Problem-based learning for teaching political ecology?

By Nick Kirsop-Taylor and Dan Appiah In this blogpost we report on a recent paper we gave at the Joint International teaching and learning Conference (2019) in Brighton (UK) about using Problem-based learning (PBL) as an approach to teaching and…

PBL - People Based Learning?

By Kirstin Herbst and Sarah Goosens As second-year students in the Bachelor European Studies, we can look back on two years of experience with Problem Based Learning (PBL). PBL has both fostered our knowledge and taught us many skills. We…

Using word association to assess learning in the BA ES

By Paul Stephenson My experience of teaching Area Studies in the BA European Studies is that, once you move beyond the initial tour de table that maps what we know based on basic assumptions and personal experiences, the group has little idea…

Grading known students: An (unacknowledged) challenge for PBL assessment

By Nora Vaage Before I came to Maastricht in 2016 I worked in the Norwegian university system. There, exams at the BA and MA level (preceding the MA thesis) were graded blindly by two examiners. Coming to Maastricht University, where…

Peeking into the classroom – PBL Movie Night at FASoS

By Vincent Bijman In Dutch secondary education, one effective tool to facilitate reflection on pedagogical and didactical strategies is the use of classroom video footage to support discussions between teaching staff. Video footage is also a useful tool for PBL…

Young and female? A recipe for poorer teaching evaluations

By Constance Sommerey & Afke Groen Teaching evaluations. After a course has ended, we await these sensitive comments in at times anxious, at times happy anticipation. We are interested to find out whether the changes we made to a course…

By Patrick Bijsmans & Afke Groen It has been a year since we started our Teaching & Learning Blog! And what better way to celebrate than with a blog of our own about the importance of sharing teaching experiences and…

The Expert Lecture in Problem-Based Learning

By Michael Shackleton In Problem-Based Learning environments such as the one in Maastricht, lectures by “experts” or “practitioners” are often considered to be of great added value. But what can the practitioner actually offer to students in a university environment?…

Stressed from teaching so many stressed students?

By Pia Harbers Media have been reporting about increased levels of stress and psychological problems among students in Higher Education. While some question to what extent this really is a serious problem, others describe this as the “biggest generational challenge” that we are…

Four underestimated ways to become a better academic writer

By Patrick Bijsmans “Learning how to do research is one of the most important tasks at the university. It is also one of the most challenging.” (Murtonen & Lehtinen, ‘Learning to be a researcher’, in Academic research and researchers) Academic…

What place for lectures in the Problem-Based Learning process?

By Afke Groen My first lecture at university was a nightmare. I thought I had prepared well. I had extensively read the assigned material, and had completely based the lecture on that. If I would just stand behind the microphone…

Using writing in PBL: Less talking - more ideas

By John Harbord The typical PBL session: some students talk, some are silent – are the silent ones not contributing because they didn’t do the reading, because they are shy, or why? It’s often hard to tell. Some show off…

The erosion of PBL at FASoS?

By Patrick Bijsmans & Mirko Reithler Problem-based learning (PBL) is at the heart of teaching at Maastricht University and at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS). It is a student-centred approach to learning: students encounter problems that contextualise a…

For the times they are complex–Why PBL is more relevant than ever

By Martin Wirtz & Lasse Gerrits While Problem-Based Learning (PBL) still has an innovative air around it compared to traditional university teaching, it can hardly be claimed that it is “new”. Yet, we contend that PBL is more relevant than…

To use or not to use the whiteboard? Is that the question?

By Sven Schaepkens & Patrick Bijsmans FASoS teaching staff sometimes informally meet to share experience. One such event took place on 7 November 2017. A group of new and experienced staff watched the UM DVD Problem based learning: Tips from…

Study choice: BA ES alumni Philipp Hermann & Christopher Dürr

By Afke Groen & Patrick Bijsmans Study choice is a topical issue; for students, who want to choose a programme that suits them well, and for universities, whose financing partly depends on students’ enrolment in and successful completion of their…

The thesis supervisor as coach

By Esther Versluis After some 13 years of supervising theses in the Bachelor in European Studies (BA ES), I think I would best describe this part of my job as being some sort of motivational coach. I feel the most…

Engaging students in PBL tutorials

By Philip Post Engaging students is important in any educational context, but is crucial to a proper working of Problem-Based Learning. In our system, students are in control of the learning process and the participation of the students therefore largely…