Stakeholders and Results

This page is a description of the past sessions organised by the Education Experience team. The results on this page are brief summaries of past sessions. Are you interested in a more extensive results overview of a session? Send us an email at educationexperience@wur.nl. Want to get updated on our new results? Subscribe to our newsletter by clicking on the contact form and receive new results a few times a year!


Stakeholders Education Experience

The Education Experience is there to organise sessions about how to enhance the education at WUR. This is done by organsing sessions for our three stakeholders: Students, Staff & Teachers and Prospective students.

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Students (Campus & Support)

Receiving support when facing problems

This session focused on the Gains & Pains students experience during their time at WUR. Topics such as the blurred line between study life and private life, comparing results to peers and time management were addressed. Students worked in duos on topics they had affinity or experience with, such as the topic "receiving support when facing financial problems". The students also suggested possible solutions to improve the support system. For instance, solutions such as blocking entertainment sites on WUR Wi-Fi, having mandatory break periods, or putting a higher focus on planning in the first year, were brought forward. The student psychologist team, study advisors and the people behind the surf your stress week used the outputs of this session to better help students who face problems.

Privacy & security

This Make Your Mark session was held to get more insight into how students think about privacy & security. The students mainly indicated the need for a central point where questions could be answered quickly, both via a useful website and through contact persons. Moreover, the students expressed the need for creating more awareness among students on privacy and security. For instance, through lunch table discussions or demonstrations of what constitutes “data insecurity”. Outcomes were shared with the Privacy & Security officers of the WUR.

Duty of care

This Customer Journey Method session mainly focused on the duty of students and the WUR to ask and provide for care. Students expressed that it is the students‘ responsibility to actively engage professionally and socially and to reach out in times of problems, either to friends, teachers or professional help. Students indicated that the WUR is responsible for offering facilities to students in need and for decreasing the barrier for students to ask for help. This barrier can be lowered through open sessions, clear communication on the possibilities for care and efforts to reduce the taboo on talking about mental issues. This session was organised to support the taskforce "Duty of Care" in making informed decisions.

Feeling like a part of WUR

This Awareness Mapping session was about how students feel connected in the WUR community, what constitutes this community and which aspects of this community are important. Differences between EU and non-EU students were found. EU students tend to base community forming more on personal interests and background, while non-EU students engage more actively in professional spheres and interests. Multiple departments and groups within the WUR received the results of this session. The results were also used as input for myWURtoday.

Students (Education)

Following a course

In this Customer Journey Mapping session, the key moments in following a course were examined. Students identified the orientation before choosing a course, the registration for the course and the self-study week as key moments. Overall, students indicated that they would like more information on the course before it started and more clarity throughout the course. Specifically, including course information on relevance, possible overlap and opinions of students that followed the course would support students in making an informed decision on which courses to follow.

Throughout the course, students can be supported by offering simple online systems, personal course schedules, and clarity on which facilities are available during the course. The Osiris team, the Brightspace team and the myWURtoday team used the outcomes of this session.

Composing a study programme

In this Customer Journey Mapping session, the key moments in choosing a study programme were identified: orientation, asking for advice, uploading choice of study programme, and obtaining approval. Students indicated that the process of choosing a study programme requires a lot of searching for information and indicated that they would like more personal attention while composing the study programme. These needs could be met by aligning information sources, to make sure all the information is easy to find in one place. The outcomes of this session were shared with the Osiris team, study advisors and the myWURtoday team.

Writing a thesis

Students identified the key moments involved when writing a thesis in this Customer Journey Mapping session. The thesis process is a challenge, which can be stressful and frustrating when expectations do not fit with reality. Therefore, the students indicated the need for better expectation management and clarity. Suggested solutions were to increase contact moments with supervisors, make clear thesis guidelines and provide more clarity in communication. The theses work group used the outcomes of the session in their advisory report and made uniform assessment sheets.

Doing an internship

Students identified three key moments during the internship process in this Customer Journey Mapping session: the orientation, the search for information on internships available and the actual work done during the internship. The needs of students are related to the heterogeneous nature of internships. Lack of uniformity between internships makes looking for information more difficult, a central information portal could assist in this. Moreover, due to having both an academic and internship supervisor, expectation management proved more difficult. Students also indicated a need for more genuine and on-time feedback. Outcomes of this session were communicated within the WUR, a notable development since then has been the implementation of a uniform internship contract and assessment.

Weblectures

In this Design Thinking session, students indicated they used Weblectures as an addition to their offline classroom visits. Weblectures help students concentrate when lectures are too crowded, saves time on travel and allows for rewatching lectures. Students were quite positive about Weblectures and mainly indicated they would like to increase Weblectures' capacity and buffering speed. In this session, students also suggested extra additions to Weblectures. For instance, being able to download lectures, incorporating Weblectures in Brightspace and adjusting layout without bandwidth issues. The outcomes of this session were considered during the selection of the new online lecture platform YuJa.

