The Honours+ Student Manual

Detailed programme information for current Honours+ students: find everything you need to succesfully complete the Honours+ programme!

General Guidelines

Programme Content

Stay on track with this overview of deadlines!

Welcome to Honours+

A warm welcome from the H+ Central Management Team!

Dear Honours+ Student,

It is our pleasure to welcome you to Honours+, Maastricht University’s interdisciplinary excellence programme for all Bachelor programme Honours students.

Over the course of six months, participating in the Honours+ programme will offer you plenty of opportunities to challenge yourself, further develop useful academic and professional skills, and explore other academic fields and disciplines in order to broaden your knowledge and expand your academic mindset.

Honours+ was specifically designed to bring Honours students from all faculties together and add value to your bachelor education by doing so.
We have been working hard to organize and coordinate a highly educational but also a fun programme for you and hope you are excited about participating as we are about creating an optimized learning environment for you to flourish in. Honours+ will be centrally coordinated out of EDLAB, Maastricht University’s institute dedicated to education innovation at UM.

In this student handbook, you will find everything you will need to make your Honours+ experience a grand success. We advise you to read it carefully and make sure you are familiar with the information at all times.

We wish you a fruitful and inspiring Honours+ endeavour and look forward to seeing you and all that Honours+ helped you accomplish at the Honours+ Closing Event in May.

 

Warm regards,

The Honours+ Central Management Team

Guidelines to Being a H+ Student

What is expected of you?

First things first. In order to help you get the most out of your Honours+ experience, we wish to provide you with basic guidelines and an explanation of assets we believe will enable you to become an honours student truly worthy of the added plus. Participating in Honours+ asks a little more of you academically as well as in the “effective teamwork” department. Honours+ will offer you a chance to supplement your education in a highly valuable manner. However, you will only reap the benefits of the programme if you put in a certain amount of effort, hard work, and time.


In our view, a true Honours+ student:

  • is able to make a serious commitment and is willing to go the extra mile;
  • has impeccable time management skills or the drive to develop them;
  • is a flexible, exceptionally reliable, and people-oriented team player;
  • is eager to learn, grow, and work on personal/academic development;
  • sees problems as an exciting challenge;
  • is able to apply creativity and innovative solutions to said challenges;
  • is able to translate complex academic content into intelligent but accessible representations;
  • is able to academically connect with others across disciplines and work together towards a common objective.

The Honours+ programme offers you plenty of opportunities to work on developing or fine-tuning this set of assets. Wrapping up your bachelor’s education as a true Honours+ student will give you a competitive edge as an excellent student, with not just outstanding academic achievements but also a set of useful skills that are valuable in any form of graduate education or professional occupation following your bachelor’s degree.

 

Professional behaviour

Throughout Honours+, you will be meeting and working with Supervisors, UM employees, fellow bachelor students, the Honours+ Central Management Team, and other (external) professionals. All Honours+ students are expected to behave in a polite and professional manner towards all parties involved with Honours+. You will soon find that maintaining a courteous and professional demeanour in both concord and conflict will go a long way and always enable you to achieve the desired results in the end.

 

Guidelines for professional behaviour:

  • Communicate politely and respectfully with everyone at all times.
  • Take your commitments seriously and be a reliable team player.
  • Give and receive feedback in a strictly constructive manner.
  • Always aim to resolve any sort of conflict in a fair and effective manner.
  • Be honest and ethical.

 

Examples of unprofessional behaviour:

  • Showing up late or unprepared at (team) meetings.
  • Letting conflicts escalate, get out of hand, or arguing in a disrespectful manner.
  • Lying, making excuses, or talking about someone behind their back.
  • Informal, impolite, or rude communication.

Time Investment

Equivalent to 5 ECTS, ±140 hours

Honours+ is part of your honours education. This means that each faculty has cleared 5 ECTS within their honours programme, to make room for Honours+. It is, therefore, an integral part of your honours education.

Taking into account Honours+, your faculty honours education, your regular curriculum, as well as any other extracurricular or private activities that might fill up your weekly calendar, it is important to realize that participating in Honours+ will require your commitment and dedication.

Overall, Honours+ has been designed to require 140 hours (the equivalence of 5 ECTS) of your time, spread out over the course of approx. 6 months (November until Mid-May). It is important to note that poor time management will most likely not only affect you but your team members and your Supervisor as well. Be sure to manage your time well and securely schedule your activities.

The breakdown:
• ±8 hours for attending mandatory Central Events;
• ±6 hours for attending (mandatory) workshops;
• Remaining hours (±126) for the team challenge.

Honours+ offers a workshop on time management, to help you prioritise and manage your time and tasks wisely.

An exception this year, are the Honours+ students from FHML, who are joining Honours+ voluntarily (on a pilot basis) for the first time. The FHML students will participate only in the team challenge and events (no workshops) and will be rewarded with 3 ECTS, to be traded in for an elective course at their faculty’s honours programme.

Mandatory & Exceptions

Which programme elements are mandatory and how is this enforced?

