Looking back on the UU Onderwijsparade 2022: Innovation and scholarship: driving force of our education

This year's theme was educational innovation: research-informed innovations, with lecturers and students at the forefront. In addition to showing inspiring examples, lecturers were encouraged to transform their own ideas into innovation projects. In addition, the activities of the fourth edition of the U-SoTL Conference were included in the programme of the Onderwijsparade.

Although it looked like this year's Onderwijsparade would have to be held online as well, the relaxation of the coronation measures fortunately made it possible to organise the event on location again, in the University Hall. Participants could register for a part of the day on location and the rest of the programme could be followed online via the livestream. Partly thanks to the livestream, there were approximately 250 participants in this edition of Onderwijsparade.

photo: Lize Kraan

Teacher Talents take the floor

After an opening speech by Rector Henk Kummeling, who also took care of the contribution of student assessor Merel Dekker, as she was affected by corona, the three UU Teacher Talents had their say. They were interviewed by Jennifer Reinhard, the interview leader. The talents introduced themselves and were then given ample opportunity to reflect on questions that students had submitted in advance. This way, they went deeper into what interdisciplinarity means in education. One of the questions was: what do you think will be the biggest challenge for the university in the next five years? The audience was invited to react to this question via the livestream. The most important issues that were mentioned were: student wellbeing and the workload among lecturers, in addition to the phenomenon that there are many temporary contracts for lecturers, which does not always benefit continuity. This interactive part also provided enough material for a discussion, during which the lecturers spoke enthusiastically about their students and education and it became clear why they had been selected as Talent this year.

photo: Lize Kraan

Workshop rounds

Innovation and scholarship were shaped in different ways in the various workshop rounds. There were no fewer than 14 different workshops on location and four online. Below is a short impression of five different workshops.

Challenge Based Learning Game: during this workshop, after a short introduction, the participants worked in small groups on an educational design in which appropriate learning activities were selected for each learning objective (competence) and placed on a timeline. This led to valuable and lively discussions about, for example: how does the challenge influence your educational design? How do the same learning activities contribute to other competences, depending on when you apply them in the course and when should you place them? How do you teach students to deal with uncertainty, but still give them sufficient guidance? How do you yourself as a teacher actually deal with the uncertainty that is inherent to Challenge Based Learning?

Living Pasts: an innovative course in which teachers and students from various disciplines work together in co-creation to bring the history of Utrecht to life with digital resources. The students told about an escape room they had developed for the Museum van Zuilen in which you learn more about the Werkspoorfabriek. During the workshop, the participants were also able to solve a number of puzzles themselves.

photo: Lize Kraan

Workshop Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) in education: guided by educational innovator Beerend Hierck of the Veterinary Medicine faculty, participants were able to experience for themselves how students can study the anatomy of a rat in 3D with the aid of AR glasses.

How to SoTL?! During this session, lecturers have gotten acquainted with inquiring their teaching. Three pitches were delivered about finished SoTL projects, by teachers from respectively the faculties of Medicine, Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences. This caused a lively debate, applying the just learned SoTL theory on the pitches. Were they methodologically sound? Did the pitched projects involve students? And did they make use of already existing practical or theoretical insights? The exchange between teacher peers immediately let new SoTL  ideas arise. Click here for the abstracts of all SoTL projects.

Learning Spaces: here, the campus of the future was built. There was a pile of Lego on each table. Using the UU's trends and principles about Learning Spaces, participants were able to build an optimal classroom. Space for community building was a recurring theme. What this requires of the buildings was discussed.  The workshop was a co-creation between the Future Learning Spaces project team and colleagues from Real Estate and Campus.

photo: Lize Kraan

Teaching and Learning Collection

A striking object stood in the courtyard and later in room 1636 of the University Hall: a white cube in which you could experience the Teaching and Learning Collection (previously: the Educational Database). This is intended for teachers and anyone involved or interested in academic education. The collection contains basic knowledge about academic education and results of innovations initiated by teachers. The collection can be used as inspiration for one's own teaching and for initiating one's own research into education.

Watch the video below for an example of how to use the collection.

Video Teaching and Learning Collection
f.l.t.r.: Danny Broere, Ronald Bleys and David Onnekink / photo: Lize Kraan

Announcement winners Teacher Awards

After a round of workshops, the inspiring afternoon continued with the announcement of the winners of the UU Teacher Awards. For the academic year 2021/2022 students had nominated 34 teachers for the Teacher Awards. From these, the jury selected three candidates for the Teacher Award and three candidates for the Teacher Talent Award. Jury chairman Prof. Ronald Bleys introduced the candidates. The winners were announced with the showing of short films in which the six nominees were briefly introduced. David Onnekink, lecturer at History (Faculty of Humanities) won the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award 2022. Danny Broere, lecturer at Chemistry (Science faculty) has been elected Teacher Talent of the Year 2022. They will receive the awards during the Dies Natalis.

The lively and festive day was concluded with a story about mastery by Laurens Knoop of School of Life. And last but not least: there was finally a real drinks party on location again, with plenty of room to catch up and enjoy the day.

Livestream opening and conversation with the Teacher Talents
Livestream Teacher Awards ceremony and closing talk