FAQ TEM (Last update: 12-11-13)
1. What is the Twente Educational Model (TEM)?
The TEM (in Dutch: Twents Onderwijsmodel or TOM) is characterised by the integration of Project Based Learning (PBL) and other teaching methods in thematic fulltime study units – i.e. modules. A project is at the centre of each module. By programming the other module components around these projects, an integrated whole is created. Students are driven in their learning needs by the project in which they are also able to apply what they learned from the other module components.
In a module various components are logically clustered round a binding subject or theme. Different disciplines can come together, for example, in one theme. This occurs by giving a group of students a realistic assignment the execution of which presupposes some knowledge of these disciplines. The group acquires this knowledge as independently as possible, albeit under a tutor’s supervision. Certain knowledge may also be offered in direct instruction, but only if there is a specific reason for this. This might be the case if the ‘threshold of understanding’ appears to be (quite) high because it is regarded as inspirational, or because a wider context is called for.
The first module also has an overarching UT topic. In the academic year 2013-2014 this will be sports. This way students will be offered a broader insight into how it is possible to approach one and the same theme from various disciplines. Furthermore we hope that working together simultaneously on the same theme, each from their own programme, will promote communication and group formation between students.
The UT holds the view that its alumni should have developed themselves in three professional roles: that of researcher, designer and organiser (in Dutch: the 3 Os). These roles complement one another. During projects in the bachelor’s programme, students lay the academic foundations for each of these roles. Further specialization in one of the ‘three Os’ is reserved for the master phase.
Developing one or more roles is at the heart of each project. By following various modules and by assuming different roles in project groups, students can find out where their talents and preferences lie.
2. Why a new educational model?
The UT wishes to prepare the student for a world that - technologically speaking - is developing increasingly faster. Tomorrow’s professions do not yet exist. That is why it is important that students are also capable of applying their knowledge, insights and skills in other fields of study. We call these ‘transferable skills’. Moreover, it must be self-evident to students that they should be able to accumulate knowledge themselves.
One of the ways the UT wishes to achieve this is with the Twente Educational Model, a model that offers fulltime, thematic study units (i.e. modules), each lasting one quartile (4 x 10 weeks at 15 ECTS).
3. What is the advantage of the TEM for new students?
Owing to the more intensive tutoring, students will end up in the right programme sooner than before. The chance of making a wrong choice is reduced and even if this does occur, then the consequences are restricted to a minimum. The programmes, moreover, offer greater scope, particularly in projects, to develop personal interests and talents. Also the instruction is more appealing and challenging owing to the thematic, project-led education in which the student independently acquires insights and can immediately apply what he/she has learned.
4. Isn’t this just an economy measure?
The TEM aims to improve the quality of the education and thus also its effectiveness. Above all the Twente Educational Model must enable students to study more effectively. An increased effectiveness is achieved by:
- Learning together and from one another;
- Active modes of instruction that ensure greater retention (of knowledge) and understanding is tested;
- A distributed instead of a peak workload;
- The various teaching methods and options in the programmes, which allow for different learning styles and interests;
- Regular and fast feedback;
- Close collaboration with fellow students and staff producing intrinsic motivation.
Offering this kind of education at the UT in this manner creates a Unique Selling Point. Apart from the campus and High Tech Human Touch, yet another reason for students to opt for the UT.
Besides growth (in the long term), the TEM must have the effect that students end up in the right place sooner, thus reducing the chance of their later dropping out.
5. When will these changes take place?
All programmes (including University College ATLAS) will start with the new educational model in September 2013. The Biomedical Technology programme already started with the Twente Educational Model in 2011. Electrical Engineering started in September 2012.
6. Which UT bachelor’s programmes will change as per 1 September 2013?
From the academic year 2013-2014 all bachelor’s programmes will be offered in accordance with the TEM. The current bachelor’s programme Educational Science will no longer continue as an independent programme and will be (partly) accommodated within the bachelor’s programme Psychology. The Dutch-spoken bachelor’s programme Bedrijfskunde and the International Business Administration track will merge and as from the academic year 2013-2014 will become the English-spoken bachelor’s programme International Business Administration. The Dutch bachelor’s programme Bestuurskunde and the European Studies track will also become the English-spoken bachelor’s programme European Public Administration as from the academic year 2013-2014.
