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Learning and Instruction


LET OP: Dit vak wordt, behalve door studenten van de Masteropleiding Education and Child Studies, ook gevolgd door studenten van de Educatieve Master Primair Onderwijs (EMPO).

Studenten van de EMPO moeten een extra opdracht (1 ec) maken om het vak te kunnen behalen. De coördinator van het vak zal de EMPO-studenten alle informatie over deze extra opdracht geven.

Studenten van de Master Education and Child Studies maken de extra opdracht niet.


A big part of children’s development takes place in the context of schools. In this course we will focus on learning and instruction in this context. Understanding how learning and instruction occur – and how they may fail – allows one to identify the conditions that promote reaching the learning goals.

In addition, it may lead to improved instructional design and interventions when learning is suboptimal. In this course, we will cover theoretical and empirical studies on the psychological processes that take place during learning, and the implications thereof for instructional practices. Each your several researchers discuss topics such as learning analytics, individual differences in learning, learning in specific areas such as reading, science and mathematics, different types of assessment, and motivation for learning (i.e., the topics and perspectives vary each year).

Various research methodologies to investigate these processes will pass by and their relative strengths and limitations will be discussed. Students practice translating the implications of this knowledge base to educational practices like instruction and assessments.

Course objectives

The aim of this course is to help students gain a thorough understanding of the (psychological) processes that take place during learning, and apply/translate this knowledge to education and instruction. At completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate in-depth understanding of recent insights in learning, assessment, and instruction

  • Do so with respect to both general learning situations and specific areas (e.g., reading, science, mathematics)

  • Demonstrate the ability to critically reflect on the methodology and findings of research articles in the domain of learning and instruction

  • Demonstrate the ability to translate the knowledge base of learning and instruction to educational practices


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable

Mode of instruction

This course consists of weekly meetings (attendance is mandatory). To ensure that students will attain a thorough knowledge, instruction will take a variety of forms, including lectures, group discussions, and cooperative learning activities.
Students are expected to read all assigned articles before each meeting. In addition, students will work on weekly group assignments and are invited to actively participate in group discussions. The course will be concluded by individually writing a reflection paper, in which each student will critically reflect on scientific articles.

Assessment method

The final grade will be based on three components:

  • Attendance meetings (additional assignments may apply if students do not attend each meeting) (pass/no pass)

  • The quality of the individual reflection paper (70% of final grade)

  • Average of grades of weekly group assignments (30% of final grade)
    Each component grade needs to be at least 5.5. Retakes of components are only possible for component grades below 5.5. Grades cannot be carried over to subsequent years.


During this course Brightspace will be used. The Brightspace site will contain announcements, course documents, information on tutorials and computer labs, lecture notes and discussion boards.

Reading list

Study material will consist of recent book chapters and/or primary research articles from leading journals in education and psychology.
Links to all articles will be digitally available on Brightspace.


Students must register themselves for all course components (lectures, tutorials and practicals) they wish to follow. You can register via My Studymap up to 5 days prior to the start of the course.

Carefully read all information about the procedures and deadlines for registering for courses and exams.

The exam of this course is a written report. Hence, you do not have to register for an exam in My Studymap.

Contact information

With questions about this course email: dr. Arnout Koornneef