Introductory Courses

  • Date 
    October 16, 2017
    Application Deadline 
    October 15, 2017
Course fee
  • Free
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NEW: MOOC on Problem-Based Learning

Free Massive Open Online Course

Get acquainted with health professions education

“The MOOC project has reached its goals and beyond. A truly innovative MOOC design has been developed and implemented in the world’s first MOOC about PBL and the first to follow the learning principles underlying PBL”. 

Daniëlle Verstegen, course coordinator 

Student profile: The target group of the MOOC Problem-Based Learning: Principles and design, consists of people with a professional or personal interest in education in general, and forms of problem-based learning in particular. This will often be teachers, tutors, instructional designers, curriculum coordinators and other educational leaders, but may also include current and future students of master or PhD programs in the educational field or other students interested in PBL.

Quotes participants:

“It was really a pleasure participating in the MOOC and communicating with so many participants from all over the world - it really broadens one's mind and enhances creative thinking. We are so grateful for this experience.” (UM PBL MOOC participant)

“And unfortunately me and my team colleagues have not been in Maastricht. […] But it would be a great experience and we think about it in the future.” (UM PBL MOOC participant)


Maastricht University (UM) has developed MOOC about Problem-Based Learning (PBL) following the principles of PBL: ‘Problem-Based Learning: Principles and design. Students at the centre! The Maastricht University MOOC has been executed successfully in the autumn of 2015 with almost 3000 subscribers from all over the world.

Are you a teacher, a course designer or a manager in education? Are you fed up with big lecture halls and passive students? Do you think students should be challenged instead of bored? Immerse yourself in Problem-Based Learning (PBL) and learn how to put your students at the centre of learning!

Duration of the course: 6 weeks. Workload: 4-8 hours a week, planning flexible.

Fast facts, key features:
  • This is a free online course about Problem-Based Learning
  • Working collaborative in the Novo-Ed platform explicitly supporting small group work and networking with others with same interest.
  • Great facilities, such as access to teaching materials, team spaces, general discussion fora, are offered and facilities to allow participants to form groups themselves
  • Helps to strengthen and extend your external network
Programme information:

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are a global trend that potentially changes the whole concept of higher education. This MOOC aims to make education accessible to everyone and is well aligned with PBL learning principles of stimulating constructive, contextual, collaborative and self-directed learning. 

After registration you will be asked to fill in a profile. Based on your profile you can team up with other participants who have similar interests, work in similar institutions or live in the same area. You can communicate with your team in the team space within the MOOC and/or using any other communication means of your choice. The participants discuss and interact with each other in small teams. The teams collaboratively generate questions or issues that need further study.


In this course you will learn about PBL by doing PBL. After studying the basics, you can learn more about the role of the tutor in PBL, designing PBL problems and courses and assessment and organizational aspects of PBL. The goals you will attain at the end of the MOOC partly depend on what you chose to focus on. Depending on your choices you will be able to:

  • explain and apply the main principles of PBL,
  • develop and evaluate PBL tasks,
  • develop and evaluate blocks containing a coherent set of PBL       tasks,
  • integrate PBL and its main principles into own work or daily life.
Teaching method:

Fully online. In this MOOC participants learn about PBL by studying authentic problems collaborating in a group, online and without tutor. The focus of this course will be on PBL in the health domain, but examples from different domains will be provided as well. In small online teams you will discuss -synchronously or asynchronously- what you have learned and how you could apply it in your own setting. Participating will take 4-8 hours a week, and those who complete the course will receive a Certificate of Participation.

Maastricht University and PBL

At Maastricht University we have used PBL for more than forty years, in domains ranging from Medicine to Economics and Sciences. We are continuously innovating PBL and applying it in new ways. You will have the opportunity to meet and engage with our experienced professors, teachers and PBL researchers!

Principal Staff involved

  • Daniëlle Verstegen, Lianne Loosveld, Herco Fonteijn, Jimmy Frèrejean