On Thursday, 14. November 2019, over fifteen teachers and advisors met at Maastricht University’s EdLaB, the university’s institute for education innovation. The aim of the three-day event was to test out and further develop materials for three of the CREATES toolkits on faculty, peer, and self-advising.

CREATES Event for Advisors participants from all six partner institutions pose for a group photo at the EDLAB at Maastricht University.
A poster created during the session on peer advising.

On Thursday, Steering Committee member Teun Dekker of University College Maastricht gave a brief introduction to the aims of the CREATES partnership. Then, each of the three advising toolkits was presented to the participants.

Oscar van den Wijngaard, team lead on the faculty advising toolkit and UM EdLaB project manager, discussed the work so far accomplished by the team, including a workshop plan for new advisors. Sabine Sané of University College Freiburg, lead of the team for peer advising, discussed differences in peer programs at the partner universities and presented a peer training plan. Finally, Véronique DuBois-Bouchet of SciencesPo and Nathan Clendenin of Leuphana presented the plan for the self-advising toolkit.

The two remaining days of the training activity were full of in-depth sessions testing materials from each of the three toolkits. Development teams collected feedback and ideas to further improve each of their outputs. An additional benefit of having the three development teams present for the event was sharing information between these three toolkits, standardizing vocabulary and aligning aims.

For some of the sessions, the advisors were joined by undergraduate students from University of Freiburg, Maastricht University, and Leuphana University, providing their invaluable perspectives on the materials at hand. Sophie Ambrosat, a student assistant at Leuphana University contributing to the peer advising toolkit, even presented video interviews of student views. This footage, from interviews with students at five of the six partner institutions, are currently being edited into short, effective videos to be included in the toolkit on peer advising.

As with the CREATES teacher training activity held in June 2019, the networking and exchange of ideas between like-minded colleagues was expressed as one of the valuable outcomes. If you are interested in learning more about the toolkits for advising, consider joining these development teams at the CREATES multiplier conference on “Integrative Advising” in Maastricht on 31. March 2020. The event is open to all teachers and advisors across Europe!