Designing hybrid learning configurations at the interface between school and workplace

Petra Cremers


Professionals of the future have to be able to create new knowledge collaboratively, often across the boundaries of disciplines. Many of today’s students will have jobs that don’t yet exist. They will need to become lifelong learners. A suitable environment for developing this professional competence is the hybrid learning configuration (HLC), a social practice around ill-defined, authentic tasks or issues whose resolution requires transboundary learning (e.g. by transcending disciplines, traditional structures and sectors, and forms of learning). In this project we focus on HLC’s that are situated at the interface between school and workplace in which working and learning are integrated as students work on assignments from clients or other stakeholders in the community.


Petra Cremers is an educational consultant at Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen. She was involved in the redesign of Hanze UAS's technical study programmes, applying the Four Components Instructional Design (4C/ID) method (van Merriënboer) and in the development and implementation of the bachelor programme Human Technology. At the lectorate of Human Technology, she investigated success factors of Communities of Practice (CoPs) for lecturers, consultants as well as for students.

Her PhD research originated from the project ‘Value in the Valley’, in which a new hybrid (or work-based) learning configuration was designed and implemented for students from different study programmes and levels of study (‘mbo’ and ‘hbo’ – senior secondary and higher vocational education). Students worked on assignments for clients in the field of sustainability. Lecturers from four educational institutions as well as experts from industry participated as developers and coaches for the students.

Internationally Petra Cremers participated in a curriculum redesign project of the polytechnics of Takoradi and Kumasi in Ghana and in a project for active learning at the university of Polokwane, South Africa.


This PhD research project aims to develop a set of design principles for hybrid learning configurations (HLC) at the interface between school and workplace. In addition, guidelines are developed and tested for self-directed lifelong learning by students who work on ill-defined, innovative projects in a HLC. A third study investigates the process of designing, implementing and evaluating a HLC, focussing on cross-boundary learning by the design team consisting of lecturers, experts from industry and educational consultants. The project is concluded with the development and evaluation of an intervention for utilizing the design principles for HLC in different contexts.


Project team

    For more information: