Organize deeper contact with online mentoring

How can you maintain online contact between teacher and student and improve the quality of education? Online tutoring offers more flexibility and a mix of tutoring formats, making education more interesting for student and teacher. Read real-life stories to use online tutoring in teaching practice.

Photo by Samantha Borges on Unsplash

Lessons learned

Read more about lessons learned from open and online education incentive scheme projects.

Provide a place for students to collaborate

Students can learn a lot from each other by working together, viewing each other's products and providing each other with feedback. A clear structure and collaborative environments provide guidance in this regard. In the virtual workshops of the Open University and the University of Twente, tools are used to encourage collaboration among students. In the online writer's workshop, students work together in feedback teams. Students learn to give feedback and incorporate feedback from others into their own products.

Within the Programming education is an online tool (Atelier) used in contact teaching to encourage collaboration among students to create a community of practice. Students report that they felt supported by Atelier because you can easily share your work and get feedback. Another advantage is that the system saves a lot of time because you can quickly connect with others.

Provide information at the right time

Applying what you have learned outside the context of the classroom can be perceived by students as overwhelming. It is then nice if you can fall back on something when you get stuck for a moment. A resource developed by Utrecht University fieldwork app is filled with knowledge clips, infographics, pins. The app helps students exactly when they get stuck with those little pitfalls. This greatly improves student productivity and the learning process. Students can do more work on a field day and can focus on the higher learning goals.

Employ different forms of feedback

From research shows that three of the seven design principles for developing learning environments are about feedback. But how do you do that online? Stan van Ginkel combines different forms of feedback in his project which is about teaching presentation skills using technology. Students say they like receiving automatic feedback in addition to teacher feedback.

One form of feedback that comes up frequently in all the practice examples is automated feedback. This allows students to practice and receive more feedback without requiring extra time from the instructor. The student is less likely to get stuck and as a teacher you can pay more attention to higher order questions. Setting up such a system properly does take some time, but for this you can reuse the materials developed within these practices.

WUR deploys feedback via livestreaming in field practices. This is especially valuable when a student has specific questions for the instructor about an assignment or measurement tool. Or for students who are abroad for their internship or thesis.


Want to get started with peer feedback? Read more about the prerequisites for peer feedback, what choices you can make, lessons learned or use the tools.

Allow students to reflect

Through self-reflection, students gain more insight into their actions that they can then build on. Monique Engelbertink of Saxion studied how students can further develop into critically reflective professionals during the internship. She developed a learning environment in Teams with supporting materials where students can further train themselves in reflecting. It also allows them to quickly and easily ask their supervisor and practice supervisor for feedback. Also in the Internship App from the Hogeschool Utrecht online reflection is stimulated to allow students to take more ownership of their own learning process.

Let students practice endlessly

While setup and guidance is important, it remains the case that students must practice themselves to master a skill. Using virtual workshops, apps and VR environments makes it easier for students to practice when and where they want. This gives students more ownership of their own learning.