7. Are they broad bachelor’s programmes?
Only University College ATLAS is a broad bachelor in the formal (legal) sense. It is especially intended for the excellent, multi-talented students who are highly ambitious and highly motivated. However, also a programme such as Advanced Technology has a broad profile. As do more. With programmes sometimes offering modules conjointly, students are offered a broader insight than in the current situation. For more information on University College ATLAS: www.utwente.nl/bachelor/atlas
8. Will all programmes become English-spoken?
A number of programmes will be offered in English: International Business Administration, European Public Administration, Electrical Engineering, Advanced Technology, CreaTe and University College ATLAS. Dutch will be the spoken language in the other bachelor’s programmes. However, there, too, the literature will be predominantly in English. It may also occur that lectures are delivered in English, for example by a guest lecturer from abroad or if a module or component thereof is shared with an English-spoken programme.
9. So what will studying in the bachelor’s phase look like?
Module 1: Foundation
Module 2: Foundation
Module 3: Foundation
Module 4: Foundation
Module 5: Foundation
Module 6: Foundation
Module 7: Elective 1 within programme
Module 8: Elective 2 within programme
Module 9: Elective 1
Module 10: Elective 2
Module 11 and 12: (Preparation for) final bachelor’s assignment
A year consists of 4 quartiles, and each will have one module. A module lasts 10 weeks and stands for 15 ECs (course credits). A module has an overarching theme. The theoretical components, the project, eventual exercises and practicals correlate as much as possible with that theme. This allows the student to thoroughly immerse him-/herself in the theme, and helps to elucidate the interdisciplinary relationship. Knowledge from one component is often required to comprehend the other.
10. How will the tutoring take place in the TEM?
Students will receive intense tutoring during their studies. No different from now, the study adviser offers students guidance with their educational career. With projects students are also supervised by tutors, with attention being paid to questions such as: How is the project coming along? Are you making progress? How is each student functioning? As students and lecturers/tutors speak to one another on a regular basis, it becomes easier to keep track of the student’s progress and his/her wellbeing. The UT is known for its small-scaleness, approachability of lecturers and an open/informal culture. This will become even more apparent with the Twente Educational Model.
11. What if a student wants to switch subjects or has made the wrong choice?
Within the TEM the modules have been set up in such a way that the first six months of a programme will give the student a clear idea of the content of the programme and its academic level. It will also give an insight into the level of specific components. Students will thus be able to discover if this meets their interests and if they will have a chance of success in this programme. In principle it is still possible to switch programmes after one or two modules, although it will demand extra work to catch up.
12. Is it still possible for a student to excel?
The UT offers possibilities for talent to be additionally challenged on top of or within the regular curriculum (broadening or intensifying instruction). One way is with the honours tracks. Talented students with a broad orientation can opt for a fulltime programme at University College.
13. How is the danger of someone tagging along dealt with?
Students are trained to work in projects, including learning how to discuss one another’s behaviour and commitment to the group. All project groups are supervised in this by a tutor. When students have a problem within the project group which they cannot solve, they can seek a solution with their tutor. In most cases testing is carried out individually.
14. How will testing take place within the TEM?
Within the TEM the final mark of a module is composed of several sub-marks (e.g. for a written exam, projects, assignments). This means the workload is evenly distributed over the quartile making it less easy for the student to procrastinate.
Each module has an exam schedule which specifies which partial/sub-tests there are, how these will be weighed in the final assessment, and which components need to be completed with a minimum score.
When circumstances have prevented a student from passing a module component, the programme and the exam committee will look for a possibility to repair this.
15. Are there examination weeks scheduled at the end of the module?
Tests and assessments can be scheduled during the whole module. There won’t be any formal examination weeks. Check also the Academic Timetable.
