In the Master's specialization Learning Sciences, you are taught how to research learning processes in different contexts and when to propose necessary instruction solutions. With this knowledge, you can advise on the improvement of learning processes and learning outcomes. With your knowledge of instruction methods, you can work on developing learning arrangements, with or without ICT, in the profit or non-profit sector.
Many of our graduates find jobs in the so-called care structure of education. This includes training, consultancy and development companies (Bright Alley, Eluxis), test development and test administration (A-Vision, Dexlex, Cito) and organizations that support education (SLO, KPC group, TechYourFuture). A smaller percentage of our alumni choose jobs in research or become teachers at a university of applied science.
Anneloes is an E-learning consultant at Bright Alley in Utrecht. As an educational psychologist she designs effective learning environments for professionals.
"I used to think computer games like The Sims, or online games like Worlds of Goo, were amazing. I always wondered how those edu-trainings managed to motivate me to learn the most difficult things. When I discovered the Master's programme in Instruction, Learning and Development, I knew at once: that is where I need to be, that is where I can learn how this so-called game-flow works, among many other things. I also wanted to pursue something useful and meaningful later on in real life. As an educational psychologist, my main concern is to establish a close connection between the client's needs and those of the target group. What motivates them? How do I make this learning material more interesting and compelling? What learning culture already exists at the company and how can our e-learning fit into that? During my Bachelor’s programme, I mainly learned to recognize the ins and outs of the target group. That means doing target audience analyses of the group of students, co-workers and the company. Now, after my Master's, my focus as an educational psychologist lies more specifically on the target group's education.
I enjoyed this programme because you get a clear and wide picture of your potential work area. You are challenged in your educational approach and your ideas on child and adult education, but also in diagnosing learning disabilities through testing and brain scans. But don't forget: the real experience comes after your studies."
Alieke van Dijk
Alieke is a teacher at the University of Twente. She is teaching in the bachelor and master program of Psychology (i.e., Psychology of Learning and Instruction) and is involved in the premaster and master program of Educational Science & Technology (EST).
“Ever since I attended primary school, I had a preference for cooperative learning. I enjoyed helping others or working together to complete an assignment. Soon I decided that I wanted to become a teacher in whatever subject. However, when the time came to decide on my studies, I felt that I could take it to a broader level. The master ‘Instruction, Learning and Development’ (now: ‘Learning Sciences’) fitted my interests perfectly. My expectations were met, which was especially reflected in the topic of my thesis: Scripted collaborative learning in elementary science education’.
I enjoyed doing research to learn more about collaborative and cooperative learning and how to improve this. Both the cognitive and social development that accompany this way of learning caught my attention. So far, I got to study this from different perspectives: the effect of sharing resources in secondary education, supporting mixed-ability cooperation in elementary education (PhD), and development of argumentation skills in citizenship education in elementary education.
I really enjoyed the master program because it gave me the opportunity to focus on my own interests within the field of education. It provided me with the basis I needed to be able to make my choices within this field and it added to my comprehension of what different learners need to get ahead in life and learning situations."
“I have always been interested in the combination of education and psychology. Therefore, it was clear to me that I would be doing the Master ‘Learning Sciences’ to complete my educational program in Psychology. This allowed me to answer questions like: ‘How do children learn best?’ And, ‘In what way should information be offered in order to improve its processing?’ `During the master, these questions were answered within different contexts, like serious gaming and complex learning tasks.
As part of my thesis, I conducted a study to explore differences in learning of children with different ability levels. More specifically, I investigated the role of support for the learning process of these different children within the context of inquiry learning – which could considered to be a complex learning task.
Nowadays, I am employed at A-VISION, an educational consultancy firm in Apeldoorn. We invest in ways to offer students tailored education to make sure that they receive education that is most beneficial to them. To do so, we create adaptive tests that allow the level of the test assignments to be adapted to the level of the students. This creates a situation that challenges the gifted students and tends to avoid frustration for students that perform below average.
As a methodologist I am responsible for the development of the test items, Besides this, I interpret the test outcomes and base advices on these outcomes. I enjoy this variation in tasks as I feel that these are all relevant to properly customize testing situations to the different needs and abilities of students. The master ‘Learning Sciences’ helped me prepare for this job!”