Education That Moves You: a standing approach to teaching and learning

Activity: Talk or presentation / Performance / SpeechesTalk or presentation - at conferenceAcademic


The traditional university settings for learning and teaching are lecture halls and smaller tutorial rooms. These settings changed little over the past decades. Teaching in these rooms is often characterised by sedentary behaviour for longer periods. Given what we nowadays know about the learning process we can wonder if this static environment is optimal for learning. At Maastricht University (The Netherlands) teaching is done in small groups of maximum 12 students using a Problem Based Learning approach. Students discuss the provided problems mostly sitting during two-hour sessions. Teachers observe that during these sessions not all students contribute equally to the discussion and that the discussions becomes less energetic towards the end. Both factors are detrimental to the learning process. The Education That Moves You (ETMY) project aims to turn the classroom into a more dynamic space to improve the learning experience of students. Two important dimensions of ETMY are that excellent education intrinsically motivates the student to learn and that physical activity has a stimulating effect on learning. As a radical change to the traditional all-sitting tutorials ETMY has experimented with all-standing education. Students are standing for two hours in class while working in a more dynamic setting on their scientific problems. Here we will present the first research findings on this dynamic setup based on teacher and student investigations. Furthermore, we will discuss how this approach impacts students’ learning experiences and how it leads to rethinking of common educational practices and learning spaces.
Period18 Jul 2019
Event titleEnhancing Student Learning Through Innovative Scholarship Conference 2019: Active Learning for All
Event typeConference
LocationEdinburgh, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Problem Based Learning
  • Sedentary behaviour
  • Standing
  • Active learning
  • Group work