This specialization belongs to the master's programme Psychology.
This specialization concentrates on learning and instructional design. The courses draw attention to student characteristics, contexts of use, objectives, learning processes, instructional design guidelines, and assessment. Most of work that we do includes a technology component (e.g., game, simulation, video).
This specialization is an international, multidisciplinary field including cognitive, developmental & neuropsychology, and educational & computer science. A learning scientist observes, analyses, models and evaluates learning processes and outcomes. The ultimate aim is to optimize the (re)design of instructional materials for various objectives, diverse audiences and different contexts. The specialization is offered by the department of Instructional Technology (IST) which has an outstanding international reputation for its research on technology supported learning arrangements.
For your Master's thesis, you will carry out this kind of research yourself. You will choose a subject or theme related to your field of study (for example, giftedness, team work, inquiry-based learning or test development) and, together with your advisor, think about how you will carry out your research. One possibility is to do it at an external institution; then you can also do a short internship to prepare for it. If you choose an internal assignment, you will also come into contact with teaching practices, of course: every project involves students and pupils.
This specialization is unique in the Netherlands. It is the only Master’s programme in psychology that connects psychological insights on learning with guidelines for instructional design (of lessons, courses, learning arrangements and learning environments). In line with the broader UT-perspective, technology forms an integral component.
Becoming a specialist in instructional design means that you know how to:
- Conduct a problem analysis. This task requires you to engage in: (a) an analysis of the target audience and context of use, (b) a classification of the need for instruction, and (c) a task or domain analysis that describes the content of the instruction.
- Design a prototype. This task revolves around finding and/or creating design guidelines that connect to learning theories. Also, you will need to design an exemplary sub-section of the instruction.
- Evaluate a design. This task requires you to gather information about learning processes and outcomes.