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PhD position – Assessment of collaborative learning (1.0 fte) (217347E)

posted 28 Aug 2017, 02:57 by ICO Education

Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative centre of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 30,000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. Belonging to the best research universities in Europe and joining forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.

The Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences is a centre of knowledge focusing on individuals and society. The faculty studies issues relating to human behaviour, the relationships between people, and society as a whole. This includes the study of how people function under normal circumstances, but also of the problems encountered by individuals or groups, and how these can be resolved or prevented.

Job description

The PhD position is situated within the Department of Educational Sciences / Groningen Institute for Educational Research (GION). This department is responsible for teaching at bachelor and master level. At bachelor level, this includes the bachelor Educational Sciences and the Academic Bachelor for Primary School Teachers, a joint programme of the department and three higher education institutes. At master level, this includes the master Educational Sciences including an international track ‘Evidence based education’, and the research master for the behavioural and social sciences. Within the department research is conducted on learning environments, evidence based education, determinants of school success, innovation and citizenship.

We are looking for a PhD candidate for a research project on the “Assessment of collaborative learning”. Collaborative learning is nowadays a widely adopted practice at all levels of education. In contrast to a large volume of studies on instructional scaffolds to facilitate more efficient and effective collaborative learning, its assessment received hardly attention. Group scores or grades are a typical practice and these are often “corrected” by combining them with grades or scores on individual tasks into a “final grade/score” – especially if differentiation is required due to poor collaboration. Little is known about how teachers deal with the complexity of assessment of collaborative learning. This project aims to extract indicators and measures for the assessment of collaborative learning (e.g., broad literature review, data-driven interviews with teachers) and develop and evaluate instruments for the assessment of collaborative learning in classroom settings (primary/secondary education).


We are looking for an ambitious candidate who preferably meets the following requirements:
• a master degree (preferably a research-oriented master) in one of the social sciences (for example educational sciences, learning sciences, psychology)
• thorough knowledge of research designs and quantitative and/or qualitative methods
• affinity with primary and/or secondary education and in particular with the themes of assessment and collaborative learning (for example as part the master thesis)
• good communicative skills and independence in research in a practice setting, in close collaboration with others
• good oral and written command of the English language suited for scientific publications and conference presentations
• the ability to communicate verbally and in written form in Dutch or to learn Dutch if necessary within the first 12 months of the contract.

Conditions of employment

The University of Groningen offers the PhD candidate a salary of € 2,222 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 2,840 gross per month in the final year (based on a full time employment of 1.0 fte). An appointment of 0.8 fte is possible. The position requires residence in Groningen, 38 hours per week research and research training, and must yield a PhD dissertation. Within the first year, an assessment of the candidate's progress and results will take place to decide whether or not the employment can be continued.

Starting date: 1 November 2017.
Duration: 4 years.

Interviews are planned on 26 September 2017.

Please send your complete application (in English) as a single PDF file until 14 September 23.59 hours / before 15 September 2017 Dutch local time, by means of the application form (click on ‘Apply’ below on the advertisement on the university website. Please upload your application as ‘letter of motivation’ and include the vacancy number at the start of your application.

Applicants are requested to submit:
1. A cover letter in English introducing yourself, describing your motivation to conduct scientific research
2. A full CV in English demonstrating academic excellence and a copy of your passport
3. A certified copy or scan of your MA diploma (or equivalent) and academic record
4. Names and contact details of two academic references.

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