Thanks to YERUN RMA, I visited the School of Health Professions Education (SHE), Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML) at Maastricht University from the 5th to the 12th of October 2019. As part of my PhD research work, I have designed edCrumble, a software tool to systematically support teachers in the blended learning design process (Best Demo Award at ECTEL18 conference).
During the visit, I mainly collaborated with Dr. Daniëlle Verstegen to co-explore the potentialities of this online tool into supporting teachers in the design of Problem Based Learning (PBL) lessons, as researchers at Maastricht University have widely expertise on applying active learning methodologies as PBL in their university. I also had the opportunity to discuss the research project with more than 10 researchers (Dr. Peter van Rosmalen, Prof. Diana Dolmans and Dr. Herma Roebertsen, among others) and to explore future collaboration opportunities with them.
The YRMA added value to my research from several perspectives. The presentation I gave in the host university was a great opportunity to defend my thesis work in front of a new audience. This was extremely valuable, since I am in the last stage of my doctoral studies and I will have my PhD defence soon. I also had the opportunity to learn and enrich my research work from researchers that were not directly from my research field, such as instructional designers and cognitive scientists, which are difficult for me to access in my research group.
Finally, the research stay has allowed me to do new research connections since it has been the first contact between both research groups. As a first stage researcher (up to the point of my PhD), this has been very valuable as it has provided my the possibility of opening a new line of research in which I can probably continue working after my PhD, already as a PostDoc researcher. I would highly recommend other PhD students and young researchers to apply for the YRMA!
Laia Albó is an Audiovisual Systems Engineer from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) in Barcelona. She has a master’s degree in Education and ICT (e-learning) from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). One of its main objectives is to conduct research in emerging technologies in education, which led her to pursue a doctorate in the field of Educational Technologies in the TIDE research group of the Department of Information and Communication Technologies at UPF. Her research focuses on supporting educators in the design of complex blended learning educational practices with the help of technology. One of the outputs of her thesis has been the design and development of the tool edCrumble, a social lesson planning tool for educators. The tool is framed in a community platform which allows teachers to explore, create, co-create and share lessons with other teachers – facilitating communication among teachers in the community and contributing in the improvement of their teaching practices.