Research team

Expertise

Researching the quality of and the relation between learning and assessment in (higher) education, at the workplace and in the transition between (higher) education and the working life. - Effects of learning environments in higher education - (measuring) learning processes - Workplace learning

Effective Feedback Dashboards in Education and Training (EFDAT). 01/11/2022 - 31/10/2024

Abstract

The use of learning analytics and feedback dashboards in education and training is on the rise Flanders and internationally. This is also stimulated by current education and training organizational policy that calls for more monitoring and evaluation research. This project aims to stimulate fundamental research into the effectiveness of feedback dashboards for learners in education and training contexts.

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  • Research Project

Interacting minds, interacting bodies: Research infrastructure for psychophysiological sensor technologies and applications. 01/06/2022 - 31/05/2026

Abstract

This project is geared towards discovering and developing new applications of state-of-the-art psychophysiological sensor technologies (using computational and AI techniques) to help people with different needs work, learn and play in our modern society, ensuring that this tracking is meaningfully and responsibly applied. To accomplish this, our consortium is suitably interdisciplinary. This undertaking requires well-controlled lab studies and (near-)continuous psychophysiological tracking in real-life settings 'in the wild'. The research infrastructure applied for enables flexible movement from lab explorations of promising markers to checking their robustness in realistic, ecological contexts, and back again.

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  • Research Project

The Antwerp Social Lab (tASL). 01/01/2022 - 31/12/2026

Abstract

The Antwerp Social Lab originated in 2018 from the collaboration between the research groups MIOS and EDUBRON at the faculty of Social Sciences. It merges the expertise, networks, and a portfolio of research projects in which a wide variety of state-of-the-art psychophysiological and behavioral research measures are employed. Although social science research typically relies on selfreport as a way of collecting data from individuals, psychophysiological and behavioral methods allow to gain insights in more direct, spontaneous, and continuous reactions. This allows more fine-grained and complementary insights in complex human processes such as attention, learning and memory, which are important for all types of educational, training and communication domains. Moreover, having accurate and valid affective measures is necessary for the promising AI-field of 'affective computing' whereby an individual, group-based affective and cognitive states are fed into technological systems which then adapts accordingly, allowing for optimized experience or efficacies. The Antwerp Social Lab currently houses state-of-the art infrastructure such as eyetracking to study attention and cognitive processing and electrodermal activity (sweat reactions), facial EMG (activation of facial muscles) and heart rate to capture affective processes such as stress and interest. Topic-wise the Antwerp Social Lab has focused on applying these psychophysiological and behavioral methods to human interactions in interpersonal and mediated contexts, spanning a wide range of application domains (collaboration, learning, strategic communication, media use and effects). The Antwerp Social Lab has the strong ambition to scale up and to make more available its expertise to other groups, faculties, and external partners by facilitating research, providing advice and collaborations. We are convinced that research in the Antwerp Social Lab can provide essential and currently overlooked user insights in the context of acceptance, experience and adoption of a broad range innovations and technologies within various scientific domains, as such contributing to pressing societal and economical challenges.

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  • Research Project

Quality Dual Learning: supporting learning during work 01/05/2021 - 30/04/2023

Abstract

Provincial Education Antwerp is at the forefront of tackling the shortage of technically skilled workers. To this end, it is strongly committed to offering qualitative dual learning paths. The challenge is to effectively integrate learning into the work environment. Questions that arise here have to do with the pedagogy of this learning environment: How do we design practical situations that optimally facilitate learning? What support do we provide? And what does this ask of the student ? This project provides insights and practical tools for each of these elements.

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  • Research Project

A Tale of Two Processes. The dynamic interplay between emotion and cognition when learning from texts. 01/01/2020 - 31/12/2023

Abstract

This project aims to investigate how the integration of narratives in didactic texts can optimize the processing of the information through the dynamic interplay of emotional and cognitive processes and thereby lead to desired learning outcomes. The first objective of this project is to develop valid and reliable dynamic measures of emotional processes during the reading of texts, relying on a multi-method approach (combining self-reports and think-aloud methods, with eye-tracking and psychophysiological measures). Building on the findings from the first research phase, the second objective of the project is to study the dynamic interplay between cognitive and emotional processing and during processing of texts augmented with narrative elements (in different formats). The third objective is to examine how the dynamic interplay between cognitive and emotional processes affects learning outcomes.