You were selected by your faculty and deemed a suitable candidate for the honours programme (at your faculty and Honours+). However, participating in Honours+ is not without obligation. Whereas you are entirely free to plan team meetings when they best suit you (and we will facilitate you as much as we can), your teammates and (on set occasions) your Supervisor, there are several programme components that require mandatory attendance. Some of these programme components are more flexible than others. For example, you are required to attend at least 2 workshops. The workshops are offered several times on different dates and time slots to ensure that every student is able to attend. Your attendance is also mandatory at the Honours+ Central Events. These events are organized on set dates. For specific information on mandatory programme elements, see the section on ‘Assessment’ below.

Exceptional circumstances

In case a student is unable to 1) attend the required number of workshops, or 2) attend a Central Event due to a serious personal situation or highly important prior engagement, he/she may make up for missing a workshop or event by submitting a substitute assignment. Students should email the Honours+ Central Management Team in case exceptional circumstances apply. Upon evaluation of their request, they may receive this substitute assignment.

In any case, students are advised to contact the Honours+ Central Management Team and their Faculty Honours Coordinator whenever private, personal circumstances (threaten to) get in the way of their participation in Honours+. We understand life can throw a roadblock at you and we are always willing to look for a solution together if a student informs us in a timely manner.

Assessment

How will you be assessed in Honours+?

Assessment occurs on the basis of 1) your Supervisor’s evaluation of you and of your team (both procedural as in your performance as a team player (in part based on peer review) and the quality of the end product), 2) formal requirements.

In order to successfully complete Honours+, all students must fulfil a number of requirements.

The student or the student team:
1. Student: attended at least 2 workshops.
2. Student: attended all mandatory Central Events: the Kick-Off and Closing Event.
3. Student: has contributed sufficiently to the team challenge and has proven himself/herself a valuable team member.
4. Student team: submitted the final report and outcome of the team challenge before the deadline.

To fulfil the requirements 3 and 4, each student will receive a grade (scale 1-10, with > 6 = pass) from their respective Supervisor, comprised of:
60%: The team’s performance with regards to the final report;
40%: The student’s own personal and individual contribution.

The Supervisor will fill out an assessment form for each individual student, which includes feedback on the team challenge and the individual performance of the students. This assessment form includes five different criteria which the Supervisor will give points for. The criteria that will be graded are:

1. Relevance – based on the choices you made;
2. Logic – based on the structure of your reasoning;
3. Added Value – based on the novelty and insights of your suggestions;
4. Applicability – based on the feasibility of your suggestions;
5. Communication – based on how you make yourself understood.

Upon successfully fulfilling the above-mentioned assessment criteria, you will have successfully completed the Honours+ programme, and receive a ‘pass’ for the programme. A ‘pass’ for Honours+ is an integral part of the successful completion of your faculty honours programme. Please note that you will not receive a numerical grade for Honours+, due to the way the course appears on the transcripts of the faculties. You will be informed however of the numerical grade you were given by your Supervisor and his/her feedback on your team’s and individual performance.

To fulfill the requirements 3 and 4, each student will receive a grade (scale 1-10, with > 6 = pass) from their respective Supervisor, comprised of:

60%: The team’s performance with regards to the final report;
40%: The student’s own personal and individual contribution.

*In order to assess every student’s attendance, you are required to sign an attendance sheet at all mandatory events and workshops. Please make sure to always sign the sheet, because your attendance cannot be verified otherwise.

The Supervisor will fill out an assessment form for each individual student which includes feedback on the group assignment and the individual performance of the students. This assessment form includes five different criteria which the Supervisor will give points for. These points will be added up and will form the final grade for your Honours+ programme. The criteria that will be graded are:

1. Relevance – based on the choices you made;
2. Logic – based on the structure of your reasoning;
3. Added Value – based on the novelty and insights of your suggestions;
4. Applicability – based on the feasibility of your suggestions;
5. Communication – based on how you make yourself understood.

Upon successfully fulfilling the above-mentioned assessment criteria, you will have successfully completed the Honours+ programme, and receive a ‘pass’ for the programme. A ‘pass’ for Honours+ is an integral part of the successful completion of your faculty honours programme.

The Honours+ Student Team

All the information about the role of the team, Supervisor and how to get off to an excellent start.

The student team

“Teamwork makes the dream work.”

Before the Honours+ Kick-Off opening event on October 30th, you will have learned already which team you have been assigned to and who your teammates are. At the Kick-Off, you will get an opportunity to get together and get to know each other better.

You will be embarking on the Honours+ journey together, as a team of students from different disciplines and academic backgrounds. Not only does teamwork allow for brainstorming creative solutions much better than working by yourself ever will, working in a team also means that together you surely have enough time, resources, and mental capacity to get the job done right. We sincerely hope you are all able to experience working in your Honours+ team positively.

