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 Maastricht University.Together with the EDLAB Advisory Board, we aim 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.

Communities of Practice

A great amount 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 that they get to work on a topic of their choice together.

Constructive Alignment

CoAl 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.


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?

Education Innovation Grants

EDLAB is pleased to announce the winning projects of its 2022-2023 education innovation grants, aimed to stimulate practical education innovations in the PBL classroom.


The EDVANCE project collects and synthesises good blended practices in PBL. EDVANCE aims to provide answers to the main question: “What is the optimal setting for blended or technology-assisted PBL and how do we achieve this setting within the CCCS principles?”


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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

Self-Regulated Learning

Recent research at UM has shown that students experience difficulties to self-regulate their education. Following the successful implementation of Study Smart, this project aims to deepen our understanding of ‘self-regulation’ in learning and build towards a curriculum that supports self-regulated learning at UM.

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. More information will be coming soon.

Study Smart

This project researched the difficulties that students have in their self-study. Study smart has its own website where you can 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, with a particular focus on blended education. It is based on the lessons from the COVID 19-related impact 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.

UM Future of Advising

This project  focuses on student guidance as a fundamental aspect of a constructive, contextual, collaborative and self-directed (CCCS) education, aiming to make it an even stronger part of the Maastricht University student experience.

VR-enhanced PBL

Together with the VR/AR expertise centre DEXlab (SBE), EDLAB has started a project about ‘VR-enhanced PBL’ in the academic year 2022-2023. The aim of this project is to see how far VR can enrich PBL learning formats and strengthen PBL learning principles of‘ constructive’, ‘contextual’, ‘collaborative’ and ‘self-directed learning’.

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 is:

  • 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 explains the educational principles of Maastricht University (UM), namely that learning should be collaborative, constructive, contextual and self-directed (CCCS). The intention is to guide 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 to provide information for teachers about PBL and research skills in education and support improved quality of education within and across faculties.

Blended PBL

What is the optimal setting for blended or technology-assisted PBL and how do we achieve this setting within the CCCS principles? Answers can be found in the EDvance report. The report includes an overview of good blended educational practices in PBL and strategies to support students and educators.

Education & ICT (EDICT)

The field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has opened up a multitude of possibilities for education. In light of this, EDLAB adopts an evidence-based approach to facilitate the use of digital educational tools to improve teaching and learning scenarios.


Sr. Coordinator Innovation

Walter Jansen


Junior Coordinator Innovation

Lena Gromotka

Educational Developer

Oscar van den Wijngaard

Domain lead Education & ICT

Gaby Lutgens

Share your innovative ideas with us!

The EDLAB team would love to hear about your creative ideas for the improvement of UM education.

We want to engage with everyone involved with UM education. Do you have any feedback or anything you would like to share with us?