studerende studenten in het Avansgebouw Hogeschoollaan in Breda

Research group Brain and Learning

The Brain and Learning research group conducts practice-based research in higher education into self-regulated learning, formative action and critical thinking. We perform practice-based research and look critically at current questions and developments, which allows us to keep education up to date.

Higher professional education is changing because we want to train our students to become agile, resilient, socially-involved and competent professionals. In the future they will join forces with others to make a meaningful contribution to society and to solve the complex challenges society faces. Our future education requires an evidence-informed approach, as well as practice-based research into topics such as self-regulated learning, formative action and critical thinking.  

Self-management skills 

In higher professional education, we rely heavily on students’ ability to self-manage. For example, they are given more freedom to design their own study programmes. There are also fewer exams required to obtain ECTS credits and there is more attention to formative action, which includes the performance of the student and their own learning process. The development of these two current aspects of education is still in full swing. Plenty of reason to conduct research into both in various ways.

Impact on the learning process

In our practice-based research and our further activities, we use scientific insights from various fields, mainly educational psychology but also cognitive psychology and neurosciences. In addition to our two research topics, we have a line of research focused on the topic of critical thinking, funded by the Netherlands Initiative for Education Research. In our research we mainly focus on the micro level of education; meaning the interaction between lecturers and students. What happens at this level has a great impact on the learning process of students, and ultimately on their learning outcomes.  

In our practice-based research and in the application of the acquired knowledge, our researchers work with lecturers, students, educational advisors, School Boards and researchers from the academic world. Our research focuses on questions from the higher professional education practice. We use various methods and technologies in our research.