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Learn to understand individual learning processes in order to design adaptive (technology-enhanced) learning tools and materials.

How can you ensure great education, knowing that not everyone learns in the same way? For example, how do you make sure that a gifted student stays challenged and motivated? Or the other way around: what is the best way to support students who have more problems with learning? And how can you enable students with different levels and interests to work together in a group? Within the specialisation in Learning Sciences, you will study learning from an in-depth psychological perspective. The key is to understand the (mental) learning processes and (differences in) individual learning needs in order to make education more adaptive.

“If you are interested in how human beings learn and how their personal experiences, competencies, preferences and character traits play a role in this, then this specialisation is for you.”
Dr. Alieke van Dijk, Lecturer and coordinator of the specialisation in Learning Sciences.

What to expect?

Whereas educational science programmes generally focus on learning environments as a whole, the specialisation in Learning Sciences of the Master’s in Psychology zooms in on the individual as a learner, specifically in an educational context. You will gain an in-depth understanding of cognitive, social, emotional, and behavioural aspects of learning, from competence levels to personality traits to aspects such as well-being and self-esteem. With your expertise, you can provide teachers and educational institutes with tools and teaching materials that can address the individual learning needs of students, whether it is a six-year-old pupil, a twenty-year-old university student or an employee of a big company.

Examples of courses you will follow during this specialisation:
  • The course Adaptivity in Learning and Instruction will provide you with useful insights for differentiating educational practices. You will explore how different learner characteristics can shape the design of adaptive (technology-enhanced) learning environments.
  • Student well-being is highly important when it comes to achieving learning goals. The course Positive Education takes a positive approach, focusing on factors such as engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment within education. 
  • What requirements must instructional materials meet to be effective? And what do in-depth psychological theories tell us about how people learn and process information? You will find out during the course Learning and Instruction.

Today’s digitally advanced society has a great impact on our education system. This specialisation places education in a technological context, aiming to successfully implement (new) technologies in educational contexts. You will learn about the opportunities offered by concepts such as game-based learning, educational apps, or adaptive e-learning environments. You might research how serious games can enhance student motivation or examine the effectiveness of blended learning concepts, mixing online and face-to-face education.

What will you learn?

As a graduate of this Master's and this specialisation, you have acquired specific, scientific knowledge, skills and values, which you can put to good use in your future job.

  • Knowledge

    After completing this Master’s specialisation, you:

    • have a thorough understanding of psychological theories of learning and the role of technological innovations in learning;
    • have contemporary knowledge on instructional design principles for various objectives, diverse audiences, and different contexts;
    • have expert knowledge on prevalent ways to assess learner characteristics and how to attend to differences.
  • Skills

    After successfully finishing this Master’s specialisation, you:

    • can (re)design instructional materials for various objectives, diverse audiences, and different contexts;
    • are able to investigate the quality of existing learning materials and formulate relevant guidelines for optimisation and implementation of these materials;
    • can create interventions to optimise learning experiences for diverse audiences and in different contexts.
  • Values

    After completing this Master’s specialisation, you:

    • have developed a substantiated, context-dependent approach for designing learning materials;
    • value differences in learner characteristics and consider this in developing and investigating learning contexts and materials;
    • maintain a critical attitude towards the design of (technological) innovations in the learning context.

Other master’s and specialisations

Is this specialisation not exactly what you are looking for? Maybe one of the other specialisations suits you better. Or find out more about these other Master’s:

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