Topics & Results

On this page, the main outcomes of sessions organised by the Education Experience Team are described. The outcomes on this page are some of the results of the sessions, so not all results are published here.

Do you want to know all of the results or do you have any questions? Then you can either send an email to studentexperience@wur.nl or subscribe to our newsletter to receive the results a few times a year.

Outcomes about personal development at WUR

Training & Workshops

These sessions were about finding help when you want to develop, for instance, skills in your career. Results showed which parts of the information sources of the university were outdated and which were efficient. Also, it was shown that interacting and well organised methods and organisations within the university improved your to be better able to orient yourself on your future career path.

Searching & Finding a Job

The way how study programmes play a role in helping students to find a suitable job and how they are better orientated on the job market, has been investigated within this topic for different studies. You can e-mail us to receive detailed information, as the results are study-specific.

I was impressed by our alumni. It was nice to hear about their experiences and learn how we could facilitate them in career orientation.
Petra den Besten, facilitator Education Experience sessions

Study Advice (students)

The results of these Design Thinking sessions were about the role of the study advice that is given to students. One of the results showed that some of the students do not understand the concept of a study advisor, therefore it needs some improvements to inform students about it. The majority of students namely had positive experiences with the study advisor consult, helping them to plan the rest of their academic career in a better way!

Study Advice (study advisors)

After having organised sessions for students on the role of study advice, this also has been investigated through sessions for study advisors. What is their perspective on giving study advice? These sessions were organised online and also tried to identify the effect of giving study advice online. Three main needs (+ideas) that study advisors indicated were:

  • Optimizing digital content and looking for additional solutions
  • Sharing information and experience with colleagues
  • Informal social contact among colleagues

Compose a study programme

Making sure your study programme is composed in a way that you can study what you like within the boundaries of a programme is very important. Students indicated that orientation on courses can be done easily, but the use of several systems to compose the study programme in can be confusing. Therefore clear expectations need to be communicated to students.

Use of Macbooks at WUR

Some students choose to use this device to study, mainly because of the ease of use. But is it most compatible to study with these devices at WUR, as other programmes also need to be installed on it? One of the advices is to help students with this at the WUR’s laptop shop and maybe provide a special appstore for WUR students with a Macbook.

Orientation on studying at WUR

The Education Experience team also supports prospective students to make a right choice for their study. For this, WUR needs to know how prospective students experience the 'orientation on your study' process at WUR. All steps within this journey were marked as positive by a group of prospective students.

Only the orientation part that happens together with students' parents, high school teachers etc. was experienced as a frustrating step for this students. There appeared to be a need for more personal contact with current WUR students and more guidance and clarity.

More information of this customer journey could be requested by e-mailing: studentexperience@wur.nl.

What did we do regarding improving courses, thesis, student challenges and internships?

Follow a course

Every period students follow courses and one course may be more interesting than another. Students indicated that clarity about the learning goals is a major need in the selfstudy week. Nevertheless, it should not be forgotten that the course guide provides a lot of information on learning goals and that it is often already available before the course starts.

Follow a course online

Due to the Covid-19 crises, a lot of courses were taught online. This was a major but essential change in education. The main outcomes of these session in perspective of students were:

  • Benefit: more time & flexibility
  • Drawback: limited social contact which may lead to isolation and hampered learning
  • Drawback: difficulty with focus and motivation

The Education Experience team addressed these outcomes to the university board and how to handle the drawbacks especially in order to keep students motivated for their study in a safe way.

Online examination

Due to the Covid-19 crises, a lot of exams took place online, as well as for a lot of courses. This was a lot of change for both students and teachers. The main outcomes of these session in perspective of students were:

  • Info about the exam could be given through 1 channel, instead of multiple and to provide clarity about the exam instructions;
  • Student had the need for more practice exam questions and to be stimulated to study together (online) with other students that follow the course as preperation for the exam;
  • There was also a need for students to receive their grade within 14 days; that rule is also in the regulations of WUR!

More details about this customer journey can be requested by e-mailing studentexperience@wur.nl.

Writing your thesis

Another important aspect of the university is the writing of the thesis. For a lot of students, this is the last thing they have to finish before they graduate, which can be quite stressful already. Our results showed that clarity about the procedure, together with clarity about expectations from the supervisor already helps a lot in the prevention of stress. It was also shown that student writing their thesis at WUR really feel that they are contributing to research that matters!

