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Teaching & Learning Lab

Design the future of learning

Participate in a Design Thinking session on November 22nd


Help creating the future of teaching & learning on November 22nd. Education offered by universities is in transition: from campus learning to online and blended education, from one-size fits all to tailormade education and from lecturing to tutoring. These trends offer myriads of options and that is why we need you. For a full day, you have the chance to participate in one of three Design Thinking sessions. In these sessions, you will collaborate with others, students, teachers and university staff, and have impact. You will have the support of experienced experts and coaches. And your team will pitch their most promising idea during the annual TLL Autumn Festival.

For whom?

Teaching & Learning Lab Design thinking sessiesThe Design Thinking sessions are for students, teachers, university staff, and all who have an interest in renewing and improving teaching & learning. The only prerequisite is that participants agree to attend the full session and actively participate.

What’s in it for me?

By participating in one of the Design Thinking sessions, you will get the expert’s views on the future of teaching and learning and your interdisciplinary team will have an impact on university policies. These sessions offer networking opportunities, as you will collaborate with experts from different field of expertise as well as with colleagues and students of various disciplines. Participants will receive a letter of attendance.

Design Thinking

Design Thinking is an approach for solving problems, especially complex problems. In this approach the problems are defined from a holistic perspective. Solutions are designed in brainstorm sessions and then a concept for a prototype is developed, such as an educational approach, a physical or online learning environment. The approach is also suitable for tackling educational problems or challenges. Watch the animation:

Three themes, three Design Thinking sessions

All three themes focus on the future of teaching and learning.

Universities, including Utrecht University, regard societal impact as pivotal. Research has the potential to impact society, and the same goes for education. As part of a course, students may e.g. think of creative ways to increase the sense of community in low-income quarters, think of creative ways to improve primary or secondary education. Education aimed at making a difference is called community service learning. In this Design Thinking session, you will explore the societal impact of teaching / education and think of ways to enhance this.

By giving students more autonomy in courses, the learning experiences become more attractive and the effect of learning improves. Using the principles of co-design, learning in teams and co-creation, learners who tailor the course to their needs, this session, looks for new ways to stimulate new forms of teaching and learning.

Learning spaces used to be static lecture halls where teachers would lecture and students were supposed to passively listen for hours. In active learning spaces, physical space is fully devoted to making learning pleasant and more effective and efficient. Learning spaces are particularly suitable for challenge-based education, education in which students are challenged to solve real societal problems and are in charge of their own learning processes. In this session, you will learn more about the opportunities offered by active learning spaces and you will be challenged to think of new combinations of learning spaces and challenges.


Each of the sessions will be hosted by university’s active learning spaces.

  • How to enlarge the societal impact of teaching / education?’ is hosted by ‘Governance lab’ in the city centre. The Governance Lab Utrecht is a research facility, teaching environment, expertise center and consultancy & design facility into governance practices and innovations.
  • The venue of ‘How will co-creation and co-design support new inspiring learning trajectories?’ is the Teaching & Learning Lab (TLL) at Utrecht Science Park. TLL is a very flexible learning space where teachers and student experiment with new forms of teaching.
  • Future learning spaces in the context of challenge-based education’ will take place in Coll@b, a modern open learning space in the UMCU cluster.


The sessions are one-day sessions, from 9.00 to 17.00 hrs.

In the morning, you will be introduced to the challenge and the other participants, analyse the challenge and start brainstorming. During lunch you will be offered a live webinar on community service learning. During the afternoon, you and your team will develop one of the ideas, translate it into a concept or prototype and receive feedback. At the end of the afternoon, your team will briefly pitch the proposal informally, during the closure of the TLL Autumn Festival.

How to subscribe?

You can subscribe for the sessions via this link

Subscription Design Thinking sessions


afbeeldingen: Ivar Pel