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VU (IO) – Mixed Classroom in Practice

1 oktober 2017 @ 08:00 - 31 oktober 2017 @ 17:00

A training course for lecturers in higher education who teach an international programme.

The increase in the number of international students creates new possibilities and complexities for instructors as well as students. In order to contribute to a stimulating international learning environment it is necessary to not only focus on the integration of the international target group in our host culture, but also to further globalize the education we offer. The programme “Mixed Classroom in Practice” focuses on the main challenges and benefits that a mixed classroom offers, such as the students’ wish for a sense of belonging, possibilities of identification, complex group dynamics, mind bugs and implicit associations. The overall goal of this programme is to become more experienced in dealing with these mixed classroom challenges and benefits, and to contribute to a stimulating international atmosphere on campus, including our own classrooms. VU wishes to be an inclusive organization where people feel they belong and feel comfortable to share their unique perspectives.

Overall goal
Stimulating the international atmosphere on campus and providing an inclusive learning environment for all students in the “mixed classroom”.

The programme consists of three sessions of three hours each. Each session has an overarching theme, and requires some preparation in the form of i.e. reading an article, interviewing a student, or watching a video. During these meetings, participants share their personal and professional experiences in the mixed classroom, and discuss good practices. It concludes with an active learning activity that is aligned with one or more of the three themes, and that matches the participant’s teaching style and study programme. This way the participant can integrate the learned practice in her or his teaching during the academic year of 2017-2018.

Session 1: Mind Bugs, Blind spots and Our Implicit Associations (Ethnocentrism)
In this session, we examine human being’s mind bugs and blind spots, how these relate to our own frames of reference, and may affect in the classroom situations. We study the ways in which implicit associations affect everybody and can therefore automatically influence our teaching practices. The goal
Overall goal: stimulating the international atmosphere on campus and providing an inclusive learning environment for all students in the “mixed classroom”
of this first session is to raise awareness that mind bugs and blind spots influence all students and instructors, and for the participant to identify and articulate how these may impact his or her teaching. At the end of the session, each participant identifies an issue that is related directly to his or her work experience. This issue is subsequently explored in the next two sessions in order for the participants to help raise awareness for his or her students to become aware of how they too are governed by mind bugs, blind spots, and implicit associations of which they may not be aware.

Session 2: Sense of belonging, group dynamics and identification
This session looks at the key role of belonging for students who wish to thrive at their university. Questions that are explored are: What do students need to feel a sense of belonging at the university and in the mixed classroom? What role do fellow students and teachers have in fostering belonging among students? What mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion play a role within mixed classrooms? How do micro-aggressions and stereotyping affect a sense of belonging among students and how can these be mitigated by students and teachers? During this session we take a closer look at how students might experience these group dynamics, and what the role of the instructor can be. These questions are examined together through a discussion of the literature, a reflection of three case studies and a concluding debate with lecturers.

Session 3: Making a difference; towards an inclusive campus
In this session we take a close look at how the insights gained from pedagogical and communication research and the participants’ own experiences can be applied in the specific study programmes. How can we best move forward? What is necessary to educate our students in being part of the mixed classroom? What tools can we use? We will work at developing concrete initiatives or learning activities connected to the participants’ own expertise and specific work environment that can be used in their own faculties, to help build and strengthen an inclusive campus where people of all backgrounds feel encouraged to learn from each other.

Download the brochure, with more information on the teaching staff

Pratical Information

When This course will be offered in September-October 2017 on a Friday. Specific data will follow by the end of August. As part of the programme reflection sessions will be organized during the academic year.
For whom This course is intended for everyone in higher education who teaches in an International programme, both Bachelor and Master level.
Group size 15 Participants per course [N.B. the first two courses are fully booked]
Duration Three course sessions (3 hours each)
Location Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Contact For further information on course content and/or practical questions, please contact: Wendy Maat, Head of Mobility Department, International Office:

T 020 59 84144 / E



1 oktober 2017 @ 08:00
31 oktober 2017 @ 17:00