Following a course online

The 'following a course' session was set up to get insight into the positive and negative sides of online education. Students indicated a loss of motivation and focus due to a lack of structure and many distractions at home. However, students also reported liking the freedom of being responsible for their own time management. Also, students indicated that with online education they lack social interaction. So, students would like to socialise more with other students and with teachers during lectures. Students indicated the need to connect more with teachers and other students. Outcomes were shared with multiple groups within the WUR, to allow for the development of a better education experience.

Online examination

As education moved online due to Covid-19, the exams were also converted to online exams. In this journey session, students indicated that the online exams brought more uncertainty and stress in an already stressful exam period. The uncertainties were taken away a little bit by the trial exams, but stress and uncertainty persisted as there was not a lot of room for error. The students indicated they would like more clarity throughout the whole process, to take away stress. Solutions the students suggested were a clear point of communication about online examination, more explanation about the do’s and don’ts during an exam and explanation on how the remote proctoring software works. Outcomes of this session were integrated into the 'Online education research'.

Blended education

As the Covid-19 cases went down, education could partly continue on campus again. The WUR had to make choices between which courses/lessons to give online and offered a blend of offline and online lectures. In this Make Your Mark method session for teachers, it became apparent that blended education is preferred over exclusively online education. Motivation to engage, enjoyment in education and involvement in group discussion improved due to blended education. Small improvements to the blended education were suggested, such as including a fun start or break or including an informal “coffee moment” in the online lectures. Outcomes were discussed and taken up by the Education Support Centre department and the Education and Learning Sciences chair group.

Study anytime anyplace

To facilitate students’ different learning schedules, methods, and preferred locations the WUR offers physical and online support to accommodate students. In this Design Thinking session, students discussed the topics laptops/hardware, software, and study places/ergonomics. Their needs and solution were focused on increasing understandability and flexibility of use. For instance, by offering more information on the requirements and alternatives of laptops/hardware, offering the opportunity to loan/rent equipment, and providing students with licenses for necessary software. The WUR Appstore offers a solution to the needs expressed in this session.

Alternatives for practical education

Although some laboratory work could continue during Covid-19, many education alternatives had to be used to keep education going. This Make Your Mark session was set up to determine which alternatives for practical education are liked by students and which aspects were less popular. Students indicated the need for “informal moments” as normally experienced in an offline setting. Students asked for more focus on making the online lessons interactive and appealing and allowing time/putting effort in having students socialise with their peers and especially within group work teams. Students also indicated that some alternatives for practical education were favourable. For example, replacing the dissection practical with a video of the teacher demonstrating it. The outcomes of this session were discussed with the UU-WUR-TU/e alliance.

Students (Information Needs)

Going abroad

In this Customer Journey Mapping session, students that went through the process of going abroad for study-related reasons shared their experiences. The key moments according to students included the grant application, and the WUR administration at the end of the going abroad experience. The grant application process was seen as tedious and unclear, so a step-by-step approach during the whole application process would be appreciated. The WUR’s final administration process was not seen as transparent, and it can cause uncertainty and stress with students that await approval for courses. Overall, students find going abroad a great experience, but would like more guidance mainly on the administrative side of going abroad. The outcomes of this session were taken up by the Exchange Office.

Legal residence

In this Customer Journey Mapping session, students that experienced the process of entry visa and residence permit application shared their experiences. This session was held to understand the ways in which the university can assist students in the legal residence application process.  The students indicated that the process of legal residence application can lead to anxiety, due to low transparency and unclarities in the process. The WUR can meet this need by offering reassurance about the safe arrival of documents and sending the legal residence road map earlier, to allow students more time to sort out their documents. The students also experienced stress in dealing with the embassy, as the WUR does not have much influence on this, testimonials of students that went through the legal residence process were put on the WUR website. These testimonials are meant to give prospective students more insight into the application process.

Searching and finding a job

In this Customer Journey Mapping session, master students from the study programmes MME (Management, Economics and Consumer studies), MFN (Forest and Nature Conservation), MFT (Food Technology) shared their experiences. Since these study programmes offer different facilities, the specific needs of the students differed. However, students generally indicated they would like the WUR to create more awareness about which career options/events are available and what can be expected at the start of their career. According to the students, this can be achieved through better connection to others, such as alumni and the possibility for more hands-on experience within the curriculum (smaller internships, company days or lunch lectures). Outcomes were taken up by ESA (Education and Student Affairs) and the different educational programme committees.

Housing

In this Design Thinking session, students shared their experience with renting a room through Idealis, the largest student housing cooperation in Wageningen. Students worked together in groups to think of solutions to problems, or inconveniences they faced. The designed solutions were focused on socialising, facilities, and information. Especially international students expressed the need for social contact at home, most mentioned was a common space where you can meet housemates and socialise. Both international and Dutch students indicated that a stable internet connection is necessary. For instance, through general Wi-Fi, instead of routers that compete. Also, the insulation of the rooms can be improved to prevent noise disturbance from housemates/flatmates. International students also expressed the need for better and more detailed information on housing, on how to choose a room and on how to get in touch with the current resident. Information of this session was shared with Idealis, the WUR and the municipalities of Ede and Wageningen.  These needs and wishes are included in the plans for new buildings and in the plan to improve existing student buildings.

