Education Innovation

Global developments such as emerging technologies, internationalisation and changing dynamics in the labour market alter the way students think and learn. It is crucial to rethink how these developments affect higher education as a whole and, in particular, the way we implement problem-based learning at UM.

Together with the EDLAB Advisory Board, the innovation department aims to enhance the quality of UM education by defining themes in close co-operation with all UM faculties, and to initiate pilots in all faculties on these themes.

EDLAB Innovation Projects and Toolkits (ordered alphabetically)

The "I" in Group Work

How can you fairly grade individual contributions in group work? What do you do with free-riders? Based on research, EDLAB developed a guide for teaching staff that offers recommendations based on successful practices of assessing individual contributions to group work at UM.


Education That Moves You (ETMY) is a project that introduced standing desks into the UM problem-based learning tutorials for a more dynamic approach to learning. You want to why sitting is so bad? Or how to adjust the PBL approach to get the most out of a standing classroom?

Feedback Cubes

Struggling with group dynamics? To stimulate better feedback within a tutorial group, a team of PREMIUM students and the Cube design museum designed Feedbackᶾ. Feedbackᶾ is a set of 7 cubes that will help make your team feedback session easier, more natural and fun! Click here for the printout of the cubes.

International Classroom

The taskforce International Classroom is a community of practice bound together by shared expertise and passion for the development of intercultural communication skills among both students and staff. It enables the sharing of best practices and experiences between disciplines and faculties.

Communities of Practice

A great sum of and maybe some of the best teaching support is provided by peers. This project aims to offer an institutional structure to facilitate that exchange, by linking teaching staff and providing room and support, so they they get to work on a topic of their choice together.


The EDvance project is a central project in close collaboration with EDLAB, the library and other UM units to improve educational and technological support at UM. Seven sub-projects were developed that work towards an evidence-based improvement for a vibrant educational culture at UM.


At Maastricht University, a group of teachers and students has been probing how we can boost Global Citizenship Education (GCE) and social engagement appropriate to face 21st century challenges. In 2018, this project about integrating civic education became part of the institutional quality agreements.

Student Engagement

What makes students experience a sense of connection to the university? What contributes to students motivation to learn in their community? This project researches the topic of student engagement and develops workshops and trainings for a stronger community.

Constructive Alignment

Constructive Alignment is an approach to instructional design that integrates intended learning outcomes or learning objectives, teaching and learning activities, and assessment and feedback methods. You can find practical advice about Constructive Alignment on the project website or in the handbook.


This research project reflected on UM’s educational philosophy and practice around PBL. The project gave room for evidence-based educational change such as a more creative and flexible PBL practice along the principles of constructive, collaborative, contextual, and self-directed learning.

Information Wise

Today’s digital and technological developments, such as big data, fake news, and social media, greatly impact the students’ learning process. In this project EDLAB and the UM library designed an evidence-informed programme for information literacy and critical thinking at UM.

Study Smart

This project researched the difficulties that students have in their self-study. Click below to find evidence-based resources and trainings in order to improve students’ self study through improved practice, raising awareness, and increasing reflection.


The Technology Enhanced Education project aims to improve the educational support within the UM environment, particularly with a focus on blended education. It is based on the lessons from the COVID-19 related consequences in higher education.

Tutor Training in 360°

The goal of this project is to develop 360° videos of a tutorial group, which can be integrated into several UM-wide PBL tutor trainings. The main theme of the 360-degree videos is managing group dynamics by the tutor, enabling more authentic teacher professionalisation.

This research project collected and evaluated experience of UM students and staff with emergency remote learning during the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. Qualitative and quantitative data was collected in order to draw lessons learned for the future of UM.

Information about UM's educational philosophy

The UM philosophy of education as defined in EDview is most fundamentally shaped by CCCS, the four principles of teaching and learning:

Learning ist constructive – collecting and generating knowledge together; contextual – seeing the relevance of what you do; collaborative – working together and sharing responsibility; and self-directed – actively participating and taking initiative, online and on campus.

Based on these principles, UM’s interpretation of Problem-Based Learning (PBL), takes various shapes and formats. Click through the resources below for further information about the principles or ideas for creative PBL practice.

CCCS Learning

This video series is designed to explain the educational principles of Maastricht University (UM), namely that learning should be collaborative, constructive, contextual and self-directed (CCCS). The intention is to guide the teachers on how they can implement these principles in their everyday teaching methodologies.

Creative PBL Practices

Tired of the 7 steps? In this video series UM teaching staff explain their creative approaches to PBL such as flipped classrooms, blended learning or tutorless instruction. They follow the UM-PBL pillars of a constructive, contextual, collaborative, and self-directed approach to learning.

PBL Introductions

Based on the need to familiarise students with different backgrounds with our educational approach, this project developed five guiding principles to improve the design of PBL introductions based on the CCCS principles and provides illustrative examples from all faculties for inspiration.

PBL & Research Skills

This project reflects on the quality of research skills and the possibilities to train them in an integrated manner. A co-authored handbook has been developed which provides information for teachers about PBL and research skills education which can lead to improved quality of education within and across faculties.


Coordinator Innovation

Walter Jansen


Project Coordinator Innovation

Stella Wasenitz

Educational Developer

Oscar van den Wijngaard

Share your innovative ideas with us!

At EDLAB, we would love to hear about your creative and inventive ideas for the improvement of UM education.

We aim to work with and for everyone involved with UM education. Do you have feedback or anything you want to share with us?