Even though teamwork generally is a very rewarding experience, it can also be challenging at times. Especially in a situation with limited time, added pressure of researching a topic out of your regular curriculum and different disciplines/academic backgrounds. This is all part of the learning experience, which Honours+ first and foremost is. The good news is that there is a solution for everything and since it is a learning experience, Honours+ Central Management will try to support you in any way possible.

However, if you feel your team is not functioning optimally or you as a person cannot function optimally, make sure to speak up in a constructive way and do it as soon as possible! Always try to prevent any issues from escalating. Give each other feedback and respect each other’s (cultural) difference. When things (appear to) go south, don’t be afraid or hesitate to contact your Supervisor or the Honours+ Central Management Team.


The role of the student team

The student team is responsible for the planning and execution of the challenge, under the guidance of the Supervisor. Most likely, team roles will be defined amongst you naturally, or perhaps the division of tasks is more of a guided process. Either way, it is good to be aware of the different team roles and what the varying responsibilities mean. Throughout the team challenge, the team leader will work closely together with the Supervisor to steer the team in the desired direction.


How to be a team player?

  • Have an open mind and go into the teamwork experience with positivity and readiness to succeed;
  • Commit to your team and all agreements made within your team;
  • Schedule and manage your time wisely, so that none of your teammates are ever left hanging;
  • Communicate and communicate clearly. In case of conflict, take a proactive and effective approach toward solving the conflict and setting your team up to succeed in the future;
  • Be reliable. Always be on time for team meetings and meet your deadlines.


Challenges and obstacles you may face

Participating in Honours+ will most often than not, be a pleasant experience. Working together with equally motivated and high performing students while picking up useful skills and knowledge will definitely expand your academic horizon and elevate your knowledge.

However, we cannot deny the fact that you will potentially also find yourself facing certain obstacles when working with such diverse teams with different academic and cultural backgrounds, that we feel you need to be wary of.

  • Honours students are in general extremely motivated and versatile, which leads them to dedicate their time to a lot of diverse activities to build up their curriculum, next to maintaining a high GPA. This might also lead to stress and too much pressure for some. We provide a workshop on Stress Management within Honours+ that we specifically recommend to these students.
  • Trying to schedule team meetings with students from 6 different faculties is a challenge in itself. While it is an excellent planning exercise for students, and we try to facilitate you as much as we can by blocking a timeslot in their schedules, the reality is that many teams will find the planning aspect one of the greater challenges in the programme. Try to be as creative as you can in scheduling your team meetings.
  • Team members may have different disciplinary backgrounds, different motivations and aspirations, and different cultural backgrounds. Effective collaboration relies in large part on interdisciplinary communication. Communication across disciplines is not always easy. For example, implicit misunderstandings may arise concerning what is deemed a valuable question, what are valid data, what kind of result should emerge from the project and so on (Menken & Keestra, 2016). When performing under pressure, these differences might be a cause for friction within the team.  Try to avoid these frictions by careful communication.
  • Over time, team members’ roles may change from being core (fully dedicated to the research goal) to peripheral (committed to this research goal, but also working in one or more other teams), and vice-versa. This may cause extra stress on students that stay fully committed.
    Of course, we all understand that in a team, everyone has different schedules and peaks in their workload. Since you are working in a team and every member needs to put in the required number of hours, it is vital that you communicate timely where you see an issue arising in your calendar with regards to availability and workload. Agreements can be made within the team to divide tasks accordingly and exchange and shift tasks in times of high pressure, if possible.
    Also, the assessment of the Team Challenge by the Supervisor will take each student’s individual contribution to the team and their work into account, to avoid freeriding as much as possible. With Honours+ it cannot be stressed enough that this programme is an integral part of the students’ regular faculty honours programme. Failing Honours+ will lead to having to compensate for the missing credits at their faculty.

If at any point you need support or advice on how to deal with a certain issue, please inform the Honours+ Central Management Team at honoursplus@maastrichtuniversity.nl . We will gladly provide advice or intervene if necessary.

 

The Supervisor

The Supervisor plays a crucial part in the team dynamics and the overall Honours+ experience. The main concern of your Honours+ Supervisor is your team’s learning experience during the programme.
Because of the supporting role of the Supervisor and the safe learning environment he/she provides within Honours+, we require the Supervisor to be physically present in Maastricht during November-May to regularly attend team meetings and be available for questions you might have. We also recommend Supervisors to be available during some evenings, to help to facilitate team meetings.

  • Because of the interdisciplinary character of Honours+, the main role of the Supervisor is to monitor an equal input from, and interaction between the various disciplines and guarantee sufficient challenge and academic depth.
  • The Supervisor doesn’t necessarily have the knowledge to a detailed level in all disciplines but needs to stimulate the students themselves to create links between the various disciplines in the team.
  • The Supervisor can be a sparring partner at times, helping students to organize their thoughts and come up with new perspectives.
  • Furthermore, throughout Honours+, the Supervisor will support the team in planning, developing, and completing the challenge. The Supervisor does not take over the role of the team leader, nor does he/she determine the agenda. The students will be instructed to appoint a team leader in their team. The Supervisor is service-oriented and asks the students what they need to work on or discuss together to make the meeting successful.
  • The Supervisor takes the role of steering and guiding the group and provides a safe learning environment.
  • The Supervisor also initiates and chairs the team’s kick-off meeting and midterm feedback session.
  • The Supervisor is also responsible for assessing the interdisciplinary team challenge and as such, the team’s performance (see also section on “Assessment”). The final report will be assessed on relevance, creativity, logic, added value or novelty of insight and suggestions, applicability and communication. Students will be assessed by the Supervisor both on their team performance and their individual performance and input, to avoid freeloading within the teams as much as possible.