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  • Research Project

Viewing differently, learning differently? 01/10/2019 - 30/09/2023

Abstract

This research project aims to understand the process of how students differ in watching online instructional videos in a flipped classroom and how different strategies of processing these videos before attending the classroom are related to differences in student in-classroom behavior and student academic performance. Three research questions are put forward: RQ1: Can we detect patterns in students watching behavior while learning from instructional videos that are indicative of the learning strategies students use to cognitively process the information in these videos? RQ2: How are differences in students processing strategies while learning from instructional videos in a flipped classroom related to differences in students' in-classroom learning behavior ? RQ3: How are differences in students processing strategies while learning from instructional videos in a flipped classroom related to differences in student academic performance? Research question one will be investigated in a lab study in which 90 students in social sciences will participate. Research questions two and three will be investigated in a field study in a statistics course in the faculty of social sciences. Both the lab study and the field study will combine trace data with qualitative data.

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  • Research Project

Developing and stimulating competencies: Methodological challenges and opportunities for research 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2023

Abstract

In recent years, we have observed a number of evolutions in the way in which problem-solving processes, learning activities, and acquired competences are studied. These provide new opportunities for the research field, but also pose important methodological challenges.. A first evolution is that the focus of research is expanded: we do research also on non-cognitive variables (e.g. affective variables, spontaneous attention processes) that are inherently part of the competence, and this happens with a broader target group (both charting the skills of learners before formal instruction, of experts in a specific field, and of people in daily practice). Secondly, more attention is paid to longitudinal studies (and the long-term impact of interventions), and to other ways of collecting data (e.g. via large-scale crowdsourcing platforms, and via larger groups of researchers). Third, more "online" measurements are taken during the learning and problem solving processes, such as eye tracking data (both on a computer screen and in a complex classroom setting), finger tracking at touch screens, the use of reaction time data, neuro and other physiological measures (skin conduction, heart rate, ...). Here we see a shift from obtrusive to unobtrusive measurements (such as log data of activities in a digital learning environment). Multimodal research approaches are becoming more and more relevant to measure certain concepts that are often difficult to observe directly in the educational process (e.g. engagement, self- regulation ...). Combining several of the aforementioned data streams offers new insights. Important evolutions also occur in the more qualitatively oriented design research. Rather than working purely descriptively, we will try, e.g. through conjecture mapping, to systematically validate instructions for designing learning environments.

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  • Research Project

Taking a closer look at micro-processes: a high sampling rate eye-tracker for collecting multimodal data. 01/01/2020 - 31/12/2021

Abstract

The application relates to the purchase of a +1000 Hz eye-tracker and upgrade of the software. This eye-tracker delivers high quality eye tracking data with an unmatched tolerance to head movements even at high frequencies. And is developed for studying micro-saccades and very fast eye movements, or for synchronizing with other high-frequency data sources (such as for example EEG, GSR or other biometrics data). The application also includes a desktop in order to run the eye tracker software and hardware and a 24" screen that can be detached in order to use the eye tracker with other screens, projectors or in "real life" physical setups and the necessary software updates that will also be available for the existing eye-tracking infrastructure at the University. The equipement will be hosted by the Antwerp Social Lab and as will as such be available for other researchers in the University of Antwerp and the Faculty of Social Sciences in particular. On a short notice the equipement will be used in the ongoing projects of the Edubron and MIOS research groups of the faculty of social sciences and will open oportunities for new research proposals in which eye momvements need to be synchronized with other high-frequency data sources.

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  • Research Project

Eye read, therefore I learn? 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2022

Abstract

In higher education, academic texts are the main medium through which students acquire scientific knowledge. Learning from these kind of texts is therefore an important key to success in higher education. However, research on reading comprehension has mainly focused on learning outcomes and far less is known on how students read to learn from academic texts, and more specifically, which cognitive processing strategies are crucial for better academic text comprehension. Current research on cognitive processes uses predominantly self-report instruments to uncover differences in students' general preferences towards processing strategies when studying. Although these selfreport measures are claimed to be reliable and valid at a general level, many authors argue that the results are poor indicators of the actual processing taking place at a task-specific level while studying. Furthermore, research on the relationship between self-reported processing strategies and academic achievement remains inconclusive. In this research proposal we aim to (1) adopt eye tracking as an innovative measure to map in-depth students' task-specific processing strategies, (2) to link theories of reading comprehension and student learning in empirical research to gain more insight in the cognitive processing component while learning from academic text and (3) link taskspecific processing strategies to task-specific learning outcomes.

