Marianne van Hurk geeft les
Marianne van Hurk geeft les

Adding depth to problem-oriented education

TLC voucher project
Project type


The bachelor’s programme Pedagogical Sciences offers several courses based on problem-oriented education. Although this garners lots of positive reactions from students, they also indicate that they sometimes felt the work groups lack depth. In what way could depth be added?

In problem-oriented education, students work in small groups on realistic tasks which they later discuss with the help of literature. Studying this literature takes place during self-study. The goal of this set-up is for students to find underlying connections between literature and concepts together, and learn from each other.

Desired solution

Still, it seems that understanding and integrating sources, finding relationships between principles and concepts, as well as applying literature to the initial task, could be better. Since the preparation for this takes place on an individual basis, it could be beneficial to find out which aspects of the self-study could be adjusted or improved. Students could go into more depth when discussing the literature during work groups.

In this voucher project, Marianne van den Hurk and Noortje Janssen are researching how students prepare the literature, how they are motivated, and what the level of the follow-up discussion is. Based on this, it can be determined which methods are useful to further stimulate a critical follow-up discussion about the literature.

Action plan

Through questionnaires and in-depth interviews, Van den Hurk and Janssen will try to find out how students prepare literature on an individual basis. In addition, the follow-up group discussions during the work groups are critically evaluated through observation, which is conducted based on several taxonomies, such as Bloom’s taxonomy. These data form the basis on which a new design for follow-up discussions during lectures can be created.


This project is funded by a TLC voucher from the Radboud Teaching and Learning Centre. This voucher programme aims to set up projects in the field of educational innovation, lecturer development and educational research.

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Contact information

Would you like to know more? Do not hesitate to contact the voucher stakeholder.