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Fifty times wiser: the 50th edition of Didactic Tips

27 February 2024
We mark a special milestone: the 50th didactic tip! Over the past two years, we have regularly shared practical tips for teachers to improve the quality and effectiveness of education at VU Amsterdam. But who or what exactly lies behind this educational tip series, and why was it started? “As a center of expertise, we aim to go beyond merely sharing theories.”

The monthly tips series started as part of the Active Blended Learning (ABO) project to help realize VU Amsterdam's new educational vision. In this VU wide project, faculties and programmes are working hard to optimally combine face-to-face and online education in their courses for attractive and effective education. Consider topics such as: 

  • How do you promote real interaction in the lecture hall? 
  • How do you get students to give and process peer feedback better? 
  • How do you combat free-riding in group assignments? 

Besides a wide range of workshops, courses and development paths for teachers (including UTQ, STQ, LOL, BKE, SKE and more) there was also a demand for short, but powerful information on methods that you as a teacher can apply immediately in your education. Therefore, among other things, the VU CTL wrote the information for "Active Blended Learning in VU practice" and created a powerful animation to make the concept understandable in a few minutes. In addition, a series of teaching tips was started. A new one every two to three weeks.

“As a center of expertise, we aim to go beyond merely sharing theories.” says Silvester Draaijer, programme manager of the VU Education Lab. “It’s essential for the effectiveness of change to provide concrete steps and tools that you as a teacher can imagine applying in your daily work.” 

The tips are therefore deliberately kept short and concise, with clear action points and without extensive theory. The information needs to be able to be processed quickly. But, the tips do have a solid scientific basis: "Each tip is carefully based on literature and proven educational principles. When writing the tips, VU CTL staff brings all their knowledge and experience from both practice, educational textbooks and research into the writing," Draaijer says. 

Charlotte Meijer and Leonie Schiphorst, educational consultants at the VU Education Lab, and education journalist and editor Marianne Eggink, collaborate on writing the tips: "We are very proud of this series. We've had 50 topics now, but our heads are already filled with quite a few new tips. And we are also always open to tips that teachers have for their colleagues. Just send your ideas and questions to and we'll see if we can work with them." 

The 50th didactic tip is now online, and its topic is "How do you deal with 'hot moments' during class?”. 

All tips are available on Tips for Active Blended Learning (

Active Blended Learning

This animation gives a bird's eye view of what Active Blended Learning (ABO) entails for VU Amsterdam.

More about ABO at VU Amsterdam