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A new platform for teaching innovation

On Thursday 4 April, a brand new knowledge sharing event was launched at Leiden Law School: the Teaching Fair. Organised by and for staff involved in teaching and education , this initiative offers a platform to lecturers and education specialists who work on teaching innovation. The first Teaching Fair was held across various rooms in the KOG Building and was opened by the faculty’s Vice Dean, Jan Crijns.

Vice Dean Jan Crijns opens the Teaching Fair

‘In addition to conducting research, providing education is our core business. We know that we offer high-quality teaching across the board and that our students appreciate it greatly, but we also know that difficulties arise in practice. Especially in a faculty like ours that’s heavily focused on teaching, it’s not always easy to get students to adopt an active attitude towards studying.

That’s why it’s important, besides spending time providing education, that we take a step back from time to time and reflect on how our education and teaching are structured.

We’re gathered here at this first Teaching Fair to do just that. The aim is to discuss the various innovations happening within education. By doing this, we’ll be helping each other – after all, our various bachelor’s degree programmes are set to undergo changes in the near future. In this context, we’re encouraging our students more than ever to adopt active study behaviour. I feel that these kinds of events can really help with that.


The Teaching Fair focused on current education topics and offered a varied programme [link to programme document] of workshops and an information market. During the workshops, participants had the opportunity to learn from experts as well as their own colleagues. This hands-on approach allowed participants to both listen to and actively collaborate with others on the innovative ideas that were presented.

Annemarie Drahmann led a workshop on active, enriching teaching at bachelor’s level

It was great that people asked questions, both about the decisions that lecturers make in active teaching and the concerns they have. If we have to activate our students, should we change the way we train our lecturers? And are all our lecturers confident enough to do it? We had an open conversation about that. In order to implement the Kernvisie successfully, it’s very important that we provide training and give all teaching staff the confidence to experiment. During the workshop, I also answered questions such as: how do I start with active teaching and are there any best practices? I gave some examples and discussed the new menu of active working methods.

Workshop led by Peter van der Zwan: ‘Improve your course with Learning Analytics’

During my workshop, I introduced participants to Learning Analytics. I used my own course as an example, as I wanted to gain a better understanding of whether – and if so, how – students use the extra study materials I had designed. It was fantastic that I was able to do this during the Teaching Fair as it helps us inspire one another! The afternoon really energised me: there was good audience participation and lots of questions. So all in all, it’s a great initiative!

Information market

Following the intense workshop sessions, the event closed with an informal drinks reception at the information market held in the restaurant. Here, participants continued their discussions and shared experiences about the topics covered while enjoying a drink. They were also given a sneak preview of the LTC Hub, an online teaching platform containing a knowledge base, support, news and calendar of education-related events. There were also information stalls on the Kernvisie, Honours College Law, Leiden Law Academy and tools such as Wooclap and Feedback Fruits.

An annual event

The Teaching Fair promises to be an annual highlight on education professionals’ calendars as it brings together innovation, inspiration and knowledge sharing in a dynamic, engaging setting.

Marian Hoeber, Institute Coordinator who attended the Teaching Fair

‘I attended two workshops that complemented each other very well: ‘Active teaching’ and ‘Flipping the Classroom’. The workshops were very informative and participants asked lots of questions. I think that lecturers in particular now have a better idea of how they can benefit from these innovations and ideas.’

Wilko Gruizinga, Operational Manager for Education and Co-organiser, reflects on the success of the first Teaching Fair:

Hosting this Teaching Fair at our faculty was something of an experiment. It was only possible thanks to the tremendous efforts of our teaching and education staff and all the lecturers who helped organise the event and advised on the programme content.

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