Utrecht members Comenius network
The Comenius network is the national platform for educational innovators and part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. The members have been appointed because they have received a NRO Comenius grant or because they have been nominated for the ISO (Dutch National Student Association) Lecturer of the Year Award.
Members of the Comenius Network
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Sanne Akkerman - Comenius Leadership Fellow 2021
Project: Students in UniCity: engagement in what happens for what matters.
With this Comenius Leadership grant, Akkerman wants to bring the social engagement of our university to an open, broader, and enduring engagement with urban life. To achieve this, she and UU alumni set up a transdisciplinary city programme called UniCity, consisting of joint and multi-year science projects with diverse people and communities. The programme creates a place where university and city come together and where students learn to find their academic uniqueness and joint contribution in the changing reality of everyday life. Six projects are set up across the city. Working educational principles are bundled into a model for educational and public engagement that is widely shared within the UU and with other higher education institutions.
Patricia Canning - Comenius Teaching fellow 2021
Project: FLEXible learning: Targeting Social Inequalities through Forensic Linguistics.
This proposal is for a new undergraduate interdepartmental level 3 course in Forensic Linguistics (FL) that combines academic learning with community engagement. FL is a dynamic subject that bridges language, law, psychology, and criminology, aligning with University College Utrecht’s liberal arts mission. It investigates how language is used in forensic settings, as well as its effects on people, institutions, and praxis. It will be the first FL course of its kind in mainland Europe. It targets social inequality through collaborative pedagogy and research with community and judicial organisations. This will be monitored, evaluated, and showcased through a new ‘task force’, ‘FLEX’ (Forensic Linguistic EXperiences), comprised of students, community stakeholders, and individuals who have experienced language-based challenges in forensic and institutional contexts.
Merel van Goch - Comenius Teaching fellow 2021
Project: I choose consciously: a reflective start with a broad, self-directed training through vlogs from seniors.
In this project, prospective students learn - through vlogs of senior students - how to consciously choose courses before the start of the broad, self-directed undergraduate program Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS). LAS-students design their own study path, resulting in a unique combination of deep, broad, integrative and reflective learning. During their studies they receive intensive guidance, but in the summer before they start, they choose their courses relatively independent. By these vlogs prospective LAS-students can independently make more conscious and better informed choices for a reflective start of their studies. They get to know the university better; they learn to make choices and to anticipate their consequences. This way, they study more consciously, confidently and enthusiastically, hopefully leading to less study or wellbeing problems.
Annet van Royen- Comenius Senior Fellow 2021
Project: Interdisciplinary, challenge-based project education in the field of health (care).
In this project, interdisciplinary, challenge-based project education is developed for master's students in Medicine, Biomedical Sciences (UU, UMC Utrecht), Biomedical Engineering (TU/e)) and Nutrition&Health (WUR). The aim is to prepare future doctors for interdisciplinary cooperation and to develop adaptive expertise. Adaptive expertise is the ability to solve new, complex problems in changing situations.
Bert Weckhuysen - Comenius Senior Fellow 2021
Project: The Da Vinci Program: Mastering an Active Learning-by-Doing Approach to Foster Sustainability.
The project focuses on sustainability and interdisciplinary cooperation. "The committee is very positive about the innovative character of the project. It appreciates the ambitions of the Da Vinci programme on an inter-university level and the pursuit of design-thinking within a multi-actor setting." The Da Vinci programme is aimed at master's students from TU/e, WUR, UU and UMC Utrecht and is jointly developed by these institutions. Two years ago Weckhuysen already won a Teaching Fellow grant from the Comenius programme.
Annerieke Oosterwegel - Comenius Teaching Fellow 2020
Project: Sustainably Internalising Autonomy (ADEM): a manual for yourself
Many students struggle with expectations they believe they have to meet. The aim of this project is to let students experience control over their academic career by gradually and concretely indicating how they can structure themselves and their experiences in such a way that they feel autonomous and resilient. There will be an autonomy development course, in which insights from developmental psychology and personality psychology - in particular identity development and autonomy - will be translated to the educational situation.
Jeroen Janssen - Comenius Senior Fellow 2020
Project: This is where I belong. Supporting first-generation students at the start of their studies
At the faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, first-generation students (students whose parents did not attend academic education) drop out significantly more often than second-generation students. Explanation: they do not feel at home as much in a university setting. This project will develop an evidence-informed intervention to help them feel at home more quickly.
