Learning and innovation

Research and education at UM is thematic, multidisciplinary, and inspired by social themes. UM distinguishes itself by focusing on three main research themes (i.e. ‘Quality of life’, ‘Europe and a Globalising World’, and ‘Learning and innovation’) which are studied on the basis of different disciplines at all relevant levels. Maastricht is known for its innovative approach to education and for its university wide choice for problem based learning. A defining characteristic of our research in this domain is the strong link between educational research and educational practice. At a micro-level research varies from the exploration of neurological foundations of learning to research in (new) educational formats to enhance individual learning. Meso- and macro-level research include the evaluation of educational interventions both at school and at systems level, as well as corporate and organisational learning and social innovation. A major segment of this research strategy explores the social, political and economic factors that drive technological innovation.

Everyone is enthusiastic about ThinkTank: the students,the organisations and the project managers. The students find it exciting and interesting, after having practised for two years in tutor groups,to finally getthe chance to really put their knowledge and skills into practice in a real-life environment.The companies and organisations are very happy with the useful recommendations about issues thatreally needed to be looked into,but never received the necessary time and funding.


Whether it concerns teaching robots to play foot ball, or the influence of European regulations on the citizen, third-year bachelor's students at Maastricht University can pursue this kind of research. The projects noted are two of the 25 projects that have been developed in the last year and a half within the sphere of MARBLE (Maastricht Research Based Learning). This is the result of Maastricht's participation in the Sirius programme, which the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science established to advance excellence in higher education. At the end of 2008 Maastricht University received a Sirius grant of €2 million, which the university matched out of their own coffers.


E-learning for boundless education

Friday, 01 January 2010 00:00

Study in Maastricht, using a laptop in North Korea

Education is no longer defined by borders of place, time or age. During the last decades, higher education has come to encompass the globe and is available almost anywhere. E-learning supports independent studying in any place and at any time in the world, as long as the internet is accessible. What are the benefits of e-learning? What are the barriers? Bart Rienties, Bas Giesbers and Dirk Tempelaar, researchers at the Department of Educational Development and Research at the Maastricht University School of Business and Economics (SBE) are searching for the answers.


Wim Gijselaers: “Back to the roots of Maastricht University”

A practicing doctor who wants some specific training, a lawyer who wants to obtain a doctorate, a foreign student who has to eliminate a deficiency in his educational package to be admitted to the university - all of these prospective students have one thing in common. They cannot be physically present to participate in a fulltime academic programme. The Learning and Working project of Maastricht University offers a solution for these people. Problem-Based Learning at a distance, with the help of the newest technology.


“TMFI is here to stay!”

Friday, 01 January 2010 00:00

The Maastricht Forensic Institute, a unique combination of forensic expertise

In May 2008 The Maastricht Forensic Institute (TMFI) was established as a result of close cooperation between Maastricht University and DSM Resolve. The primary goal is to improve the quality of forensic expertise. In the near future, TMFI will grow into a top quality forensic institute providing expertise on forensic psychology and psychiatry, legal psychology, DNA-analysis, chemical and material analyses, digital technology and forensic speech research. Ton Broeders, Professor of Criminalistics at Maastricht University Faculty of Law, and Director of TMFI, is proud to talk about “his” unique institute.


Progressive research into information-rich testing programmes

How do you judge whether a medical student is or is going to be a good doctor? This question will be explored by Professor Lambert Schuwirth, who was appointed chair of ‘Education and research into innovative forms of testing’ at the Education Development and Research Department of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences on 1 March 2007. Current testing methods often fall short when this consideration is made. New testing programmes and models will therefore have to be developed. Schuwirth hopes to build these in the coming years. If he succeeds, this will have far-reaching consequences, not only for the way in which medicine is taught, but for education in general.


UM scientists participate in European project with education portfolios

Being able to prove your capacities without formal education. Easily explaining your educational past to an educational institution. That is all possible with an education portfolio. Universiteit Maastricht (UM) works together with several partners in a European electronic portfolio project, called the European Portfolio initiatives Co-ordination Committee (EPICC). The aim of the project is to coordinate the various electronic portfolio initiatives and to make these portfolios interchangeable. The EPICC project works in two ways. Besides the educational component that is guarded by the UM team under the coordination of Erik Driessen, the committee also works on the technological element of electronic portfolios.


Software Revolution in the Hospital

Manual scheduling in the care sector is no longer necessary. Prof. Dr. Ir. Drs. Vrieze, professor of mathematic operations research and programme director of Mateum BV, and his team developed intelligent planning and scheduling software for the university hospital. The basis of this computer program is a hierarchy of objectives, embedded in more than a thousand conditions. The user-friendly software has created an ICT revolution in the department of Internal Medicine of the university hospital in Maastricht and can also be applied in other hospitals and care centres. The azM is very happy with the user-friendly software. Looking back, Koos Vrieze believes that the most difficult part was not developing the mathematical algorithms, but the struggle to extract the required knowledge. "It cost quite some time and effort to find out what people’s problems were and what exactly they meant. As soon as you know where you want to go, creating the actual software is not very difficult."


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