Team Meetings & Teambuilding

In order to successfully work on the Honours+ team challenge, we advise students to regularly meet up as a team (at least once a week). It’s also advisable to meet with your Supervisor at least once every 2 or 3 weeks (preferably in person). The initiative to schedule these meetings lies with the students primarily.

Try to be creative with these meetings as much as you can. Schedule a meeting over dinner, for example, and have everyone bring a dish. It’s not just beneficial for the execution of your challenge, but for team dynamics as well.

We would like to facilitate you to meet up, as much as we can. All participating faculties were requested by the Executive Board and Management Team to block a timeslot especially for Honours+ in every participating student’s schedule. This time-slot is blocked with an Honours+ course code, every Wednesday, between 18:00-20:00 hrs. We encourage students to make use of this timeslot for team meetings, as much as possible.

There are rooms and a Common Room to reserve at Tapijn X, should you wish to meet. In case you wish to use the facilities, please send an email to honoursplus@maastrichtuniversity.nl and we will check the availability.


Team Kick-Off Meeting & The Teambuilding Assignment

The actual working on the Team Challenge starts with a Team Kick-Off Meeting with the entire Honours+ team (Supervisor and students).

During this meeting, you not only get to be more acquainted with your fellow students and Supervisor, but you will also need to discuss at least the following issues as a team, to make sure you are off to a good start:

  • Introduction: Make sure each student introduces himself/herself and explains their academic background and what added value his/her discipline could potentially bring to the challenge. This is also the time the Supervisor shares more information about the topic and maybe already provides students with literature etc.
  • Expectation management: What do you expect from each other, what can the students expect from their Supervisor and the challenge? The team can also set rules for behaviour, how to proceed if someone last-minute cannot attend a scheduled meeting, how often the team wishes to meet to work on the challenge etc.
  • Team roles: In addition to knowledge, experience and skills, individuals have different behavioural traits or characteristics they bring to the way they carry out their work and these can be aligned to particular roles in the team: some are very good at seeing a big picture, others very good at detailed work. Some are very oriented towards action – good at just getting things done; others are natural communicators and networkers. The need for these different roles will emerge at different times and it is worth considering the composition of your team to ensure you have a balance of strengths.
  • Communication: Discuss and agree on how you as a team will work together during the Honours+ programme. This can vary from practical issues (use of email, phone, dates of meetings, etc) to the way you will interact with your Supervisor (how often does he/she expect an update and in which way) and how to provide each other with feedback (how to deal with conflicts, free-riding etc.)

A checklist was drawn up in order to facilitate this meeting and to use to support the team and the Supervisor. You can find the checklist in the Appendix and on the website https://edlab.nl/excellence/honoursplus/  (current student section, under “documents”).

Secondly, the team will use this Team Kick-Off meeting to complete a teambuilding assignment. This activity focuses on effective communication and problem-solving skills and functions as an icebreaker for the team as well.

The students will need to pick up the assignment at EDLAB. Once you have done so, you may work on completing the assignment together as a team, with the Supervisor acting as moderator. This will take place during the Team Kick-Off Meeting, as described above.

In total, the assignment should take approximately 1 hour. You can book a room at EDLAB (email honoursplus@maastrichtuniversity.nl to do so), use the EDLAB common room, use the Tapijn learning spaces, or use an alternate location. Upon completion, the students need to hand the assignment back in, to the Honours+ Central Management team at EDLAB.


Midterm Feedback Meeting

To improve as a team, and have a better team dynamics, it is important to regularly evaluate and share information about the different situations and processes faced by the team.  Within Honours+ we aim to facilitate this process by means of a Midterm Feedback Meeting, to be scheduled between Mid-February and Mid-March.

During this meeting, all students and the Supervisor are present, and by means of providing feedback, the team will identify the gaps between the ideal standard of functioning as a team and the current situation, and then work towards bridging these gaps.

In order to facilitate this meeting, EDLAB has provided a tool, the so-called Feedback³, developed by Design Museum CUBE together with Maastricht University’s PREMIUM students.

