12-03 Domain-Specific Instruction in Innovative Learning Environments

Research within the area of learning and instruction takes often place within a specific domain (Mayer & Alexander, 2010). The context in which this type of research is conducted differs from primary, secondary to higher education or even professional learning in a work-based environment or on the job. Important research questions focus on learning and instruction of domain specific concepts and domain specific ways of reasoning. Within these domains many innovations have been implemented over the last few decades because of new insights in learning and instruction, but also because the subject matter that is taught within these different domains is up-dated. Different types of research methods are used and both quantitative and qualitative data are collected.

In this master class PhD candidates will acquire knowledge about learning and instruction of domain specific concepts (e.g. science, mathematics, statistics), domain specific skills (e.g. writing, historical reasoning, clinical reasoning), and professional competencies. Both domain specific and more generic competencies will be explored and reflected upon as well as research methodologies and curricular innovations within specific domains and various contexts. 

Course Objectives
The course objectives of this masterclass are that the participants:
  • become aware that domain specific research is conducted within diverse contexts; i.e. the context of the school setting and the professional learning environment
  • acquire insight in the types of research questions and theories that play a dominant role when investigating the acquisition of domain specific knowledge and skills
  • acquire insight in research methodologies used within this type of research
  • acquire insight in the relationship between the acquisition of domain specific knowledge and skills and innovative learning environments
  • become acquainted with the work of researchers and staff members within this area
  • can engage in debate about strengths and weaknesses of domain specific research
  • learn to translate research questions, methodologies and findings of domain specific research to the context of their own research project

Participants are required to have completed the ICO Introductory Course successfully.

  • Dr. Diana Dolmans (coordinator)
    Maastricht University
    School of Health Professions Education (SHE)/Dept. of Educational Development and Research FHML
    PO Box 616
    6200 MD Maastricht
    The Netherlands
    043 388 57 30
  • Prof. dr. Carla van Boxtel
    Universiteit van Amsterdam
    Research Institute Child Development and Education
    Spinozastraat 55
    1018 HJ Amsterdam
  • Drs. Monique Bijker
    Centre for Learning Sciences and Technology
    Open Universiteit
    PO Box 2960
    6401 DL Heerlen

And various other lecturers.

  • Contact-based activities; i.e. lectures and discussions (30 hours)
  • Self-study activities; i.e. reading the literature (40 hours)
  • Self-study activities; i.e. work on two individual assignments (30 hours)
  • In total about 100 hours.

The first assignment is aimed at preparing the participant for the master class. Participants are requested to prepare this assignment before the start of the course. The second assignment is aimed at reflecting on what has been learned during the master class in relation to the participants own research. Participants are requested to prepare this assignment before the second contact-based part of the master class, because they need to report their findings during the final day of the master class.

Detailed Course Information Detailed Course Information

  • Being present and active participation during the contact-based part of the course.
  • Both assignments should be completed at a sufficient level.

A list of papers to be read will be specified later on.

Dates and location

January 19 & 20, 2012 (Thursday & Friday); Studiecentrum Open Universiteit Utrecht, Vondellaan 202
February 9 & 10, 2012 (Thursday & Friday); Studiecentrum Open Universiteit Utrecht, Vondellaan 202

The meetings will last from approximately 10.00-16.00

Free for ICO PhD-candidates. For all others € 1000.

Deadline for registration is November 30, 2011. PhD students may register for the course by completing the registration form. A maximum of 15 participants will be admitted to the master class. Students who want to register for the course after the deadline is due, are recommended to contact one of the course co-ordinators.