Doing your internship

Internships are an important and often a big part of your study programme. After a quite hard orientation phase on what students want to do, WUR most often has enough internships available that suit students.

Student Challenges

During this journey, students that participated in different Student Challenges discussed the experiences with their challenges. One of the indicated Moments That Matter was the collaborative learning methods that these challenges use to find a solution together. This was experienced as very positive by the participants. Results will be used to improve & enrich future WUR Student Challenges.

Printing, Scanning and Copying

One of the main focal points of WUR is sustainability. Outcomes of this sessions showed that WUR students also value sustainability, as they would be willing to pay more money for sustainable printing methods or options to reuse printed paper. Below you can read their experiences (in Dutch).

Our experience are very positive. Getting information from students can be very hard, but through Design Thinking sessions of Education Experience, it is managed quite well. (...) I am very impressed by the professional attitude and the way in which results are presented: we can implement them on a 1:1 scale.
Gert Zwaan, Information Technology department

Outcomes of sessions regarding student technology and systems at WUR

Bring your own device (BYOD)

Bring your own device (BYOD) now known as Study Anytime Anyplace one of the systems that the university will introduce in the coming year is the SAA system to study. Some students indicated that when this system is used, they would like to see a reservation system to reserve certain rooms/spots to do their educational work.

Student Portal (new Myportal)

Several sessions with different kinds of methods have been organised to indicate how the Student Portal should change in comparison to the Portal that is currently online. Students valued the use of a personal schedule as most important change!

New student information system (SSC online)

One of the options to be able to do within the information system is 'register new grades'. One of the indicated student needs is that these grades need to be registered into the system in a universal way, as students can also receive an e-mail with their grade. The new information system will be designed to be of optimal use for students!

Brightspace (for students)

Here, the use of Brightspace was evaluated by students. One of the results was about communication. Most of the problem statements were about the announcements and notification section of the tool, which was later explained in more detail on how to improve it.

Brightspace (Teachers)

Brightspace is also a tool that is used by teachers. Nevertheless, Brightspace has a very user-friendly interface, a uniform way in how the course is organised needs to be presented on the side of teachers. This also makes it easier for students to find information.

Weblectures

The use of weblectures was evaluated during these sessions. This tool provides students to be able to watch lectures from home, for instance, when they are not able to attend a lecture. From these sessions, the needs and solutions of certain problems within the tool are obtained. There are no concrete results of this session yet, so they will come soon…

Privacy & Security

Protection of your personal data is always very important. This also includes data that you collected during the writing of a thesis. How does WUR ensure your data is safe and where can I find this information? That was one of the questions during these make your mark sessions. Main focus points of attention were: the creation of awareness, providing detailed information and a contact/information point where students can go to. Outcomes of the sessions wlll be taken up by the privacy & security officers.

Receiving help when facing problems, student housing, wellbeing, information needs, social life on campus and when going to activities, as well as following Blended Education

Receiving help when facing problems

Besides study related subjects, being a student can also be stressful. Several news articles indicated that the student loan system can put enormous pressure on students. The university can play a role in this, for example to stimulate students to study together. Also, the surf your stress week is an important week to make students conscience about how to handle these situations and to let them relax.

Housing

In collaboration with Idealis, the municipality Wageningen and municipality Ede, the Education Experience team organised a design thinking session where students could give their input on the housing plans students. They could also give input on their ideal student room. Additionally, a questionnaire was sent to a group of students to give input on their specific living situation and their ideal living situations, including their terms and conditions they preferred. The main outcomes:

  • Socialisation: welcoming environment, like minded housemates & a common space to relax;
  • Facilities: a proper working internet connection, better isolation to prevent/lower noise disturbance from housemates
  • Information: better and more detailed information on housing, how to choose a room, getting in contact with current residents etc.

The outcomes will take part in the decision processes of the involved parties. More information can be requested by mailing studentexperience@wur.nl.

Social life: A day at WUR Campus

During a regular day of study, group work, lectures and practicals at the university, some struggles can occur while transporting yourself from building to building. Because of the growing number of students at our campus, parking your bike is indicated by students as an issue. Luckily, a new building for education is currently build!

