Innovating education

Global developments such as emerging technologies, internationalisation and changing dynamics in the labour market alter the way students think and learn. In collaboration with the EDLAB Advisory Board and UM faculties, EDLAB initiates university-wide pilots on cutting-edge themes.

What is innovation?

UM Education Days 2023

At EDLAB, we define innovation as the intentional process of creating new ideas and practices to address educational needs and create new opportunities in Teaching & Learning. Innovation can be about educational methods and practices, technology, learning environments and human interactions.

To be innovative is to explore and experiment, to have an open mind and to learn from successes and failures. Innovation is driven by curiosity and the desire to do things even better than they are done now. At EDLAB, we see innovation as a process that is ongoing and happens at various levels.

  • Innovation is ongoing because it is a mindset rather than a single accomplishment. We reflect on what we do, we look for new perspectives and opportunities, and we learn from the new ideas and practices we explore and try out.
  • Innovation happens at various levels: what is new for one person may not be new to others. From the perspective of those who teach at UM, innovation may range from:
    • I have never done this before, to
      • no one at my faculty has ever done this before, to
        • no one at UM has ever done this before, to
          • no one in the field of education has ever done this before.

At EDLAB, we see innovation as an expression of curiosity and a source of inspiration, a way of maintaining a high quality of education for our students by actively engaging educators.

Education innovation projects

Maastricht University continually seeks to improve its Problem-Based Learning educational methodology and develop new and innovative educational concepts.

The EDLAB innovation team initiates, coordinates, and helps to implement education innovation projects and activities on a large spectrum of topics for multiple groups within Maastricht University. EDLAB projects always have a UM-wide focus. Together with the EDLAB Advisory Board, we define themes in close cooperation with all UM faculties and initiate pilots in all faculties on these themes.

EDLAB also chairs the UM Npuls core team, bringing together knowledge and initiatives that contribute to the National Growth Fund programme (by and for all public vocational education training schools, universities of applied sciences, and research universities in the Netherlands). In various teams and modes, we collaborate with other institutes on (technological and knowledge) infrastructures, share knowledge, experiment with, and develop solutions to improve the quality of education, increase the agility of the educational system, and enhance the digital skills of lecturers and learners. You can find more on this programme and how UM participates on UMployee (UM login).

View our education innovation projects

Enhancing knowledge and practice

UM Education Days 2023

EDLAB provides a set of conditions necessary to facilitate education innovation at all levels and ensure continuity. Through our various activities, we connect people and their expertise, develop new knowledge, and support practical implementation.

  • Expertise: We provide a solid foundation for innovation by nurturing the scholarly perspective, connecting research with practice and researchers with practitioners. We offer grants and support research aimed at deepening our shared understanding and broadening our scope.
  • Support: We safeguard sustainability by providing support in the process of adopting and implementing new ideas and practices, generating backing for innovative projects across UM, offering continuing professional development and providing expertise and connecting experts across the UM Teaching & Learning community.
  • Knowledge exchange: We offer a creative space that is accessible to all those who want to collaborate and explore new possibilities in education, where we share successes and where failure is perceived as a form of feedback and a firm basis for learning.

These three core conditions for innovation are at the heart of everything we do at EDLAB. 

Individual education consults

EDLAB offers individual consults for UM teaching staff who want to improve their education, need some inspiration or are looking for a different perspective. Together with an EDLAB staff member you’ll reflect on your practice, receive feedback and get advice on how to move forward.

EDLAB’s educational expertise includes topics like PBL & CCCS (Constructive, Collaborative, Contextual and Self-directed) Learning, instructional design, constructive alignment, teaching delivery, assessment, PBL assignments, group work, team dynamics, international classroom, student guidance & mentoring, PBL training, blended learning, or PBL skills. We are also able to connect you to other experts within the university. Previous consults have included the evaluation of education, linking learning activities and assessment and provided inspiration for the design of new courses.

Request an individual education consult (Intranet login)