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  • Research Project

Platform for Advancement of Self (PAS). 01/09/2018 - 31/08/2021

Abstract

Successful transition into higher education is considered crucial both for the student as wel as for the educational institution. It is regarded more as a complete phase, rather than a single event. The transition may become a stressful period for many freshmen students, while they deal with a number of serious challenges. The aim of the project is to investigate cognitive and psychological constructs contributing to students' psycho-educational profieles and academic success and to develop a tool in three countries and languages that allows to give students feedback and guidance.

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  • Research Project
  • Education Project

Reading to learn: an in-depth look into how students learn from academic texts using eye-tracking. 01/10/2017 - 30/09/2021

Abstract

In higher education, academic texts are the main medium through which students acquire scientific knowledge. Learning from academic texts is therefore one of the most essential academic related skills and an important key to success in higher education. However, research on reading comprehension has mainly focused on learning outcomes and far less is known on how students read to learn from academic texts including visualizations, and more specifically, which cognitive processing strategies are crucial for better academic text comprehension. Current research on cognitive processes uses predominantly self-report instruments such as interviews and questionnaires to uncover differences in students' general preferences towards processing strategies when studying. Although these self-report measures are claimed to be reliable and valid at a general level, many authors argue that the results are poor indicators of the actual processing taking place at a task specific level while studying. Furthermore, research on the relationship between self-reported processing strategies, such as surface and deep processing, and academic achievement remains inconclusive. Research on the relationship between students' task specific processing strategies, and task related learning outcomes, may provide more clarifying answers. In this research proposal we aim to (1) link theories of reading comprehension and student learning in empirical research to gain more insight in the cognitive processing component while learning from academic text, (2) adopt eye tracking as an innovative measure to map in-depth students' task specific processing strategies and (3) link task specific processing strategies to task specific learning outcomes. Gaining in-depth insight in the cognitive processing component of learning from academic texts and analysis of the relationship with academic achievement is important for further theory development within the SAL domain. Research can also be important for educational practice as it may point at essential information to develop feedback tools for students to gain more insight in the quality of own learning from academic texts.

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  • Research Project

Learning strategies in social and informal learning contexts 01/01/2017 - 31/12/2021

Abstract

From 2011 until the end of 2015 we have been coordinating the WOG scientific network on 'learning patterns in transition: dimensions, validity and development'. This network deepened current understandings about the nature of student learning in different formal learning contexts taking an individual learner perspective into account. It also increased fundamental research and collaboration regarding the validity of learning patterns across different cultures and development of regulative and cognitive learning strategies across time (Gijbels, Donche, Richardson & Vermunt, 2014). By building on the constructive outcomes of our former WOG-network, this proposal for a new and expanded network aims to deepen our current understanding of learning strategies by moving the research focus from individual to social learning contexts and from formal to informal learning contexts. This twofold shift of research focus also goes along with important methodological questions which forms the third research focus in this new network

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  • Research Project

The assessment of job readiness for dual learning. 15/12/2016 - 30/06/2017

Abstract

This research contributes to the conceptualisation en operationalisation of the concept of 'arbeidsrijpheid' (workplace learning readiness) in the new context of dual learning in Flanders. It will answer questions such as: 1) what does it mean to be 'arbeidsrijp', and 2) which are the quality criteria for an instrument measuring 'arbeidsrijpheid'.

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  • Research Project

Smart organising of dual learning: electro-mecanic 01/11/2015 - 30/04/2017

Abstract

Dit project focust op de structurele inbedding van het duaal leren in de school- en arbeidsorganisatie en op de ontwikkeling en evaluatie van een gepaste leeromgeving in uitrol van het duale standaardtraject Elektromecanicien. Het wil ondernemingen, scholen en leerlingen in de proeftuinprojecten kwaliteitsvol ondersteunen en dit op een geïntegreerde wijze. Het richt zich op die manier op de focussen (3) Geïntegreerde begeleiding, (4) Concrete leertrajecten en (5) Evalueren.