16. When do you have to recover a module you’ve failed for?
You can recover this module in a predefined moment. There are several possibilities.
Possibility 1: recover the module in the same quartile one year later. The elective modules and the final bachelor’s assignment might jump either half a year or one year:
Module 5: Recover module 1
Module 6: Recover module 2
Elective 1 within programme: Recover module 3
Elective 2 within programme: Recover module 4
Elective 1: Recover module 5
Elective 2: Recover module 6
(Preparation for) final bachelor’s assignment: Recover elective modules within programme & elective modules
Recover elective modules / final bachelor’s assignment
Possibility 2: the elective modules within the programme are scheduled in quartiles 4 of the first two years. In these quartiles, modules 1, 2 and 3 and/or 4, 5 and 6 might be recovered. Recoveries of the Foundation Modules jump towards the same quartiles in the next year. The elective modules might be recovered in the last two quartiles from the third year:
Elective module 1 within programme: Recover modules 1, 2 and 3)
Module 4: Recover module 1
Module 5: Recover module 2
Module 6: Recover module 3
Elective module 2 within programme: Recover modules 1-6
Elective 1: Recover module 4
Elective 2: Recover module 5
(Preparation for) final bachelor’s assignment: Recover module 6, elective modules within programme & elective modules
Recovering (Bachelor’s assignment)
Recovering (Bachelor’s assignment)
17. Do modules have requirements regarding pre-knowledge?
Due to the common Mathetmatics and Research Methods, some modules have to follow each other in a certain order. Strict requirements for pre-knowledge are avoided as much as possible. It might differ per bachelor programme what the requirements regarding pre-knowledge are. For more information about this subjects, students can contact their study advisor.
18. What about the Binding Recommendation (BR)?
As from 1 September 2013 all programmes follow a BR of 45 ECs. More information: Regulation Binding Recommendation.
19. With the introduction of the TEM has the UT taken students with a disability, illness or top sportsmen and -women into consideration?
As in the past, it will also be possible within the TEM to adapt the programme if there is good cause. How this will be done depends largely on the student’s situation and the programme/module concerned.
20. What effect with the introduction of the TEM have on secondary activities?
The TEM expects an average student to dedicate him-/herself fulltime (40 hours per week) to his/her studies. Talented students may well need less time. Secondary activities in student life or a part-time job come on top of one’s study workload. Days are usually not planned full with obligatory meetings, so there is some flexibility in how one allocates his/her time.
It is still being explored whether – within the elective space – a module can be developed especially for students with administrative duties. For a number of ‘large’ board or administrative positions there are funds available.
The way the instruction is now organized means it will be easier to succeed in your studies, even if you have taken a gap year. The view on students’ secondary activities can be found on the intranet site of Educational Innovations visie over nevenactiviteiten van studenten (in Dutch).
21. Will current UT students notice anything about the introduction of the TEM?
Whereas the Twente Educational Model will be introduced in annual stages from September 2013, the current curricula will be phased-out in an identical fashion. The bachelor’s students who entered the ‘current’ degree programme can continue their studies there (and graduate) at least until 2016 and with the same level of quality as to which they are accustomed. If someone is currently an official student, he/she should not be impeded by the introduction of the new system. Teaching and exam opportunities continue according to schedule.
If the student has to contend with a delay in his/her studies, or expects this, or has not been able to attend lectures or take exams, the programme will inform the student of the way in which he/she can catch up with missed study components. Around May 2013 the programmes had issued a transitional regulation which stipulated how, under what conditions and within which period of time the old-style programme can be concluded. In some cases it might be advisable to switch to the new educational model. If the student foresees a delay in the coming year, he/she is advised to contact the study adviser as soon as possible, so that the best study path for the student can be arranged as soon as possible.
22. Where can I find more information?
Are you a prospective student? Check https://www.utwente.nl/onderwijs/bachelor/
Are you a teacher at the University of Twente? Check https://www.utwente.nl/en/tem/
Are you educational scientist? Check https://blog.utwente.nl/citadel
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