Education Newsletter

June 2013
Education Research

Learning Analytics at the EUR: Investigating the relationship between Students' Blackboard Usage and Academic Success

Background A valid source of student information can be found in the data collected from Blackboard usage. However, the question is, how can we turn this data into useful information for educators, policymakers and most important: how can this data become a potential "learning analytic" to better increase student success. The courses that will be investigated are a courses with a high number of enrolled students (n > 1200 and n= 200). Moreover, the lecturers are active in in terms of Blackboard usage. These courses have a diverse student population (a mix on Dutch (course in Dutch) and international students (course in English). Potential Educational Benefits Educational designers can be helped by learning how Blackboard is used by students in the Netherlands and aid in effectively designing Blackboard educational settings. Teachers can be aided by the evidence-based knowledge coming from this study by tactfully and strategically choosing how to employ Blackboard as a supporting tool for students' learning in their courses.

Risbo supports G5 universities of applied sciences in investigating academic success

The G5 universities of applied sciences (The Hague, Amsterdam, InHolland, Rotterdam and Utrecht) recently formed a research team with the aim of taking further steps, on the basis of joint analyses, in seeking and monitoring effective intervention strategies regarding academic success. Risbo will support this research team for one year (June 2013-2014) in the following ways:
  • Preparing database and linking the '1CijferHO' file (data extraction from the Central Register of Higher Education) with data on academic success from the G5 universities.
  • Analysing data and reporting on switching behaviour and performance agreements.
  • Substantive cooperation in the G5 research team.
  • Secretarial work for research reports, knowledge sharing and meetings of the research team.
The purpose of this support is for the G5 research team to be able to operate independently after one year, particularly as regards data preparation and linking of files, and analysing data and reporting
Education and Training

University Teaching Qualification, even if you are an experienced teacher?

The University Teaching Qualification (UTQ) is the national qualification for lecturers at the level of university education. As part of the UTQ, lecturers put together a teaching portfolio (a file) in which to demonstrate that they have the required didactic competencies in the field of designing courses, teaching, testing and evaluating courses. The portfolio will comprise a number of supporting documents that demonstrate how lecturers have developed and what they have learned during the UTQ programme: their vision on teaching, self-developed teaching materials, own teaching experiences, learning outcomes and evaluations and results of class observations and discussions. Are you an experienced teacher? If so, you will have already compiled a large number of these documents. You can save a lot of time by filing these supporting documents directly in your teaching portfolio. There is a Credit for Prior Learning track in the UTQ that may be suitable for you. Can you also prove that you have at least five years of teaching experience in university education? In that case you may be eligible for a short Credit for Prior Learning track. Would you like to know more about the Credit for Prior Learning tracks? Contact Brian Godor or Angelique van het Kaar.

Teaching Minor at EUR: almost 100 students with a teaching qualification in the last 3 years

In the academic year 2010-2011, the Erasmus University started the Teaching Minor programme, which gives students the opportunity to obtain a limited teaching qualification in secondary education for the subjects of Economics, History, Social Studies or Philosophy. In the past three years, Risbo teachers have organised and taught the Teaching Minor in cooperation with faculty teachers, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences and a large number of schools in the Rotterdam region that provided internship posts. In the academic year 2012-2013, 31 students participated in the Teaching Minor, 27 (90%) of whom have completed the minor and earned a teaching qualification. In the previous two years, 69 students obtained their teaching qualification. From the academic year 2013-2014, the Teaching Minor will be organised and provided by the Educational Sciences programme.

Senior Teaching Qualification pilot project started

In commission from the Executive Board, Risbo has started implementing the pilot project for the "Senior Teaching Qualification" (STQ). The STQ is intended for teachers who would like to acquire more in depth knowledge and skills about developing courses, teaching and testing in education with a view to innovating or improving their own teaching competencies. Conducting research on effective teaching will also be part of the project. The University Teaching Qualification (UTQ), or an equivalent qualification, is required for participation in the STQ. The pilot group consists of teachers from ESHCC (Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication) and iBMG (Institute of Health Policy & Management). Lecturers from Delft University of Technology will also take part in this pilot. As part of the pilot the group will pay an inspirational working visit to a European university that is a frontrunner in innovative teaching. The pilot period will be concluded in 2014 with a symposium where the pilot results will be presented to interested parties.

Assessment workshop for examination boards

Under the new Higher Education Act, the responsibility of the examination board to maintain the quality of testing has increased significantly. Risbo will offer a discussion workshop that gives examination boards the opportunity to reflect on tools that can be used to monitor and ensure good quality testing within a study programme. However, examination boards often lack the capacity to contribute independently to this. Hence a three-hour session will be organised which offers points of reference and ideas to guarantee the quality of testing and gives participants the opportunity to discuss potential practical applications within a department or School. Examination boards interested in this workshop can contact Berry Nijveld or Brian Godor.
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