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New role KnowVU - Education think tank

8 June 2021
As an education network and a teacher community, KnowVU (Knowledge Network Education VU) has been important since 2015 for knowledge sharing on education and for educational innovation within VU Amsterdam. In recent years, KnowVU has been led by Nadia van der Pool, now project leader NT&L, and Gerhard van de Bunt, now academic director NT&L.

The role of KnowVU has partly shifted with the establishment of the VU Network for Teaching & Learning (NT&L), of which KnowVU has become a part. The knowledge sharing that KnowVU used to provide via, for example, meetings and educational seminars, is now organized by NT&L. Also, educational innovation projects by teachers are now supported by NT&L.  

Together with the KnowVU ambassadors who have been the link between the central management of KnowVU and the lecturers within the faculties for years, extensive discussions have been held recently about a different interpretation of the role of KnowVU within NT&L. These discussions resulted in the following two main functions of KnowVU:

  • Connecting teachers with 'VU central' and with each other 

Connecting: staying in touch with the 'lecturer in the lecture hall' is and will remain an important role of KnowVU, and will be continued by NT&L. The informal network that KnowVU has built up is, through the KnowVU ambassadors, perfectly capable of reaching individual lecturers within the faculties and, vice versa, of letting the voice of these lecturers be heard at the central level. In addition, the exchange between the KnowVU ambassadors themselves has always proved valuable. 

  • Think tank of NT&L 

KnowVU, consisting of the present KnowVU ambassadors, will become a think tank that will examine at regular intervals how the activities of NT&L relate to the (concertized) educational vision and to current educational practice.

At the moment, KnowVU serves as a sounding board for the VU-wide educational project Activating Blended Education and can be asked for advice by the working group on Future-Proof Education. KnowVU can also be asked as a sounding board to reflect on current educational issues or educational innovations on behalf of the lecturers within the represented faculties. 

KnowVU also puts items on the agenda on its own initiative. For example, one topic that KnowVU is currently looking into is the didactic added value of hybrid education.  

Everyone is a member of the VU Education community

KnowVU is no longer a network where you can sign up to become a 'member'; in fact, everyone who is committed to education at VU is already automatically part of the VU education community. The activities of NT&L can be followed via the VU-wide communication channels, via the Canvas page Online Education and via LinkedIn.

Composition KnowVU think tank 

The KnowVU think tank mainly consists of people who have already been involved as KnowVU ambassadors. Additional think tank members are sought from faculties that are not yet represented in the current composition.  

Inge van Wijk (Amsterdam UMC)
Denise van Diermen (ACTA)
Nelleke Moser (FGW)
Gerdien Betram-Troost (FRT)
Mariëtte Huizinga (FGB/PED)
Leonore de Wit (FGB/PSY)
Lothar Kuijper (BETA/ALW)
Danny Scholten (BETA/EW)
Jos Akkermans (SBE)
Emma Cohen de Lara (AUC)
Duco Bannink (FSW)
Martin Tanis (FSW)
Thérèse Onderdenwijngaard (FSW)
Jantien Stuifbergen (RCH)

The group is being assisted by Charlotte Meijer from NT&L (