Universiteit Leiden

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‘’That is why I work at the University’’

What does it mean to innovate education? And what motivates professors to innovate? How does innovation work at the University?

In the video series ‘Innovating Teaching Testimonials’,  seven professors/assistant professors at Leiden University share what drives them to innovate education and how they innovate. The videos show that, although their motivation is sometimes born out of curiosity, sometimes out of necessity, they share a common goal of enriching the university’s education and offering students the best learning experience.

Pascal Haazebroek, for example,  faced the situation that he wanted to have students present to each other in class, but that his class was too big (100 students) for this to be feasible. He therefore came up with an online system in which students could give each other feedback on their presentation. Pascal noticed that the online platform that was created was a very valuable learning opportunity for the students, as everything was visible on the platform. The tool made it possible to simulate an in-class experience online. Ann Wilson had another way of innovating education, by letting her students teach classes in the Schilderswijk neighbourhood of The Hague. By doing this, she enables her students to put the theories that they have been studying about multicultural societies, into practice. According to Ann, “That kind of controlled vulnerability or controlled chaos in the classroom is very instructive.” Another passionate innovator at the University is Maurits Berger, who tells us that he finds spending time on innovation highly motivating and that to him, innovation is inherent to education. 'That’s why I work at the University,' says Berger.

Impact on on-campus education

The videos show that (online) innovation in education has a wider influence, as it also impacts the physical campus of education. The Centre for Innovation’s Online Learning Lab (OLL) works with more than 25 teams of professors on online education innovation. The experiences and experiments of last year have been published in the Online Learning Lab Annual Report 2015. This report is intended to inspire other education innovators and everyone who is interested in the subject.

The videos of the professors were made in collaboration with the Online Learning Lab and the video design office Just. The video can be seen here.

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