Start, Connect and Check tool: collaboration between education and business

Getting started with the hybrid learning envoironment tool

Starting up a hybrid learning environment: how do you do it and where do you start?

The Strengthening digital human capital zone conducted research into the cooperation between educational institutions and the business world in a hybrid learning environment. An environment in which students, teachers and the professional field work together on digitisation issues. What are the preconditions for achieving good cooperation between education and business? Various topics such as educational design, organisation, financing and the different roles within a hybrid learning environment were discussed. But also recommendations, tips, and practical examples for sustainable hybrid learning environments. This resulted in a practical and rich advisory tool: Start Connect and Check.

Read on about why a hybrid learning environment is important, explain how the tool works, and get started immediately.

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> Recommendations and explanations Learning communities

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Collaboration between work field, education and research on digitisation

How do I start up a hybrid learning environment?

Why a hybrid learning environment?
Hybrid learning environments are promising learning environments for students to acquire the skills needed in the workplace. These learning environments have elements including learning across subject boundaries and knowledge co-creation to solve real-life problems.

How does it work?
Click on the different tabs and select the recommendations that apply to your hybrid learning environment. When you have selected all applicable recommendations, click [View all selected results] to see an explanation and an example. You can also add your own comments that relate to your specific situation. You can then save the list as a PDF by clicking on […]. The recommendations have been obtained from case studies that have succeeded in improving the connection to the labour market.

The experiences have come from, among others

Cluster learning activities by theme
Assign specific themes to specific universities: choose a focus and develop a distinct profile
Disseminate knowledge and experience among a wider audience (professional field and other researchers), to add societal value
Ensure contact between different levels of professional networks
Organise contact with the professional field at a higher level, for example with professional associations
Develop enduring partnerships based on shared missions
Try to contribute to the solution of societal issues
Collaborate on themes with other universities
Involve businesses in the planning of the teaching programme. Work together to formulate an ambition that helps both parties to achieve their ambitions
Devote sufficient time and attention to the contact with the business community to keep them willing and to clarify expectations
Ensure that the problems experienced by the professional field correspond to the range of programmes offered
Organise regular contact moments between the educational institution and the business. Focus on the arrangements relating to how you organise things: support, time investment, quality assurance and advice
Draw up a cooperation agreement between the parties, setting out the expectations and responsibilities on both sides
Give businesses the opportunity to clearly profile themselves in hybrid learning environments by ensuring visibility, and think about how you can bind the student to the business
Do not limit the participation of businesses to that of 'assignment provider', but make sure that you get more out of the collaboration
Propagate a learning community in which students not only learn, but employees of businesses also work to promote Lifelong Learning
Ensure that the collaboration becomes more enduring once the students have devised a solution
Check: how do you view the collaborative process?
Ensure that the societal impact is greater that the short-term impact on the company
Ensure that it is clear which companies may be involved in the collaboration and which may not, and why
Discuss conflicts of interest
Investigate how to involve stakeholders in the collaboration to ensure success
Involve businesses and the region early on in the design process
Switch between various levels, such as current problems in society, the mission of a company and the content of the study programme.
Clarify the mutual benefit through a joint process of (educational) product development
Decide together (educational institution and the business community) how to link questions in the business community to the learning needs of students
Work with larger units and a curriculum at a higher level of abstraction to create the scope to respond to problems that emerge from the professional field
Ensure that the educational design is scalable
Ensure that the structures of the various study programmes that need to work together are compatible
Involve lecturers in the design phase and facilitate educational support
Ensure clarity about the objectives of the hybrid learning environment and the roles within the learning environment
Student support should focus not just on technical skills, but also on broader skills, such as communication and collaboration.
Provide adaptive substantive support in the background when things are going well, and in the foreground when problems arise
Ensure that students are clear about the structure of the hybrid learning environment from the outset
Organise a fixed weekly routine of meetings for knowledge sharing and collaboration, delivery moments and informal consultation times
Provide scope for students' own learning experiences in a hybrid learning environment
Get students with differing expertise to work together so they can broaden their perspectives and learn from other disciplines
Encourage students to deepen their business or research skills
Assess knowledge and skills in an integrated way
Try to make educational products available in the learning community
Focus on knowledge sharing, taking into account differing needs and interests
Provide or arrange for a venue where it is possible to meet regularly with partners
Ensure that the processes relating to relationship management are embedded within the educational institution so that assignments from businesses get to the right person or department
Create knowledge hubs (Ilya Zitter)
Ensure you have time and an overview for project management activities when establishing a hybrid learning environment.
During the project planning stage, agree on who will be responsible for what and when
Facilitate collaboration between team members in differing roles
Consider providing support to student-business teams.
Make sure that there are networks outside your own educational institution. Make time and space available for relationship management
Ensure that staff are supported.
Ensure that all stakeholders are aware of the benefit of collaborative outcomes and the importance of sharing these outcomes
Ensure that knowledge is exchanged between different levels in the organisation. The collaboration takes place at the tactical level, but knowledge is also exchanged at the operational and strategic levels
Improve coordination between the different educational sectors (MBO/HBO/WO). Ensure that the sectors refer appropriately to each other, and maintain an overview of collaborations
Plan time for knowledge sharing, with larger or smaller groups
Ensure long-term partnerships, so that knowledge is not lost when a short project ends
Identify dilemmas. What knowledge will and will not be shared, and under what conditions?
Link the hybrid learning environment to ongoing research to ensure more structured funding
Explore the capacity of businesses to provide funding
Be clear about ownership of an assignment.
Higher professional education: RAAK funding is one method to collaborate with SMEs
Ensure that there you also have assurances of long-term funding
Find out whether hybrid learning environment projects can be treated as contract research funding activities
Draw up strategic-level agreements to ensure that every institution works in the same way

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