Master Colloquium Jaella Klink (EST)



Jaella Klink






Context-based learning

What happens with the learning activation and engagement of students when a chemistry lesson is context based?






Since 2003 the chemistry education is challenged to work towards a renewal of the current curriculum since the Commissie Vernieuwing Scheikunde gave the advice to use contexts to enhance the learning process on thinking in concepts. Learning via context should enhance students’ motivation and their knowledge on the nature of chemistry. This research is carried out in the context of the  IMPULS study which is an initiative of the University of Twente and funded by the Dutch ministry of Education, Culture and Science, and over a period of two years the aim is to co-design a chemistry curriculum for secondary schools that works towards better understanding of chemistry content with the use of a context. This part of the research will aim for answering the question if the context-based lessons changes the learning activation of students at the levels of competency beliefs, fascination. Besides learning activation, engagement of students during the context-based learning (CBL) chemistry lessons is investigated and the opportunity to engage and learn during the chemistry lessons. The findings on the abovementioned is used to answer the research questions of this research: what characterizes learning activation in CBL and regular chemistry lessons,  what levels of engagement are observed during the CBL lesson,  what opportunities to engage and learn are observed in the CBL lessons and  In the CBL lessons, what relationships appear to be present between learning activation, engagement, and opportunities to engage and learn. A mixed-method approach was performed where questionnaires provide inside on the students’ learning activation and to determine if the context-based lesson caused an effect on their learning activation. Student focus-groups, interviews and classroom observations helped to collect data on the engagement and opportunity to engage and learn during the context-based lessons. Results showed that between the experimental and control group no statically differences were measured on learning activation and therefore no assumptions can be made regarding the influence of the CBL lessons on learning activation. The experimental group did show differences on the before- and after CBL lesson means on learning activation and on fascination ad values. Research revealed that students’ perception on these dimensions changed to higher levels after they received the CBL lesson. The qualitative data during this research led to implications for improvement of the CBL lesson materials such as; language level, sort of material and the duration of the CBL lessons and further research which could aim for more information by researching the benefits and learning outcomes over a longer period with a larger sample of respondents. The conceptual research model underlying this study assumed that learning activation influenced students’ engagement and vice versa and that engagement was influenced by opportunity to engage. Research revealed that learning activation is also influenced by opportunities to learn and engage. 






24 september 2019












Horsttoren 700 B




Graduation     Committee    


Susan E. McKenney

Talitha C. Visser