Feedback³ is a set of 7 cubes that will help make your Midterm Feedback session easier, more natural and fun! Each of the cubes addresses a topic that should be addressed when talking about the team process, ensuring that all of the important issues will be discussed. The cubes each have 6 statements written on them, which will provide a baseline for the discussion. This tool provides you with a new way of doing your feedback-sessions, but it is up to your team to decide how to use them. You can find more information via this video: https://youtu.be/9oIhQg7jQhs

The actual 7 cubes, and a booklet that provides you with the rules and guidelines for this session can be found on the Honours+ website (current student section under “Documents”). You can either agree that each of your team members prepares a cube (cut and glue it) and bring it to the meeting, or make them on the spot, which provides for a teambuilding moment as well.

In total, the Midterm Feedback Meeting should take approximately 1-1,5 hour. You may use a room at EDLAB (email honoursplus@maastrichtuniversity.nl to do so), use the EDLAB common room, use the Tapijn learning spaces, or use an alternate location. Upon completion, the students need to hand the assignment back in, to the Honours+ Central Management team at EDLAB.


Team Closing Session
At the end of the programme, after the Closing Event has taken place, we request that students schedule one final meeting with their Supervisor to openly discuss their challenge outcome, group functioning and overall evaluation of the past months.

The H+ Interdisciplinary Team Challenge

All the information you need about the interdisciplinary Team Challenge programme component.

The Team Challenge

Once entering the labour market, the majority of our graduates will have to work in an interdisciplinary context. Furthermore, expectations are that your generation will be faced with unprecedented complex global challenges that require an interdisciplinary approach in order to be solved or at least dealt with.
In Honours+, we aim at offering a first learning experience to work in such an interdisciplinary context under the professional guidance of staff members from Maastricht University, the so-called Supervisor.

Furthermore, the setup of the Honours+ Team Challenge is aimed at building bridges between education and research and thereby fostering closer links between researchers, students and disciplines.

These challenges can vary greatly in subject, but are linked to the 3 core research themes of UM’s strategic programme 2017-2021:

  1. Europe & a Globalizing world;
  2. Quality of Life;
  3. Learning & Innovation;

“Research at UM contributes to solving major societal issues within the framework of our primary research themes. While fundamental research remains essential, we also seek to translate UM research findings into economic, financial or social value. The university, therefore, participates in centres of excellence, both technological and social, to allow scientific discoveries to be swiftly converted into practical applications. Furthermore, research at UM is closely linked to the education process. As an inclusive research university, UM is home to researchers who come together from different scientific fields and different cultures to create an inspiring environment where students are trained as academically minded professionals and responsible citizens. Our focus areas are organized into three university-wide themes –Europe and a Globalizing World, Learning and Innovation, and Quality of Life – in which researchers conduct curiosity-driven and applied research across the six UM faculties and various interdisciplinary institutes. To fulfil our ambition to be an inclusive, innovative and sustainable university, we intend to strengthen these focus areas, while providing sufficient scope for fundamental research.” (UM Strategic programme 2017-2021)


A true Honours+ Team Challenge:

  1. Is a challenging, academic and current case, issue or problem, with practical/societal relevance;
  2. Is linked to UM’s three core research themes;
  3. Pushes students outside their comfort zone;
  4. Calls for an innovative solution, exploration or approach;
  5. Allows and facilitates an interdisciplinary approach, with an equal input of the involved disciplines;
  6. Requires a time investment of 125 hours per student.
  7. Can be approached along the lines of the scientific method.

 

Team Challenge outcome

With a need to reflect on a problem, issue or topic in a certain academic discipline from more perspectives, and an ongoing transformation of the scientific enterprise towards larger collaborations on an interdisciplinary level, students in Honours+ are to be working together by providing the insights on a problem from their own academic backgrounds.

By working on the challenge during the Honours+ programme, following the scientific method, you will get a grasp on the interdisciplinary collaboration, together with all the opportunities and challenges it provides. This learning process is vital.

Furthermore, Honours+ requests each student team to translate their findings into a practical and feasible contribution you as a team can make to solving/improving/enhancing (or getting closer to solving/improving/enhancing) the explored topic, issue or problem. These contributions will be presented during the Closing Event by the end of the programme.
Such format aims at teaching you how to transfer results from a scientific research towards applicable and practical measures, and how to present those results to non-expert audiences and peers.  This process of value-creation out of knowledge begotten during the Honours+ programme, and using it to make an impact, is something we wish our Honours+ students to gain further experience in.

Honours+ defines general guidelines for the outcome of the team challenge. The further refinement of the style of the academic report needs to be defined in close interaction between Supervisor and students. Honours+ requires the following outcome (1+2):

1.Academic report, that:

  • displays an interdisciplinary understanding of the researched subject, reflecting all involved disciplines;
  • contains between 6000-8000 words;
  • is written in accordance with the APA guideline;
  • is send in, to the Supervisor and honoursplus@maastrichtuniversity.nl,
    before the deadline (Monday, May 13th).

2. Based on the outcome of the scientific exploration of the team challenge, each team proposes their personal, innovative idea for a team contribution in solving/improving/enhancing (or getting closer to solving/improving/enhancing) the explored topic, issue or problem, and presents it during the Closing Event. The best idea of each category (Europe & a Globalizing World, Quality of Life, Learning & Innovation) will win a grant of € 500 to further explore and develop their proposal. We challenge you to set in wheels in motion!

