Universiteit Twente | Atlas

Challenge students to take responsibility for their own learning

Wat did you want to achieve?

We recognized that ATLAS students take more responsibility for their own learning process. Writing a Personal Development Plan and having meetings with a mentor support students in this process. In ATLAS, lecturers often ask ‘Why” to support students in reflection and investigation

We wanted to offer a new teaching method in our Honours program to challenge our students in taking responsibility for their own learning. To achieve this goal, we wanted to use a successful teaching method from the ATLAS [1] programme: “The Personal Development Plan and Mentoring.

What did you develop?

We have developed a series of workshops to support students in writing a Personal Development Plan. In between, students have meetings with an academic mentor. In those meetings, students reflect on their growth. The whole intervention lasts 1.5 year. We expected our students to increase their awareness and self-regulating skills, so that they learn how to develop their academic skills.

How did it go?

In the first cohort (Feb 2017-June 2018), six students participated. Fifteen students participate in the second cohort. Afterwards mentors say: “students think about what they want to choose, about strong and weak points, self-knowledge”. Students write: “the trajectory is helpful in setting and realizing goals; we would recommend it, however not as a mandatory subject for all honours students.

What are your lessons learned?

We realized that spreading a culture of excellence requires more than just implementing a successful teaching method from one program into another; at least the context and the conditions should be taken into account

[1] Honours-BSc programme Technology and Liberal Arts & Sciences (ATLAS) of the University College Twente


dr. J. Alers


dr.ir. G.C. Vreman –de Olde


F. Donkelaar


H. Mülder


mr.dr. G.J. Hospers


prof.dr. J.H. Herek


prof.dr.ir. M. Boon


prof.dr.ir. M.C. Elwenspoek

S. Schöttler