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NRO practice-oriented research in higher education: the case review

Monday, 1 November 2021

Higher education in the Netherlands is in the midst of a host of innovations in teaching and learning: Learning analytics, personalized learning pathways, flipped classrooms, competency based teaching, collaborative learning in interdisciplinary projects, challenge-based learning, and technology enhanced learning are only a few examples of such innovations. These innovations require different roles from teachers. What teachers learn and what skills, knowledge, views and identities they (need to) acquire is unfortunately hardly ever taken along in the introduction and evaluation of such innovations.

This NRO practice-oriented research project, that started end of 2020, studies how teachers learn in the context of educational innovations in higher education. The project is a collaboration among a wide range of partners in higher education in the Netherlands covering more than 15 institutions, including universities, universities of applied sciences and network institutions such as 4TU.CEE.  

Research aim

This research project aims to answer the question whether, how and why different approaches to teacher professional learning and development work for different innovations, contexts and populations. This will be done by conducting a literature study, conducting a broad as well as an in-depth study of existing cases, and an intervention study, in which data will be collected on the innovation (context), teacher activities, support for teachers, teachers’ learning and the effect on students. 

Case review

Currently, a case review is being conducted to map how teachers learn in the context of innovations in higher education in the Netherlands. A wide range of partners from different institutions provided information about the innovation, the skills and competencies that teachers need, the professionalisation and learning activities that teachers undertake, and the results of those activities. In total, we collected 34 cases that cover more than 20 institutions, including a university-wide innovation fund, the implementation of challenge based learning, and the transition to online education. The wide variety of cases will be used to develop a model that maps the relevant dimensions of teachers’ professional learning in the context of innovations, and to provide an overview of practices in the Netherlands. Updates and (preliminary) results will be posted on the 4TU.CEE project page and various other outlets, to communicate with both researchers and practitioners.

For more information, please visit the project page.