The students’ pitch during the Closing Event will be supported by a PowerPoint presentation:


Pitch content:
 all pitches should at least include the following topics:

  • A short description of what has been accomplished
  • The teams’ proposal for a (contribution to a) solution/improvement/enhancement of the explored topic, and what difference your proposal could make to the situation.


Submitting the slides:

  • One member of the student team emails their PowerPoint file to honoursplus@maastrichtuniversity.nl, before the deadline (Monday, May 13th)
  • When submitted, the pitch has a duration of 5 minutes, no more.
  • The slides are based on the team’s challenge outcome and personal proposal for a solution/improvement/enhancement.
  • The team is free to be as creative as they want to (it is highly appreciated). As long as it helps to get the message across and is relevant to the story.

The Workshops

More information about the H+ workshop programme component!

In order to help you develop practically applicable academic skills that will be useful to you now as well as in your academic and professional future, Honours+ offers you the opportunity to attend a number of workshops. All workshops will be conducted in English, take approximately 3 hours, and take place at EDLAB (visit www.edlab.nl for address and directions).

All Honours+ students are required to attend at least 2 workshops out of the 8 different workshop topics that we offer (see “Assessment” section for specific requirements). Attendance is registered using signup sheets at the workshops. Please make sure to always sign the attendance sheet, because your attendance cannot and will not be verified otherwise. Attending more workshops than the required amount is allowed, provided there are spots open.


Choose 2:

  • Creative Problem Solving;
  • Teamwork & Constructive Communication;
  • Stress Management;
  • Time Management;
  • Strength Finding;
  • Tackling Interdisciplinary Research;
  • Debating Skills;
  • Present & Pitch.

Please note that some workshops require preparation. You may find materials for preparation here.


How to sign up

To sign up for workshops, go to the website and navigate to the ‘Current Students’ page. There you will find, amongst other useful information for your Honours+ journey, the link to the workshop registration page. This page includes the workshops’ description, preparation material if applicable, and a link to the signup sheet.

Please note that once you are signed up it is not possible to cancel your registration yourself. If you must cancel your registration please email honoursplus@maastrichtuniversity.nl with your request. Registration or cancellation of a registration is allowed up to 24 hours in advance of the workshop date and time.

 

Workshop Descriptions


Creative Problem Solving, by Rene Hartman

Creativity, or creative problem solving, is seen as one of the most important skills for the 21st century. A worldwide survey by IBM in 2010 under 1500 CEO’s stated that in an increasingly complex business world, creativity is a major leadership quality to embed in organisations. Next to our analytical know-how, we will need creativity to solve problems, to find opportunities and to accelerate change. Creativity is the outboard engine for innovation.

In this workshop, we will give you a hands-on, introduction training in creativity skills and the creative process. You will work on a business case from the food industry and on a question/problem/case you are asked to bring along. Together we will try to find as many ‘out-of-the-box’ ideas as possible, for both cases. How to find extraordinary ideas and how to select and combine the best ideas? With the food industry case, we will explore a couple of tools for divergent and convergent thinking. What is a good starting point for a creative process? We will tackle this using your own question/case.

We will wrap-up the workshop by discussing how to use creativity skills during your assignment. Furthermore, we will show you books on creativity and websites of interest.


Teamwork & Constructive Communication, by Susanne Maris (Maris Et Al)

You and your fellow team members have just started an exciting new project. In order to deliver good results, you will have to be able to collaborate together in a constructive way. Effective collaboration is a vital condition for team success. Apart from that: working together in a constructive way can be a satisfying experience. Looking back on a pleasant way of working, adds up to the team success. These are two important reasons to invest in collaboration skills. When collaborating with your favourite people, you may not need to think too much about how you say and do things. But professional situations do not always involve favourite people. And good collaboration does not occur by itself. You might experience difficulties. Some of these difficulties stem from differences in personalities, communication styles, interests, and perspectives. This workshop focuses on how to identify and handle those difficulties.

This requires not only a good look on the other but also a clear image of your own way of working. The workshop offers a practical introduction to students who recognize the importance of collaboration skills, and are ready to extend the range of options they can choose from when faced with “difficult team members”.

Stress Management, by Mona Shair-Wloch (Key2Advance)

We all find ourselves in stressful situations from time to time. Whether at work, during our studies, or when life throws nasty surprises at you. This is normal. But, when does it become problematic? When are you in danger of stress becoming a danger to your health and what do you need to do to avoid this? This workshop will give you basic insights into what stress is, where it comes from, and its effects. You will also get to identify your stress sources and tips on how to better manage these stressors and how to ensure you have enough resources.