Niels Bovenschen - Comenius Teaching Fellow 2019
Translational Medicine is a biomedical science that aims to translate scientific research into improvements in patient care and vice versa. This requires interaction between biomedical scientists, doctors, clinician scientists and patients. In order to enable this collaboration, the Faculty of Medicine is developing a curriculum-based, interdisciplinary biomedical laboratory elective for Bachelor's students within a research-based learning framework.
Tom Frijns - Comenius Teaching Fellow 2019
Unlike traditional cognitive approaches, UU is developing a training module which uses a strategy that improves students' intercultural skills. This creates an inclusive, collaborative classroom environment. The module is designed to improve the 21st century skills (e.g. intercultural communication and collaboration) and the general learning skills of students on the international Social, Health and Organisational Psychology Master's.
Margot Koster - nominated for the ISO Lecturer of the Year Award 2019
Margot Koster is teacher and programme director of the Bachelor programme Biology. Her ambition is to educate students to become future-proof biologists, and to motivate them and make them aware of the importance of academic knowledge for society. Furthermore, she would like to continue to develop herself as a teacher and does academic research into the effects of educational innovations in her teaching.
Gery Nijenhuis - Comenius Senior Fellow 2019
The purpose of this project is to improve the intercultural competences of students. Among the tools being deployed to this end is an interactive app that offers case studies representing fieldwork situations, along with the development of corresponding assignments. Lecturers are able to supervise students during discussion and reflection in the international classes – before, during and after the fieldwork. The content of the app is based on real-life cases from students who conducted fieldwork in previous years.
Bert Weckhuysen - Comenius Teaching Fellow 2019
Sustainable development and the transition to circular economies calls for a partnership between society, science and technology. Academic education must produce a new generation of transdisciplinary professionals who, together with stakeholders, can come up with innovative solutions. The Da Vinci project challenges third-year Bachelor's students to go beyond the boundaries between scientific disciplines through a learning-by-doing approach.
Fred Wiegant - Comenius Senior Fellow 2019
Utrecht University is developing a learning track on learning to think and work in interdisciplinary fashion, consisting of assignments, teaching methods and focused reflection exercises. This innovative learning track is based on good practices, the experiences of researchers in interdisciplinary collaborative partnerships and the experiences of Master's students in interdisciplinary professional practice. Its objective is to ensure students are well-prepared for the dynamic multi and interdisciplinary working environment of the future.
Tom Damen – Comenius Teaching Fellow 2018
Time to listen: using podcasts as learning tools – Utrecht University's Work and Organisational Psychology programme is using podcasts as a tool for learning. The educational podcasts are included in the curriculum as a kind of personalised e-learning. The University hopes that this will make the learning more challenging for students and will allow them to link learning to their personal interests.
Hanna Mulder – Comenius Teaching Fellow 2018
The pedagogical practical assignment - Often, students of pedagogy don't feel properly prepared for professional practice and don't make the link between theory and practice. So, first-year students of pedagogy at Utrecht University have to complete a practical assignment in which they work on issues from professional practice (e.g. from local authorities, youth services organisations, family support services, schools). Students take part in networks with experts from professional practice and academia. They observe professional practice, undertake an academic analysis and an analysis of the debate within society, come up with an evidence-based recommendation and link it back to professional practice.
Haza Rahim – nominated for the ISO Lecturer of the Year Award 2018
In 2016, Haza Rahim was awarded Utrecht University's Teacher Talent Award 2015-2016. In her teaching, she focuses on students' personal development and always tries to see things from their perspective and understand what motivates them. She also tries to make difficult topics like statistics interesting. She also believes that it's important to be aware of the cultural sensitivity and social engagement of her students.
Ghislaine van Thiel – Comenius Teaching Fellow 2018
Narrative medicine – medical students can improve their listening and observation skills by studying literary and personal narratives. Narrative medicine also improves their ability to empathise and prepares them for conversations with future patients. That's why the University Medical Center Utrecht is keen to include narrative medicine in the curriculum.
Sabine Uijl – Comenius Senior Fellow 2018
Student ownership at UCU; redesign of a personalized curriculum – University College Utrecht wants to enable students to make their own choices within the curriculum through an enhanced, personalised digital education system and an upgraded tutor system. This will make students more aware of how they learn and will allow them to link their personal goals to the learning objectives.
Marc van Mil – ISO Lecturer of the Year 2017
Marc van Mil was awarded Utrecht University's Teacher Talent Award 2013-2013 and was national Lecturer of the Year in 2017. As Associate Professor of Biomedical Genetics, Marc lectures on DNA within the Biomedical Sciences programme and also gives public lectures on DNA. Together with Annelien Bredenoord, he conducts research around how education must take into account the social impact of biomedical technologies.