CCB participates in many graduate and postgraduate programs that are offered by the LUMC and in programs that are organized by other faculties/universities in- and outside Leiden. We focus chiefly, though not exclusively, on the curricula of Medicine (bachelor) and Biomedical Sciences (bachelor and master). Our work encompasses a full range of teaching activities including lectures, tutorials, workgroups and practicals. In addition to this, our department plays an integral role in the design, assessment and administration of these programs, by providing course coordinators, year coordinators and members of educational committees.
The CCB Approach to Education
Our teaching is strongly linked to the research that is carried out within the department. Research-based learning has been defined as one of the focus points of Leiden University, the LUMC and our department. At the basis of research-based learning lies the idea that students can learn from, about and through research. It is not so much knowledge transfer that is central but rather the development of (research) skills that enable students to acquire, apply and use new knowledge themselves in (research) practice. Central to this vision is the idea that students go through a learning process in an authentic setting or a situation that mimics real-life situations as much as possible.
During the first years of bachelor curricula, CCB provides students a thorough grounding in diverse aspects of biomedical science principally in the form of interactive lectures complemented by smaller workgroups designed to explore themes in greater depth. In later years, training includes extensive practical courses. Teaching becomes more individual and students conduct original research as full members of a research group. Bachelor and master internships are possible within our department and provide excellent opportunities for ‘training on the job’.
Members of CCB are also involved in the development of new teaching modules and the implementation of state-of-the art teaching methods. An important aspect of education at Leiden University and the LUMC, is blended learning, where face-to-face interactions are combined with online/digital study tools. Two projects are currently being set-up within the CCB department.
In the first project, led by Dr. Roeland Dirks, students will work in a virtual laboratory. Together with the group of Prof. Dr. P. ten Dijke (CCB), Dr. Defize from University College Utrecht and the Labster company, a virtual practical module is being designed, which will offer the students considerable freedom to devise their own experimental approach to solve a biomedical problem. The experiment involves the use of genetic engineering to investigate the process of tumour metastasis and students will independently establish both a conceptual and a practical framework in order to address the question. In combination with practical experience in ‘wet’ laboratories, the overarching aim of this exercise is to encourage students to think deeply and independently about important scientific problems that will equip them with essential professional research skills.
The second project, led by Dr. Carolina Jost, introduces important new advancements in computer-based approaches to the field of histology. Such technologies are perfectly tailored to microscopy image analyses and the use of virtual microscopy education greatly facilitates a student’s ability to comprehend the structure and composition of cells and tissues. A peer feedback tool is also being developed that allows and encourages students to comment on the annotated datasets of fellow students.