Online Education Community: first two weeks

30 March 2020 Acceleration Plan

Online Education Community: the first two weeks

On Thursday 12 March, the universities of applied sciences and research universities in The Netherlands announced they would no longer be providing physical education to prevent spreading of the COVID-19 virus. Not much later, the Dutch government announced that meetings with more than 100 people were no longer allowed, which meant that large lectures even were prohibited. Meanwhile, also smaller meetings are no longer allowed until June 1st. This has presented a major challenge for the universities of applied sciences and universities in the coming months. But, of course, they will not abandon their students, which is why all institutions are looking for ways to facilitate online education, remotely.

Joining forces

The COVID-19 crisis has lead to a great and immediate call for expertise and facilities in the field of online education. This has brought the Association of Universities (VSNU), Association of Universities of Applied Sciences (VH), SURF and the Acceleration Plan for Educational Innovation with ICT to join forces and to provide a platform for knowledge exchange and support in online education: the Online Education Community. This online space on SURF Communities offers a platform for everyone in higher education to collect and share knowledge. With this initiative, the partners hope to bring together the available knowledge and facilities and to make them available. We have been live for two weeks now: a few highlights so far.

FAQs and new articles every day

The foundation has been laid with various FAQs, both in Dutch and English. There you will find the most frequently asked questions plus answers. For example, there is currently a great need for information about remote assessment (click here for the FAQ). In addition, there are FAQs about open educational resources, the use of video, software and tools and good examples from home and abroad. The FAQ is for and by the community, so new articles are published daily. No institution is idle, as is also evident from the overview of web pages supporting teachers. It is also nice to see that many institutions make this information publicly available on their websites in order to help other lecturers on their way during this sudden change.

In addition, experts write articles on the FAQ. For example, on how to find, use and share open educational resources (see here). But also about the use of study data and privacy. Or how about how Hong Kong University of Science and Technology made the switch? Although most of the information is still in Dutch, many interesting links to English info can also be found in the English FAQs.


Do you have questions about organising online education, open educational resources or online summative assessment? Send your questions to, so that they can be answered. Of course we also keep an eye on our networks and social media to see what is going on. In this way, we work on sudden acceleration together.

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