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The Revolution of Learning in the Digital Age


This course is an Honours Class and therefore only available for students of an honours college !!

Enrolling in this course is possible until the 15th of November, using the link at ‘registration’ during this period.


Learning has always been an important part of human nature, as adapting to changing circumstances in our environment is essential for survival. Similarly, in our modern day life, learning new skills, acquiring new knowledge or gaining new insights is crucial to our success in life. It is most likely the very reason why you are attending classes at our university in the first place.

The tools and methods that we use to learn, however, are changing rapidly due to digital technology. You may already submit a paper on Blackboard, use voting devices during lectures, or follow an online course for learning new languages. According to experts, this is only the beginning of a revolution in learning, both on an individual level (e.g., how easy one could learn new skills or gain new knowledge) and for society as a whole (e.g., life-long learning, worldwide dissemination of knowledge).

This Honours class will focus on the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in the context of learning in the digital age. We will discuss what learning is and how it works on a neuroscientific, psychological and pedagogical level and derive principles that may guide new (digital) developments in methods and tools used for learning.

Next we will have a series of 4 guest speakers discussing the state of the art in various e-learning fields: digital tools in the classroom, online open education, serious gaming and virtual reality.


  1. Introduction (lecture)
    General introduction on learning, education, digitalization, general challenges and opportunities.
    Speaker: Dr. Pascal Haazebroek

  2. How we learn (lecture)
    Psychological, pedagogical and neurocognitive underpinnings of learning.
    Speaker: Dr. Pascal Haazebroek

  3. Digitalization (lecture)
    Overview of digitalization trends in society, generic concepts and specific tools and technologies, focusing on potential for learning.
    Speaker: Dr. Pascal Haazebroek

  4. Digital tools enhancing the classroom (seminar)
    Digital tools and methods enhancing the classroom, how and why do (or don’t) they work from a learning perspective?
    Speaker: Wilfred Rubens (Open Universiteit)

  5. Open Online (seminar)
    Online learning, self-directed learning, distance learning, MOOCs, life-long learning, opportunities and challenges.
    Speaker: TBA; educationalist; .

  6. Serious Games (seminar)
    Training skills in virtual environments, current state of the art.
    Speaker: Edward Bosma (Jutten Simulation)

  7. Virtual Reality (seminar)
    Using virtual / augmented reality for behavioral change and therapy.
    Speaker: Dr. Willem-Paul Brinkman (TU Delft)

Assignments (week 4-7)
In weeks 1 to 3, theories and practical overviews are provided allowing students to analyze specific technology based enhancements to learning. In weeks 4 to 7, different types and contexts of learning are presented by guest speakers. During these weeks students are assigned to analyze a specific tool or technology within these contexts in relation to learning and summarize their findings into knowledge clips.

Final assignment
Finally, students are challenged to write a proposal for enhancing one of the courses of their own regular curriculum using technology and argue why and how this enhancement might work.


Tuesday 2, 16, 23 February, 1, 8, 15, 22 March; 19:15 – 21:30 hrs


Faculty of Social Sciences, Leiden (Pieter de la Courtgebouw)
2 February: 5B14
16 February: 5A19
23 February: 5A19
1 March: 5A19
8 March: 5A19
15 March: 5B14
22 March: 5B14



Assessment method

General class participation, assignments, course enhancement proposal

Maximum number of students



Enrolling in this course is possible until 15 November via this link .


Dr. P. Haazebroek