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  • Research Project

The effect of active learning environments on students' situational interest. A quasi-experimental study of simulations in political science curricula. 01/10/2015 - 30/09/2019

Abstract

Academic teaching in political science has been increasingly changing from more teacher-centered towards more student-centered teaching. This trend entails the increasing use of active learning environments such as simulations which challenge students to deal critically with various aspects of decision-making, the content of policies, and the interactions between multiple actors and levels. Advocates of active teaching methods make a number of claims about the effects on learning results and dimensions of affective learning. However, substantive evidence of the effects is up to now rather anecdotal and methodologically poor, sometimes even contradictory. Hence, the main aim of this project is to investigate the effect of simulations of decision-making on one of the most important affective components of student learning: student's situational interest. The latter has been shown to be triggered by factors in the learning environment and an important predictor of academic performance. We start from the assumption that variation in active-learning environments will have an impact on students' situational interest. The research questions in this project therefore deal with how simulations influence situational interest of students. Do simulations of decision-making enhance student's situational interest? How does situational interest develop during a simulation of decision-making? Which conditions make simulations of decision-making more or less effective? What are the prohibiting and stimulating factors? Methodologically the project uses a quasi-experimental study in an ecological valid setting combining repeated measurement survey data with qualitative data from interviews and focus groups with students. We will collect unique data in a treatment condition as well as in a control condition. The intervention condition comprises several samples that are readily available as the main promotor of the team is involved in several national and international simulation projects. The design allows for innovation in terms of methods (quasi-experimental setting), empirics (unique data), multi-disciplinary approach (nexus between political sciences and educational sciences) and implementation (improving the effectiveness of simulations as a teaching tool).

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  • Research Project

Research in the domain of Education and Professional Development. 01/01/2015 - 30/06/2015

Abstract

This project represents a research contract awarded by the University of Antwerp. The supervisor provides the Antwerp University research mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions stipulated by the university.

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  • Research Project

How students learn: answers from a neuro-educational research perspective. 01/10/2014 - 30/09/2018

Abstract

This interdisciplinary research proposal starts from the observation that the current empirical research on how students' process their learning in higher education has lead to contradictory results on how students learn The inconsistent results can be partially explained by an overreliance on self-report instruments to measure students' processing strategies and avoidance of more direct observation techniques. Today, brain-imaging studies are upcoming in the research domain of educational neurosciences and allow to move beyond the use of self-report measures and to directly observe processing strategies when students learn. Brain-imaging studies (such as fMRI) track the cerebral activation patterns underlying the learning processes and may yield in combination with self-report measures a more comprehensive picture on students' processing strategies. Three research questions are central: (1) what is the neural basis of processing strategies of students in higher education?; (2) How is the neural basis of processing strategies related to processing strategies as measured with self-report measures? (3) Do students use different processing strategies for different discipline specific study-tasks? The project will be organized in two phases: a pilot study followed by a main study. In the pilot study, self-report techniques (thinking-aloud protocols and self-report questionnaires) are used to investigate whether students use different processing strategies for different study tasks in four different domains. In the main study, students' processing strategies will be measured by means of a self-report techniques and by means of an fMRI study. The results of this project can have important implications for present theory development on processing strategies, for our understanding of the brain mechanisms in students' processing strategies and how these individual differences can be adequately measured.

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  • Research Project

STEM/F, increasing the inflow into STEM- industries through adapted language in job-descriptions and study-brochures. 01/04/2014 - 30/09/2015

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand KdG. UA provides KdG research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project

Development of competences of : from detection to intervention. 01/01/2014 - 31/12/2018

Abstract

This project 'Developing competencies in learners: From ascertaining to intervening' is a fundamental research project financed by the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO). The project was subsidized after selection by the FWO-expert panel.

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  • Research Project

Return on Expectation measurement project (ROEM). 01/04/2013 - 31/03/2016

Abstract

This project represents a formal service agreement between UA and on the other hand Bedrijfsopleidingen bvba. UA provides Bedrijfsopleidingen bvba research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project

Learning above the size: customized learning towards a higher learning efficiency through the synchronization of professionalisation in the teaching competence of knowledge workers. 01/09/2012 - 31/08/2013

Abstract

Investing in professional development of employees, especially knowledge workers, is crucial for an organization's success in contemporary society. A significant part of professional development activities nowadays consists of formal, group-based trajectories adopting a standardized curriculum in content and mode of delivery. Questions have been raised on the efficiency and the quality of learning outcomes of these training activities. Adapting training trajectories to the learning preferences of participants is hypothesized to increase efficiency and quality of outcomes (the so-called matching hypothesis). The current poster presents the outline of a project investigating this hypothesis, by exploring knowledge worker's cognitive, meta-cognitive an motivational learning preferences and relating these to their training needs and learning outcomes. The project proposes four research-aims: - RA1: Can we develop a valid and reliable instrument for measuring knowledge workers' cognitive, meta-cognitive and motivational learning characteristics? - RA2: Can we identify learning competency profiles, based on knowledge workers' cognitive, meta-cognitive and motivational learning characteristics? - RA3: Are differences in learning competency profiles related to differences in preferences regarding to the mode of delivery of professional development initiatives? - RA4: Is the degree to which training initiatives are adapted to learning competency profiles related to the learning outcomes training initiatives reach? The research-instrument proposed in RA1 will combine adaptations of existing instruments in the context of higher education to the context of professional learning (notably the Inventory of Learning Styles-SV) with existing instruments, such as the Cognitive Style Indicator and Kolb's Inventory of Learning Styles. Various quantitative and qualitative techniques will be used to validate the instrument, identify learning competency profiles and relate these profiles to training needs and learning outcomes. Results of this project will help gain insight in the complex processes of learning in a professional setting, but will also provide guidelines for improving the design of training-trajectories.

