1. Which of the following statements is correct?
a) In class, the process of finding a solution is often more important than the actual answer
If a professor asks a question, you are expected to come up with a reasonable solution, not “the right and perfect one”. The process of finding a solution, dealing with new information and creativity are paramount. The quality of the actual solution is often less important.
2. At every university, things go wrong. Sometimes a lecture is disappointing, there might be strange twists in the curriculum or unreasonable exams. If you encounter such a problem, what are you expected to do?
a) Confront your professor to see if you can find a solution together.
If something is troubling you, you are expected to take the initiative in finding a solution. You must make the first step and contact a study adviser or someone else to help you. Waiting to be “saved” will get you nowhere.
3. Which statement about Dutch people is untrue?
a) Dutch students do not respond well to criticism.
The Dutch eagerness for group discussions and strong opinions makes them generally receptive towards (constructive) criticism. Keep in mind that if a professor or fellow student “burns” your ideas in public, it's nothing personal. Likewise, you are expected to have a critical mindset, so questioning your fellow students, professors and people in senior positions on study-related issues is encouraged.
4. Which statement about Dutch educational culture is untrue?
a) Teachers will inform you of the material to learn and will give you a specific schedule on when to complete which tasks
Because you are seen as an independent student, teachers will inform you of the material to learn but leave the specific planning up to you. Assignments might come with few instructions and will leave space to choose your own approach.
5. Which statement about Dutch educational culture is true?
a) Dutch people tend to be very opinionated
Dutch people in general and academics in particular tend to be very opinionated; they enjoy a good discussion, attacking each other's ideas relentlessly and with great passion. Teachers appreciate these critical and passionate discussions in class, as they are usually seen as marks of highly involved and interested students. Asking questions is seen as being interested in the topic, not as being disrespectful towards the lecturer.
6. Which statement about Dutch educational culture is true?
a. You are expected to look for possible weaknesses in the material presented.
The Dutch believe that learning actively is the best way to learn. The essence of active learning is asking yourself questions that you try to answer by studying. What am I going to learn? What do I know already about this question? Does what I read answer my question? Do I agree? What do I miss? Are alternative solutions possible? What are the consequences? Memorizing and understanding are considered valuable but only as first steps in learning. There is more emphasis on the development of academic and/or professional skills.
7. “Active learning” is typical for Dutch academic culture. What is meant by this term?
a) Active learning means asking yourself questions, and answering them through studying.
The essence of active learning is asking yourself questions that you try to answer by studying. What am I going to learn? What do I know already about this question? Does what I read answer my question? Do I agree? What do I miss? Are alternative solutions possible? What are the consequences?
8. In the Dutch academic culture…
a) …you are allowed to formulate your own opinions on course content, even if you are not yet an expert
Students do not need to master all existing knowledge before formulating their own opinion. When writing a paper, summarizing information from other authors will not be sufficient. You will have to make your own selection of available sources, develop your own line of thinking and include your own conclusions and/or recommendations
9. The 10-point grading scale is typical for the Dutch grading system. Which of the the following statements about this grading scale is true?
a) Getting a 6 means you have sufficiently mastered the course content
The teacher sets a minimum score (usually 5.5 or 6) and passes all students that meet or exceed this score. A widely accepted explanation of the 10-point grading scale is:
- 1-5 = fail (11% of students)
- 6 = pass (30% of students)
- 7 = good (30% of students)
- 8 = very good (23% of students)
- 9 = excellent (5% of students)
- 10 = outstanding (1% of students)