Theoretical Background

Theoretical background

Course redesign for stimulating student engagement

Lisa Gommer (CELT/CTW)

Description: The self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000) states that when a student experiences more autonomy, competence or relatedness during his or her learning process, this will stimulate intrinsic motivation and engagement in learning activities, leading to better performance and creativity. At the Olin College of Engineering, this theory is used to improve course design and make learning activities more engaging for students.  

Following this example here at the UT, a 3rd year bachelor course at Mechanical Engineering was redesigned based on motivational theory, resulting in higher evaluation scores and appreciation from students.

During this workshop there will be a short introduction into motivational theory, followed by a case description of the redesign of the mechanical engineering course. After this, you will have the opportunity to work on your own course design, and exchanging ideas about how to make your course more engaging for students. The aim is to give you practical ideas to apply in your own course or module.

Evidence Based Education

Hans and Frank van den Berg (CES/CELT)

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In research, academics act as scholars: they define problems to be researched, based on a thorough understanding of theories, concepts, methods and the body of knowledge of their discipline. It would be hard to think of physics, for instance, without being acquainted with the Maxwell equations or Newton’s Laws. Likewise, it would be tough to imagine a psychologist to do research without a grasp of cognitive dissonance theory.

But in teaching, academics rarely act as scholars. When designing or improving education, how often do you look at what scientific research has found out about how people learn? How the adolescent brain works? What science has found out about what educational strategies actually have a positive effect on the learning of students?

This discrepancy - or gap, if you will - is what this workshop is about. In an (inter)active setting, we will guide you into the exciting world of evidence based education. We’ll take you on the path of estimating effects of different educational strategies, invite the researcher in you to inspire your teacher mode, do some myth busting regarding barriers to teaching innovation, and learn what John Hattie – the uncrowned king of effect sizes - has to bring you.

Brain Central Learning: How to motivate students?

Thelma Stobbelaar (Extern: Didactus advies & ontwikkeling)

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Knowledge about the function of the brain has had an explosive growth in the last 10 years. Research has shown that knowledge about how the brain works, can increase the learning motivation. Also knowledge about the plasticity of the brain and views about the develop ability (Mindset) can improve the motivation of learning. Carol Dweck (Psychology professor at Stanford University) divides the fixed and the growth mindset. These two mindsets play an important role in all aspects of a person's life, and also in a learning context. It is not just our abilities and talent that bring us success—but also how we approach them with a fixed or a growth mindset.

In this workshop you learn about the different mindsets and you get some practical tips how to influence the learning motivation of your students.

Thelma Stobbelaar is an educational specialist and owns Didactus advies & ontwikkeling. Since 2010 she is a BCL Professional (Brain Central Learning).