11-7.1 Introductory course (Fall 2011)

This Introductory Course is for PhD students who just started their dissertation project. You will become familiar with ICO (the Interuniversity Center for Educational Research), the types of research performed within ICO, and ICOs position in the national and international field of educational research. The main aim of this course is to develop, extend, present and defend your PhD project proposal. In addition, the course offers opportunities to practice research skills such as evaluating scientific articles and books, participating in review meetings, and managing your research project. The course is offered in English. If all participants are Dutch-speaking, however, it may be decided to use Dutch for communication during face-to-face meetings.

Course objectives

After this course, you have acquired:

  • Some basic knowledge of theories, models and research designs that are used in different thematic groups of ICO
  • Knowledge of the mission and organization of ICO, its thematic groups, and its position in the national and international field of educational research
  • Skills in using scientific criteria for high-quality research both to (1) the preparation of a (PhD) project proposal and (2) the evaluation of scientific writings, i.e., journal articles and dissertations
  • Skills in writing and presenting a PhD project proposal
  • Skills in reviewing manuscripts for scientific journals and participating in an editorial board meeting
  • Skills in reviewing books/dissertations and writing a book review
  • Skills in managing your supervisor(s)


Participants are required to be present at each of the course meetings. The course requires a total time investment of 200 hours, of which approximately 40 hours are for attending the meetings, and another 160 hours to work on (group) assignments.


Coordinator of the Introductory Course is prof. dr. Jos Beishuizen (VU University of Amsterdam). The second lecturer of the course is Prof.dr. Sjoerd Karsten(University of Amsterdam).

  • Prof. dr. J. J. (Jos) Beishuizen
    Director Centre for Educational Training, Assessment and Research
    VU University of Amsterdam
    Centre for Educational Training, Assessment and Research
    De Boelelaan 1105
    1081 HV Amsterdam
  • Prof. dr. Sjoerd Karsten
    University of Amsterdam


You will pass this course if you:

  • Discuss one of the articles representative for the work of ICOs thematic groups
  • Deliver a short document describing relevant national and international research schools, scientific organizations, journals, institutes, experts, conferences, PhD students etc. in your specific field of research
  • Deliver a PhD project description that is approved by both lecturers
  • Deliver a manuscript review and actively contribute to a simulated editorial board meeting
  • Deliver and present a book review for a dissertation that is approved by both lecturers
  • Deliver and defend some theses on how to manage your supervisor during the PhD project
  • Actively contribute to the meetings and provide critical reviews on at least two PhD project proposals of other students, a journal manuscript, and a dissertation


All core study materials will be made available at the Blackboard website for the course. To become familiar with the topics studied by the ICO thematic groups, a reader is presented with six journal articles that are representative for the six thematic groups of ICO: (1) innovative learning arrangements, (2) domain specific skills, (3) teaching and teacher education, (4) educational design and curriculum development, (5) schools and the social context of education, and (6) assessment, evaluation and examination.

It is assumed that you already have some basic knowledge of Educational Sciences. See, for instance:

  • Towne, L., & Shavelson, R. J. (2003). Scientific research in education. Washington: National Academies Press.
  • Lagemann, E. C. (2000). An elusive science: The troubling history of education research. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Or for a Dutch alternative: Verloop, N., & Lowyck, J. (2003). Onderwijskunde. Groningen, The Netherlands: Wolters-Noordhoff.

For additional background information on how to get your PhD, you are advised to consult:

  • Phillips, E. M., & Pugh, D. (2000). How to get a PhD - A handbook for students and their supervisors (3rd Ed.). Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Dates and location

All meetings are planned from 10.00-17.00 hours.

  • September 16, 2011, zalencentrum Vredenburg 19, Utrecht
  • October 13 and 14, 2011, Hogeschool Domstad, Koningsbergerstraat 9, Utrecht
  • December 8 and 9, 2011, zalencentrum Vredenburg 19, Utrecht


ICO PhD students are required to participate in the ICO introductory course. PhD students are strongly recommended to participate in the course shortly after the start of their research project.

The deadline for registration for this course is August 8, 2011.
To register, please go to our registration form.
The maximum number of participants for this course is 24.

Students who want to register for the course after the deadline is due, are recommended to contact course coordinator Jos Beishuizen.