumbling blocks, analysing the quality of your tests and examinations and supporting lecturers in formulating high-quality test questions and assignments.
This might involve any of the following:
- Implementing a cohesive quality assurance system for tests and examinations that can be justified externally;
- Analysing your programme’s return in terms of tests and examinations;
- Translating your final requirements and learning objectives into tests;
- Providing test training programmes and other forms of promotion of expertise;
- Analysing and improving existing examinations together with the lecturers involved;
- Coaching the Board of Examiners in its role as quality controller;
- Taking over the quality analysis of examinations.
Digital testing is effective and efficient. Its use means that lecturers no longer have to do the actual checking (in the case of multiple-choice questions), and that they no longer have to decipher illegible handwriting (in the case of open questions). Students are given immediate insight into whether they have a sufficient command of the study materials.
The possibility of filling item banks with test questions also means that it will soon be possible to generate examinations automatically. We already have intelligent software that can do this. In addition, digital testing introduces new types of test questions, such as ranking, matching and hot spot questions. It makes it much easier to use images, video material and other supporting illustrations.
Furthermore, creating a new, digital version of a test provides a good opportunity to consider the quality and effectiveness of your existing test questions. In short: the new digital options also offer new opportunities in the field of testing! However, digital testing does require a different educational approach, and a clear investment on your part.
We have experience answering questions such as:
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of digital testing, as compared to paper-and-pencil tests?
- When does it make sense to switch to a digital format for a given examination?
- Is digital testing also suitable for summative purposes?
- How can you create a test quickly and effectively on the basis of a digital item bank?
- Can you also test competences using a computer?
- How can you use digital testing in your study programme to support your quality assurance system?
Digital testing in collaboration with LLInC
We can support you in your decisions on digital testing, by clarifying the advantages and disadvantages of digital testing, mapping for you the technical, organisational and logistic preconditions that first have to be met, and by implementing digital testing as part of your quality assurance system (see also Quality of testing). In addition we can also develop digital tests, in collaboration with you, tests that are both of high quality and that make optimal use of the digital possibilities. Ideally, we want students to be actively involved in the development of tests. As part of our service, we focus on the practical and professional implications of digital testing for lecturers and students.
This might involve any of the following:
- Coaching your through digital testing pilots;
- Developing digital tests or versions of test in collaboration with the lecturers;
- Supporting you in developing a digital item bank;
- Promoting expertise in (digital) testing.
What is your institution's vision for your educational programmes?
- Offering the highest possible academic level?
- Closely matching your research?
- Aligning with the demands of the labour market?
Without a clear vision, too much is left to individual programmes or lecturers. This results in an unclear profile and an inadequate level of quality control.
We can support you in formulating your educational vision.
Lecturers should be given the opportunity to propagate this educational vision through their teaching. This requires time and money; for instance for schooling and training, We can advise you on how to implement your vision.
A quality assurance system guarantees the systematic nature, cohesion, effectiveness and use of your quality assurance activities. A quality assurance system reflects agreements about activities, cohesion between activities, division of responsibilities and their consequences for (personnel and other) policy. LLInC can help you develop a quality assurance system that fits your organisation.
Student evaluations are a key part of every quality assurance system. They offer starting points to implement changes or improvements in teaching and provide objective information on the quality of teaching as experienced by the students.
Questionnaires are often used for course or programme evaluations. Methods such as observation, panel interviews, ‘peer’ evaluations and contents analysis are also possible. The methods used depend on whether a single course is being evaluated, an entire study year or an entire curriculum requires. In particular, the cohesion of the teaching programme plays a central role. Questions to consider include:
- Are you able to prevent unnecessary repetition/courses with a high failure rate?
- How satisfied are you with the structure of the curriculum?
- Is it challenging/motivating enough for the students?
- How does it tie in with the professional field/labour market?
LLInC offers support with course and curriculum evaluations.
Designing an entirely new study programme or redesigning an existing programme requires a systematic approach. LLInC can coach you through this process. The result is not only a new curriculum, but also the necessary chapters for the Application for a New Programme for the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flancers (NVAO).