The SURF Education Days through the eyes of a student

8 November 2019 Acceleration Plan
Guest blog

The SURF Education Days through the eyes of a student

Author: Anneke Marien, student member of the university council of Utrecht University

As a student in the university council, having the opportunity to talk to people from the educational world is a great opportunity. Therefore, my visit to the SURF Education Days was a day full of new knowledge on digitisation in education and encounters leading to wonderful conversations.

For me, the first session of the day was “Bridges, not barriers: supporting flexible education with open badges”. This was a session about the possibilities of using badges as certification in education. It was a nice way to look at our education: it is innovative and perhaps better suited to today. It would also be suitable for my own study programme, Liberal Arts and Sciences. It was also interesting that the speaker was from a university in the United States (Rick West of Brigham Young University, ed.). Nevertheless, I noticed that there are certainly still some issues to be raised, including what the ethical side of these edubadges are.

The second session I attended also turned out to be interesting and applicable to me as a student. The speaker talked about digital testing: What are the possibilities and what should we pay attention to? There also were several interesting stands on the Network Square where it was fun to engage in conversations with people. For example, I looked at which other digital learning environments there are, besides those we already use at Utrecht University. I can then take this into account in discussions with the university when it comes to possible changes in the learning environment. By “spinning the wheel” (hoping to win a prize) I also visited stands of companies that I would otherwise not have stopped at.

Still, I think that as a member of the university council, I benefited most from the short sessions and the keynote speaker. This provided real insight into how digitisation can be applied in higher education. I have learned new things about digitisation and I have seen what I can do with this new knowledge as a co-decision maker.


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