Staff & Teachers

Teaching a course

In this Customer Journey Mapping session, teachers shared their experiences with teaching a course. Key moments identified by teachers were: checking the number of enrolled students, the start of the course, the phase during the course and the grading. Teachers would like to have more time allocated to teaching, especially during the course and during grading. Moreover, teachers would like to receive more support in setting up the course and while teaching the course. Smaller support needs, such as the need for faster check-out of presenting pointers were mentioned, but also larger needs were mentioned. Such as training in new IT software and more intake meetings for new teachers to get used to the Education Modification Cycle. The outcomes of this session are relevant for Education Support, Policy, Chair groups, study programs, IT and Facilities.

Brightspace for teachers

In this Design Thinking session, teachers were asked to develop solutions to issues they face with Brightspace. Many of these issues are related to the way Brightspace is set up, information on grades, and time to find information. The teachers experience Brightspace as colourful and aesthetically pleasing, but not always as easy to intuitively navigate. The solutions the teachers suggested were focused on keeping it simple and understandable. Three solutions were suggested: 1) adding a ‘button’ to the grade publishing window, which is red, but turns green when the grades are visible for the students. 2) A new window accessible only by teachers which allows Brightspace to be set to basic, without the visual attractiveness and fancy looks, to allow for a quick and clear overview. 3) A uniform template for entering grades in Brightspace in which teachers cannot adjust anything themselves, which would save time and prevent frustration. The outcomes of this session were shared with the Brightspace team.

Sharing & reusing for teachers

In this Design Thinking session for teachers, the considerations for sharing & reusing educational materials were discussed. Teachers discussed the wide array of considerations they have to make in selecting appropriate materials for their classes. The available materials range between widely applicable in multiple fields of study, to very specific to a certain subject. This influences the choice to either reuse materials from other teachers within the WUR, to search for materials outside the WUR (Google Scholar etc.) or to develop their own. The needs the teacher identified were focused on being able to quickly assess what materials are already available. Now it is unclear whether materials are freely usable (not copyrighted) and if the materials are of high quality. The solution the teachers suggested focused on increasing the findability of didactic materials, by for instance, combining content with didactic keywords, improving the library structure where materials can be found and setting up a central point where teachers can ask for support in finding, adapting and sharing educational materials. The outcomes were used by the WUR Library.

Online study advice

As study advice had to be given online due to Covid-19, this session was held to gain a deeper understanding of the issues and opportunities of online study advice. A session was held with study advisors in which they indicated new challenges, but also solutions to make online study advice as effective as possible. The digital contact possibilities need to be further developed and the personal contact between study advisers should be strengthened. The personal contact with other study advisors both helps in sharing new ideas to tackle the current situation, while also increasing work motivation. Outcomes of this session were discussed with and taken up by the study advisors.

Teaching during corona

To gain a deeper understanding of how teachers experience teaching and working online, a Make Your Mark session was held. The focus of this session was on the positive aspects of the new situation. Which aspects did teachers experience as positive and worth keeping when education resumes offline? Teachers were positive about the large array of online tools available that can assist the learning experience. Teachers indicated that they would like to have more time/support to explore the different tools available. These tools could be used to increase interaction during real-life lessons. For example, by letting students ask questions anonymously/less publicly than by asking the question out loud. The outcomes of this session were discussed with and taken up by ESC, to further educational development.

Prospective Students

Orientation prospective students

In this Customer Journey Mapping session, the study programme choice experience was examined. Overall, the students were positive about personal interactions with other students and teachers of the WUR. The start of the study career journey can be stressful and overwhelming. This is because multiple people are involved (parents, high-school teachers) and some information, such as study programme setup, schedule, or materials, are hard to find. Personal contact with current students offers support in guiding prospective students through the choice process. Open days, walk along days and personal contact online were perceived as positive experiences. Although already experienced positively, focussing on personal contact with prospective students, lowering the barrier to get into contact with current students/study advisors and including more try-out classes during the open days can further improve the study programme selection experience. Results of this session were shared with the Department of Recruitment and Selection.

Information needs first year students

In this student Customer Journey Mapping session, the information needs of first-year students were investigated. The key moments students identified were searching for information before starting at WUR, using the everyday-used WUR systems, finding your way (mental, health, skills, support) and finding information to make study choices. Overall, the students expressed the need for a centralised point of information. As a central contact point can support the search for information, allow for better expectation management and increase students feeling of being supported and in control. By providing clarity and support, the WUR can make students more comfortable and help them make more informed decisions. The outcomes of this session were included in the implementation of myWURtoday. A news feed directed at first-year students was developed called ‘Getting started @WUR’ to better inform the first years.