Informing queen Maxima on online education in Covid19 times

Published on
December 10, 2020

Tuesday December 8, queen Maxima visited Utrecht University to inform herself how teachers, students and other staff at academic universities are managing to continue education during the Covid19 crisis.

Queen Maxima had conversations with students and teachers, visited a biology practicum, but also had a conversation with educational experts from around the country, in a hybrid meeting. One of these invited experts was Perry den Brok, in his role of 4TU.CEE and ELS chair, and as project leader of the WUR project on the transition to online education, conducted by Tim Stevens. The queen asked the panel, also consiting of members from the Open University and University of Twente, among others, how to best motivate students and keep them concentrated during online education, what innovations are being conducted and what will be taken along after the Covid19 crisis. She was worried about stress of both students and teachers, and wondered what the crisis meant for an international university like WUR.

In the conversation, that lasted for about 30 minutes, the queen was informed that many things go well, that most courses can be continued online, that new tools and course setups are being tested, that teachers experiment with activities that enhance personal contact, and that achievement and satisfaction mostly remain stable. However, also the less positive sides were covered, such as the high workload of teachers, feelings of stress and loneliness of students, and uncertainty in how things will progress the coming months.

In the picture some screen shots from the meeting, with Perry (hardly) visible in the upper right corner in the screen. There was also wide coverage on the visit in many newspapers and on the web, and of course in the weekly programme ‘Blauw Bloed’ (NPO2, Saturday evening).