Enriched Professional Learning Culture

Sharing valuable knowledge and learning outcomes


After adopting IRIS Connect, Horizon College in The Netherlands have successfully developed an open door culture by giving teachers access to more effective reflection and peer review.

Students sitting at a table collaborating


Mano Fluiter, Professional Development Coordinator at Horizon College in The Netherlands, noticed that a lot of valuable knowledge and learning outcomes were not shared amongst their 120 teachers, and ongoing constructive dialogue between teachers didn’t exist. They wanted to open classroom doors and create a more accessible learning culture by facilitating reflection and peer review amongst teachers.

Mano visited an IRIS Connect customer workshop and was immediately enthusiastic about the potential it could offer their teachers and organisation in terms of professional development.

“What I liked about IRIS Connect was the potential to use integrated technology consisting of a recording system, a personal page to reflect and share videos so you can get feedback easily, and a platform to work on certain educational subjects like classroom management, giving effective feedback, didactics and pedagogy,” explains Mano.

How IRIS Connect helped

They started with implementing it as a new system for recording lessons and sharing videos in order to facilitate peer review more easily across the college. Since then their approach to working with IRIS Connect has shifted. They are now working in groups and creating environments where teachers systematically review themselves and each other based on theory, problems and input from their own classroom experiences.

“Reflecting on and sharing videos has facilitated more professional dialogue to analyse behaviour and effectiveness in the classroom,” says Mano. “Teachers see what impact they have on students and that helps them to change their way of thinking and their approach. Usually teachers find it nice to actually talk about their experiences because often there’s no time or easy way for them to do that.”

He continues: “Before we worked with IRIS Connect teachers rarely saw how others taught and the challenges they faced. Now there’s more professional dialogue and mutual understanding about the way, and how, we teach, which is a very important factor in developing CPD and better student learning outcomes.”

“I think IRIS Connect is very handy. You normally miss a lot during a class. But, the platform gives you the opportunity to really reflect on those moments that you miss and receive feedback. I would recommend it, especially because it allows you to see the reactions of your students which helps you so much with connecting with them and knowing in which ways to teach effectively.” – Helga Degeling, Technical Nursing Skill Instructor

Results, return on investment and future plans

Most of Horizon’s courses are organised in groups of 8-12 teachers, who are evaluated. In specific evaluations where usage of IRIS Connect is more dominant, they specifically asked teachers how working with IRIS Connect helps them with their professional development. All of them said it made a positive impact and graded it 3.75 on a 5-point scale. Also, 60% said that they would consider IRIS Connect for personal review after the course was finished.

It’s also saved time according to Mano: “Teachers can record their own practice and share the fragments that are important or relevant to them. This gives direct focus, helps when giving feedback and increases dialogue. All of which are very effective uses of time and impact learning. It’s also saved time because teachers no longer need to work with usb-sticks (which can get lost) or other ways of sharing their videos. It’s all much easier and more secure.”

As for their future plans, Mano says: “We want to further maximise the impact of learning with IRIS Connect. This means we want to utilise the platform in a way that allows for deep learning via reflection and professional dialogue,” describes Mano. “If I was to recommend IRIS Connect to others, I would say the cost per license isn’t very much, in return you get an integrated recording system which is secure, teachers have privacy and control of their own recordings and it makes sharing and learning from and with each other so much easier. In 2019 we will develop a program for teachers who have just started their teaching career for the whole of Horizon College, which has about 1,000 teachers.

“Also, I would say, make learning with IRIS Connect as visible and personal as you can, but implement it in small steps. Create a positive atmosphere and organise a support system for teachers who are not as sure about working with it and what it can do for them. Basically, create a positive learning climate where being challenged and failure is a powerful way of learning.”

Find out more:

IRIS Connect is a secure, personalised platform for teachers to record, analyse and reflect on their practice.

Teachers can take control and arrange their own professional learning experiences and resources. As well as share easily with each other to make collaboration simple, organised and effective.

Get more information about IRIS Connect:

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