Time Management, by Patrick Stastra (TijdWinst)         

If you want to excel, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to do more, quantity wise. It foremost means that you deliver better quality. However, of course, you really excel when you can do more and do it better. The problem with our brain is that it needs to be able to focus on the task at hand and that’s hard when there’s so much going on. If you’re stressed, lack a good overview, or your life is just an all-around mess, it’s probably hard to excel at anything. In order to overcome this, you should:

  • know how your brain works to steer it away from procrastination, “multitasking”, and distractions (e.g. a pesky social media habit);
  • know how your brain processes information;
  • streamline all the work that is coming at you (emails, homework, assignments, papers etc.);
  • plan ahead for the large tasks so that you don’t have to do everything at the last moment;
  • Keep a good overview of everything on your plate and decide what to focus on.

In this workshop, we are going to cover all of these subjects in a non-boring fashion. You will be provided with ready-to-use insights and practical tips on how to stay on top of things with the use of the latest insights and technology (you may expect many useful suggestions for how various specific apps can adequately support time management).


Strength Finding, by Hugo Alberts (Mindfulness Extended)

A strength is defined as “a pre-existing capacity for a particular way of behaving, thinking, or feeling that is authentic and energizing to the user, and enables optimal functioning, development and performance”. Simply put, when you use your strengths, you are doing what you do best. Activities that require your strengths are energizing and allow you to perform well. You feel at your best while doing them. Although using skills can result in a good performance as well, the personal enjoyment and energy that characterize strength-use are missing.

Unsurprisingly, research findings show that more use of strengths is related to higher levels of job satisfaction, self-esteem, positive emotions, vitality, and lower levels of stress. Despite the benefits of using strengths, research has also revealed that most people are unaware of their strengths. The goal of this workshop is to increase knowledge on your personal strengths. What are your top strengths? To what extent are you currently using those strengths? What kind of jobs will allow you to put your strengths to work? These and other questions will be addressed in this interactive workshop.

 

Tackling Interdisciplinary Research, by Dorina Baltag (iResearch)

Interdisciplinary research does not happen automatically solely by bringing together people from different disciplines in one team to work on a common research project. A research project becomes interdisciplinary when it shifts from simply pasting two or more disciplines together to the integration and synthesis of these disciplines.
During this workshop, you will use your leadership, problem-solving, strategic thinking, effective communication and collaborative working skills in order to learn how to integrate information, data, concepts, perspectives, methods and/or theories from two or more disciplines and create one research product together. As result of attending this workshop, your research project, through embracing interdisciplinarity, will be able to advance knowledge and/or solve problems whose solutions are beyond the scope of one single discipline.

 

Debating Skills, by Jordy Sweep (Het Debatbureau)

How do you ensure you make a convincing argument? Which techniques strengthen your argument and how can you best respond to questions? This debating workshop addresses these issues and provides you with useful knowledge and skills which you will apply directly in a debate about current issues in university education and society at large. During this inspiring and varied program, trainer Jordy Sweep provides insight into rhetorical skills and techniques that are of great value in your (future) work. Afterwards you will be able to present your ideas and recommendations more convincingly, leading to greater impact.


How to Prepare a Pitch, by Adina Petre (Insights)

Presentations and pitching styles can be as versatile as the subjects that are being presented. What makes a good presentation be memorable? How can you deliver the main message of your project in a professional way? From content to delivery, a strong presentation and the skills that are deployed during effective pitching can create a bigger impact with the audience, and deliver the message they need to hear.

During this workshop, you will learn the foundations of a good presentation and the adequate content for pitching a proposal, or a project finale.

From learning what kind of content is suited for each project, to mastering stage presence and nearly perfect slides development, this workshop aims at unravelling the natural skill of the presenter and blending it with the appropriate content to deliver an effective and professional pitch.

 

 

Central & Informal Community Events

Learn more about the Kick-Off, Closing Event and other informal social get-togethers!

Over the course of the programme, Honours+ organizes several activities for all Honours+ students, Supervisors and coordinators. These events contain educational and/or assessment elements and offer opportunities for students and UM employees to meet, connect and create an honours community.

Remember! Your attendance at the Central events (Kick-Off and Closing) is mandatory and a necessary requirement to fulfil if you want to successfully complete the Honours+ programme. Mark your calendars!  If you cannot attend a central event, please refer to the section on ‘Exceptional Circumstances’. The informal community events are free to join if you wish to spend more time with fellow Honours students.

Please refer to the Honours+ website, your student email account, and Facebook for official invitations and definitive dates, places, and times.

Central Event: Kick-Off of the programme

We want to officially welcome you to Honours+ and kick-off the programme together with a bang! Students receive their Honours+ welcome gift and everyone will get an opportunity to first meet and get to know each other.

Additionally, there will be an inspiring and interesting lecture and an enjoyable group activity to facilitate the formation of harmony within your team right off the bat. At this festive but furthermore meaningful event, we hope to inspire you to go into the Honours+ experience with an enthusiastic approach and a good foundation for pleasant and effective teamwork.

464565539-612x612

The 2018-2019 Honours+ Kick-Off

Will take place on Thursday October 30th., from 18.00-21.00 hrs at Tapijn Building Z
Go the the Honours+ Events page for more information

Central Event: Closing Event

The Honours+ programme is concluded with a festive Closing Event, focused on bringing the Honours+ experience to a close reflectively, together.

