The effects of the COVID-19 crisis had a profound impact on the educational reality at Maastricht University. Employees demonstrated great flexibility and innovative spirit in the manner in which they have moved education online. This unparalleled collective learning process that the teachers, students and support staff have embarked upon is expected to provide inspiration for innovating educational practice after the crisis is over.

Questions arose in this unprecedented situations, such as: What can we learn from these experiences in order to make sure our future education remains in line with UM’s educational vision, founded upon the principles of Problem-Based Learning? What works well and enhances our educational approach? What can be useful in UM’s educational practice in the future? And equally, what does not work well or is more difficult, or what is lost in an online educational context?

Research Aims was a research project executed by the six UM faculties, EDLAB and Academic Affairs.

The project aimed to capture the collective experience of the transition to emergency remote learning, in order to provide recommendations for a possibly more digital future of education at UM. It builds upon the EDview project, that encourages further exploration into the topic of technology to support learning.

The project team collected and analysed information about the individual learners, the experiences of UM students and staff with online education, and the context in which learning takes place. This includes learning in- and outside the classroom, wellbeing, social dimensions, engagement, and ICT.

Methods uses a mixed-methods approach in order to gain a broad and deep insight into the experiences with online education in the global health crisis.

Different UM stakeholders are invited to share their experiences, which are ultimately synthesised into a final report.

We are gathering qualitative and quantitative data by means of:

  • A general survey to all UM students
  • Focus groups with UM students and teachers
  • Course evaluation surveys (by the faculties)
  • Tutor evaluation surveys (by the faculties)
  • Course coordinator evaluation surveys (by the faculties)


All data has been analysed and we concluded our research in November 2020. The two reports on teacher and student experiences with emergency remote learning can be downloaded below.

Furthermore, a peer-reviewed article on the specific dimension of self-regulated learning during the COVID-19 pandemic has just been published in frontiers in Psychology:

Biwer, F., Wiradhany, W., Hospers, H., Wasenitz, S., Jansen, W., & De Bruin, A. B. (2021). Changes and Adaptations: How University Students Self-Regulate Their Online Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Frontiers in Psychology12, 1206.