EDLAB Education Innovation Project

Education That Moves You

Education That Moves You (ETMY) is an EDLAB project that introduced standing desks into the UM problem-based learning tutorials to explore a more dynamic approach to learning. 

Could standing be beneficial in creating a more active environment where discussions become more lively and inspiring? Although attention has been drawn to the health risks of sitting for years, the project was interested in investigating the influence of standing or sitting on learning.

In collaboration with a Taskforce Learning Space led by Roy Erkens and Nicolai Manie, we measured the effectiveness of innovative furniture and experimental whiteboards. There is now at least one room with standing desks at each faculty for more dynamic learning at UM.

Can stand-up tutorials help students to learn?

Stand-up tutorials: what did our students think?

The stand-up tutorials were absolutely amazing! These quite ‘revolutionary’ tutorials were much more efficient than the usual ones.

  • Everyone was involved to some degree, and there was no awkward silence as […] in [other] tutorials.
  • The fact that the most important part of the learning goal was already written down on the board made it easier to discuss the learning goal (whereas in the regular tutorial, the discussion gets slowed down because the scribe tries to write down every single word that is being said, and the whole discussion turns more into a dictation).
  • Every tutorial was combined with presentation skills because the learning goal had to be presented to the peers.
  • The pre-discussions, although often very short because of time pressure, were my favourite part of the tutorials. The dividing of the tutorial group into groups of 3-4 people made brainstorming much more effective, in my opinion, and even people who tend to be shy in big groups could actively participate. Plus, the fact that three different groups were brainstorming independently on the same topic led to different outcomes. Every group focused on different parts, which led to the same result as if you would do the same tutorial three times as one big group. This three-in-one brainstorming led to clusters and learning goals of a much higher quality than the usual tutorials.

Projects & Research

  • Did you know a healthy lifestyle does not ask for you to head to the gym every day? Just moving more in your daily life can already do the job! 

  • Nilofer Merchant suggests a small idea that just might have a big impact on your life and health: Next time you have a one-on-one meeting, make it into a "walking meeting" -- and let ideas flow while you walk and talk.

  • Minderbroedersberg

    Moved (by) Education

    Last Friday, the lecture hall of the Minderbroedersberg was filled for the inaugural speech of Hans Savelberg, an extraordinary professor and Director of Education in Biomedical Sciences at Maastricht University, who, just like EDLAB, is on a mission to improve education.

More news items

Education That Moves You in the media

Do's and Don'ts

Why standing


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