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  • Research Project

Research on determinants of flow and differences in workplace learning with strong students. 15/04/2012 - 14/04/2013

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand KdG. UA provides KdG research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project

Kickstart your future. 01/04/2012 - 31/03/2015

Abstract

During this project, the promoter, partners together with teachers and counselors will develop and validate tools and methods to coach young people in their first steps from vocational education towards the labour market. With this project we give incentives and coaching to young people and to intermediates so young people will be better equipped to enter the labour market.

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  • Research Project

Development methodology competency determination workplace learning. 15/03/2011 - 15/07/2011

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the Flemish Public Service. UA provides the Flemish Public Service research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project

Learn patterns in transition: dimensionality, validity and development. 01/01/2011 - 31/12/2015

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UAntwerpen and on the other hand the client. UAntwerpen provides the client research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project

understanding work-related learning: the role of individual and job-related variables 01/01/2010 - 31/12/2011

Abstract

Based on an extension of the Demand-Control-Support model the present research proposal aims to investigate the influence of job-characteristics and self-directed learning orientation on the work-related learning behaviour of employees. Data gathered in 3 different contexts by means of validated questionnaires are used. The project will allow us to merge and further analyse the data-files and to prepare submissions for 4 international journals.

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  • Research Project

Research into the effects of learning support in teacher training. 01/09/2008 - 31/12/2011

Abstract

Research into the effects of learning support in teacher training is scarce. This mixed method research project aims to investigate the effects of learning support on cognitive, metacognitive and non-cognitive output measures. In addition also differential effects of learning support will be investigated and related to pre-entry characteristics.

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  • Research Project

The TALIS project in Flanders -2008, 2009. 01/01/2008 - 30/09/2009

Abstract

This survey emerges from the INES-project, that develops statistics and indicators which assist policy makers in describing and assessing their education system. Regarding, teachers, teching and learning, important information gaps are being recognised. This survey focuses on 1) recognition, feedback, reward and evaluation of teachers; 2) school leadership; 3) teacher practices, beliefs and attitudes; 4) mentorship; and 5) professional development. The international co-ordinator issues the guidelines, whereas the Flemish project manager conducts the survey. In 2007, a representative sample of ISCED 2- teachers and principals will be questioned. After producing a database, the data will be analysed in a descriptive and explanatory way. Finally, attention will go out to the valorisation in Flanders.

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  • Research Project

Survey on teachers, teaching and learning in Flanders. 01/08/2006 - 31/12/2008

Abstract

This survey emerges from the INES-project, that develops statistics and indicators which assist policy makers in describing and assessing their education system. Regarding, teachers, teching and learning, important information gaps are being recognised. This survey focuses on 1) recognition, feedback, reward and evaluation of teachers; 2) school leadership; 3) teacher practices, beliefs and attitudes; 4) mentorship; and 5) professional development. The international co-ordinator issues the guidelines, whereas the Flemish project manager conducts the survey. In 2007, a representative sample of ISCED 2- teachers and principals will be questioned. After producing a database, the data will be analysed in a descriptive and explanatory way. Finally, attention will go out to the valorisation in Flanders.

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  • Research Project

Broadening the understanding of university freshmen's approaches to learning. 01/03/2006 - 31/12/2007

Abstract

Although in theory surface and deep approaches to learning are opposed and mutually exclusive, recent research with internationally validated questionnaires revealed that a profile which consists of low scores on both deep and surface approaches to learning is quite typical for novice students. The aim of the present proposal is to broaden our understanding of this specific profile. University freshmen from the University of Antwerp are asked to complete the 2F-SPQ-R questionnaire in order to measure students' approaches to learning. Students with the 'both low' profile are invited for a semi-structured interview.

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    • Research Project