Iris van Duren and Thomas Groen win Best Diversity & Inclusiveness Paper Award

At the SEFI Annual Conference, Iris van Duren and Thomas Groen have been awarded the Best Diversity & Inclusiveness Paper Award. In their paper titled, Appreciations of teaching methods across cultures: Lessons learned from international students, the teachers combined their Senior Teaching Qualification (SKO) research to look at how different students appreciated the different teaching methods.

In their paper, they looked at what teaching methods were appreciated most by different students. “The most important aspect is to take the time to explain the reasons for your teaching methods. Why do the students have to do a peer-review exercise instead of the teacher correcting them?”, says Iris. Thomas continues: “Some students are working very hard to get good grades and may not appreciate fieldwork over lectures, because it feels as a waste of studying time.”

Checking in

Both stress the importance of checking your methods with the students. “Not all cultures use the same teaching methods. Therefore, it is important to discuss whether students already know the teaching method and if they understand why it used”, says Iris. When students understand the logic behind the chosen teaching methods, they start to appreciate them more.


Iris and Thomas concluded that there are a lot of differences between different students, however, in general most students appreciate teaching methods with a lot of interaction. “It doesn’t mean you can skip less interactive activities. Something like reading or watching a demo remains important to create a certain basic knowledge level”, says Iris.


Dr Iris van Duren and Dr Thomas Groen (both department of Natural Resources; Faculty of ITC) presented their paper on the SEFI Annual Conference – this year hosted online at the University of Twente. SEFI (The European Society for Engineering Education) is a non-profit organization that aims to contribute to the development and the improvement of engineering education in Europe. “They consist of many special interest groups who organize development in their specific domain”, says Thomas.

K.W. Wesselink MSc (Kees)
Communication Officer (available Mon-Fri)