During the Closing Event, each student team will pitch their findings with regards to the team challenge and their proposal for solving/improving/enhancing (or getting closer to solving/improving/enhancing) the explored topic to the other Honours+ students, and a jury. The best ideas (in the themes “Europe & a Globalizing World”, “Quality of Life” and “Learning & Innovation”) will win a grant of € 500 to further explore and develop their proposal.

Did your team develop a great idea to tackle this challenge? Has your team found an initiative that the world has been waiting for and you could actually implement it with just a little bit more time or budget? This is your student team’s chance to let us know and possibly see these ideas come to life.

WEBSMALL Honours + VD Valk.DSCF7383

The 2018-2019 Honours+ Closing Event

Will take place on Thursday, May 16th, after 17:30 hrs.
Go the the Honours+ Events page for more information

Informal Community Events

Besides the formal central events, we also host a variety of fun and informal community events, where you can meet and connect with fellow honours students in an informal setting. These events are aimed at building bridges across faculty borders and aspire to create a community of honours students.

To sign up for the community events, go to www.edlab.nl (Honours+) and navigate to the ‘Current Students’ page. There you will find the link to the H+ events page which leads you to a registration button.

Attending these events is optional, voluntary and free of charge. However, once you sign up for such an event, we count on your presence an expect you to actually attend these events. Not showing up, or cancelling later than 24 hours in advance, without a valid and documented reason, will affect the activity for your fellow students and leads to extra costs for the organisation. You will, in that case, be faced with a no-show fee of € 25.

Please note that once you are signed up, it is not possible to cancel your registration yourself. If you must cancel your registration please email honoursplus@maastrichtuniversity.nl with your request. Registration or cancellation of a registration is allowed up to 24 hours in advance of the community event date.

Please refer to the Honours+ website, Facebook, and your student email accounts to stay informed about the informal community events.

people-2569234_960_720

The 2018-2019 Honours+ Informal Community Building Events

Game Night, Movie Night and Picnics. If there is enough interest on your side, we will arrange them all!
Go the the Honours+ Events page to sign up!

The mighty Honours+ Checklist

A list that will help you to stay on track the entire period!

Below, we provide you with an overall checklist for every task you need to complete in order to successfully complete Honours+. To be specific, if you stick to this checklist, nothing can go wrong and you should stay on track just fine.

Ready? Set? Go!

1) Honours+ Kick-Off (Deadline: Thursday, October 30th)

2) Team kick-off (Deadline: Friday, November 30th)

  • Schedule your first team meeting together with your Supervisor to set ground rules for teamwork;
  • Pick up the teambuilding assignment at EDLAB (please inform us when you are planning to come in);
  • Complete the assignment during the Team kick-off;
  • Hand in the assignment back in at EDLAB.

And we're off!

3) Schedule regular team meetings throughout the programme.

  • Schedule weekly sessions with your student team;
  • Schedule sessions with your Supervisor.

 

4) Step 1 Scientific method: Question formulation (Deadline: Friday, December 14th)

  • Complete your team’s literature review;
  • Define the research question;
  • Create a hypothesis;
  • Send a draft to your Supervisor for feedback.

 

5) Step 2 Scientific method: Data collection (Deadline: Friday, March 1st)

  • Make your hypothesis testable (operationalization):
  • Design the actual study, define the methodology;
  • Collect the necessary data;
  • Send a draft to your Supervisor for feedback.

 

6) Attend 2 workshops of your choosing.

  • Sign up timely for two workshops (limited spaces);
  • Attend two workshops;

Halfway there

7) Schedule the Midterm Feedback session (Between: February 18th and March 15th)

  • Prepare for the meeting by watching the instructional video: https://youtu.be/1edcpsI2wdI and reading the information booklet;
  • Prepare the cubes (cut-outs);
  • Attend the actual meeting as a team, with the Supervisor present, and make agreements for the second half of the team challenge and your team’s functioning.

 

8) Step 3 Scientific method: Analysis (Deadline: Monday, April 29th)

  • Organize the collected data;
  • Analyze the results;
  • Send a draft to your Supervisor for feedback.

Wrap it up!

9) Step 4 Scientific method: Conclusion (Deadline: Monday, May 6th)

  • Generalize your results. Relate what you have learnt on a small scale to the bigger picture;
  • Provide suggestions for further research;
  • Take the scientific method just one step further: Translate your team’s findings into a practical and feasible contribution your team can make to solving/improving/enhancing (or getting closer to solving/improving/enhancing) the explored topic, issue or problem, which is to be presented during the Closing Event;
  • Send a draft to your Supervisor for feedback.

 

10) Final report (Deadline: Monday, May 13th)

 

11) Honours+ Closing Event (Deadline: Monday, May 13th)

 

12) Team Closing Session (Deadline: Wednesday, May 29th)

  • Schedule a team closing session together with your Supervisor to evaluate and discuss the results of the team challenge.