Social life: Campus activity

Of course, several activities are normally organised on campus. One of the results of these sessions indicated that students have a need to find all of the activities on one ‘development platform’ and to introduce more theme weeks, for instance.

Blended Education

Due to the accelerated transition to online education caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, online sessions were organised to investigate the effect of Blended & Hybrid Education on students. As there is less social contact with other students, teachers and classmates, it was found important to identify needs and main areas to focus on to organise the blended education as best as possible. Perhaps that Blended Education might become a 'standard form of Education' some day. Results indicated that, among others, there was need for interactive and activational learning. Dedicated coffee moments or fun quizzes in the breaks could be 'quick wins' to highly improve the education experience of students.

Accountability in Student Wellbeing ('Duty of Care')

When you are in a first year of your BSc or MSc studies at WUR there are a lot of things new to you. The university would like to know what information you need and when you need it regarding amongst others: general information, enrolment, systems and study specific information. However, to what extent is the university responsible for providing this information and to what extent is it the students' responsibility?

The outcomes of this sessions contained amongst others the following outcomes:

  • Student were more responsible to chat with each other about finding the right information, instead of the university
  • The university could organise (more) opportunities to learn from each other
  • Decrease taboo on talking about certain problems

More specific results can be obtained by sending an e-mail to educationexperience@wur.nl

Information needs of first years students

First year BSc or MSc studies at WUR experience a lot of new things. Because the university would like to know what information you need and when, sessions were organised across first & second year BSc & MSc students to get a better idea of this. Results from the session were, amongst others:

  • Need for clear expecatations through centralisation of information and providing details
  • Extra guidance on some forms of information
  • Some forms of information need proactive presentation

Going abroad

Of course going abroad for your study is a nice and very meaningful experience. Nevertheless, a lot has to be arranged for it. Our results from this journey found that for WUR student that study abroad are mostly in need of clarity of information and overall guidance and skill development during their time at the university. Fun fact: 92% of the indicated needs related to this topic!

Outcomes regarding the WUR library, teaching a course as a teacher & Knowledge clips

Online library

The role of the library within the university is also very important. From this sessions, students indicated that the library could partner with other departments of the university, for instance with the Wageningen Writing Lab.

Design Thinking is a brilliant way to evaluate. What makes it so powerful to me, is that participants come up with their own solutions. They are owner of the problem and are encouraged to think out of the box and approach the matter without any limitations. This results in creative solutions, which we wouldn’t have thought of ourselves. This is very valuable. Teachers are providing solutions themselves, rather than we thinking of solutions for them.
Anniek Wintraeken, Instructional Designer implementation of Brightspace

Teaching a course (teachers)

Besides doing research, a lot of teachers are also teachers at the university. The sessions held for this topic showed that teachers at WUR really enjoy to run a course, but together with other activities they have to perform, the time to grade can sometimes be a bit short. At WUR, students get their grades within 10 working days!

Teaching a course II (teachers)

[Results will be updated soon]

Besides doing research, a lot of teachers are also teaching courses at the university. What problems do teachers encounter while givingand preparing for a course? How can these be solved and subsequently be optimized? In this second edition of the teaching a course, teachers will work out solutions to, among others, the previously mentioned questions via the Make your Mark method. In this way, several solutions from the teachers' perspective will be generated to solve the main issues while preparing & teaching a course. Results will indicate what the main bottlenecks are and what recommendations are suitable to combat these.

Sharing & Reusing (teachers)

The sharing & reusing Design Thinking sessions were about optimising ways to work together on research topics, but also on courses by e.g. sharing your methods, templates and discuss activating methods to motivate students. It was also about how students use materials that teachers place online for the course. One of the needs that results of these sessions showed was that a tracability would be convenient, to know how certain materials are used and clarity about the uploaded versions.

Knowledge clips (students & teachers)

Sessions were held to discover what students find important about getting to know when watching knowledge clips. On the other hand, teachers gave input about the difficulties that could occur when making a knowledge clip and how they try to meet students needs in the best way possible. Together, they made designs of the 'ideal knowledge clips'. Results showed that three main areas to focus on are Interaction, Guidance & Assitance in recording of the knowledge clips & also motivation. It is important that the knowledge clips should be worth watching. Results will be implemented by the project team to improve education as best as possible!