Part of the
Centre for
Engineering Education
TU DelftTU EindhovenUniversity of TwenteWageningen University
Centre for
Engineering Education


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Project introduction and background information

Self-regulated learning and scaffolding

To reach fully self-regulated learning, students have to learn to formulate their own learning goals and to regulate their learning process accordingly (Pintrich & de Groot, 1990). Three different types of learning activities can be distinguished (e.g., Vermunt & Verloop, 1999): cognitive learning activities, meta-cognitive learning activities, and affective learning activities. Meta-cognitive learning activities are those activities aimed at regulating a student’s learning process, including choosing ones learning goals, choosing and initiating cognitive learning activities, monitoring whether the objectives are reached and adjusting the learning process when necessary, and finally evaluating whether the learning objectives are obtained. Since these activities regulate the learning process, these are the focus in the current project on students’ self-regulated learning.

Students’ self-regulated learning is a learning process in itself; students must learn how to become self‐regulated learners and this learning process already starts in secondary education and evolves in higher education. Students must receive scaffolding in becoming self‐regulated learners, otherwise the lack of teacher regulation might lead to destructive friction (Vermunt & Verloop, 1999; van de Pol et al., 2010). The idea of scaffolding is built on the basis of teachers supporting students’ learning by building scaffolds (in Dutch: steigers), that consist of more teacher guidance. Over time, the more and more students are able to regulate the learning process themselves, the less and less support is necessary from the teacher; the teacher can take down the scaffold in a process called fading.

Lesson study

Lesson study (LS) is a method of teacher professional development that was first developed in Japan and has gained more and more ground in Western countries over the past two decades.

The aim of LS is collaborative planning, implementation and evaluation of innovations in teaching practices (Vermunt et al., 2019). LS offers a well‐developed set of principles and procedures for supporting teachers’ professional learning, focusing on the planning and analysis of ‘research lessons’. It has several components: identifying improvement aims; formulating hypotheses and goals; joint research lesson planning; teaching and observing research lessons; post‐research lesson discussion; and passing on the knowledge gained. The beneficial effects of LS on teacher learning outcomes are well documented. LS seems to integrate many features of effective professional development programs suggested by prior research: it addresses problems of practice; teachers focus strongly on students’ learning; preferred instructional practices are modelled and shared; it involves active teacher learning and teacher inquiry; it creates professional learning communities; and learning opportunities are ongoing and sustainable (e.g. Borko et al., 2010; Desimone, 2009; Van Veen et al., 2012).


In this project, we aim for teachers to collaboratively design, redesign and evaluate lessons based on ideas of scaffolding student-regulated learning.

Objective and expected outcomes

As befitting educational researchers, our project will be firmly grounded in existing educational research. Our objective of offering student‐centered teaching can be achieved by matching the learning content to student’s needs and questions (Swinkels, 2017). Students have to learn to formulate their own learning goals and to regulate their learning accordingly (Pintrich & de Groot, 1990). Students must receive scaffolding in becoming self‐regulated learners and teachers must learn how to scaffold self‐regulating learning (Vermunt & Verloop, 1999; van de Pol et al., 2010). To achieve our objective to learn to scaffold self‐regulated learning, we use the method of Lesson Study (LS): with the method of LS both teachers and students learn from each other (Verhoef et al., 2014). The outcomes are methods to transform secondary school lessons and university teaching sessions (lectures, working groups, project meetings, etc.) to facilitate student‐centered learning. One researcher is monitoring, analyzing and reporting similarities or differences in the four teams’ findings how to transform teacher‐student interactions into student‐centered learning. An outcome of this project involving teachers in different contexts is that they are committed to a renewal of teaching within their own contexts attending to ongoing learning processes of students.




Dr. M.M.H.G. (Marloes) Hendrickx
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