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…