(Online) alternatives for practical education

This project mapped out how practical education can best be supported to incorporate societal and institutional changes (i.e. remote learning, growing student numbers, etc) in education by seizing new opportunities with the help of educational innovations.

In developing a joint, innovative educational programme, each EWUU institution is (re)designing parts of their education programmes. Redesigning education is an enriching exercise, which can prove to be of added value for the quality of education. however, it can also be challenging – particularly when redesigning education where practical skills are taught, such as labs or fieldwork. Such education is often dynamic and interactive in nature, including authentic learning environments and learning-by-doing.

We define innovation as: Improving current education with the goal of improving the understanding of subject matter and the engagement of students. One of the options for this is to use technology.

With the insights from this project, we aim to make educational innovation in practical education more tangible. We do so by providing insights into the process of innovation, including stakeholder involvement, and by formulating guidelines on how to support the iterative, dynamic process of innovation in education. We also aim to make a first step in providing educational pioneers (lecturers, support staff, researchers and others who feel eager to innovate education) involved in practical education with a sense of community.


Rethinking (parts of) practical education starts with the people involved. Whether you talk to a lecturer, support staff, a researcher or a programme director, there are many reasons for innovation, such as lab practicals or excursions. Why even think about changing your practical education? Listen to coworkers from the different institutes explain their vision in our podcast: The voices of practical education.


For practical education to be able to adapt to societal changes, it is crucial to know what alternatives or enrichment options are out there. What tools can you use? Take a look at our mind map of tools used in the alliance institutes for practical education. Find more information about tools in the inventory report.

Process (coming soon)

Changing your education, whether it is a big or a small change, comes with a lot of uncertainty. We studied the innovation process, and the stakeholders that are a part of it, in a scientific study. By looking at four successful innovations in practical education, we identified steps that can help give you an idea of what to expect. We are currently still working on an article and process visualisations.
Would you like to stay up to date on the project results? Please feel free to reach out to Daniëlle van Dijl.


Daniëlle van Dijl