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Lecturers

A full lecturer's manual can be obtained from the Programme coordinator.

Contact Information

Who are involved in the education, what are the tasks of these people and committees and what type of questions and subjects can you ask them? Below an overview.

Education Office Astronomy, Oort 564-568

Who Function Subject/Questions
Director of Studies
Prof. dr. Paul van der Werf
Ultimate responsibility of the academic studies. Policy, vision and strategy
Programme Coordinator/Policy Officer
Drs. Arianne Pen-Oosthoek
Coordination of the academic studies Schedule, communication, website, registration, policy
Study Advisor Astronomy
Wouter Schrier, MSc
Providing information and advice to students Personal circumstances, study planning, study delay.
Coordinator PR and Education
Suzan Commandeur
Recruitment; external communication Organising PR-events and Developing PR-material
Internationalisation and PR officer
Marianne van Driel
Recruitment International students; external communication Internationalisating and PR-material
Support Education
Liesbeth van der Veld
Support Education Office Evaluation procedure, planning of meetings, room booking

Committees and contacts

For an overview of all the Education Committees, see https://www.strw.leidenuniv.nl/education/commissies.php
Who Function Subject/Questions
Board of Examiners Determine examination programme Request for exemption from certain subjects, adaptation examination programme
Education Committee Monitoring the quality of the studies Complaints about education, suggestions for improving education, course evaluations
Graduate School Office Educational administration of this Faculty Administration of study results, requesting diploma's
Mentoraat support start study, acquaintance with the institute(Sep-Oct) Schedule, keys, "who, where, for what", structure, facilities
Tutoraat support study during first year (Nov-Jun) Problem solving, study related support.
PR-committee Recruitment and information of the BSc and MSc Physics Help on PR-events and PR-material
Contact.VWO Contact between the high school Physics programme and the University School visits, Hisparc, training, "profielwerkstukken" (profile paper)
International Office Information on study or internship abroad and help in the organization of this information Arranging internship abroad, requesting funds for studying abroad
Education student service/
Chantal van den Berge
Administration of this Faculty, Astronomy Grades, exam procedures, BSA, graduation
Personnel staff services/
Annette Hoenderdos
P&O advisor Human Resource, finances, training, facilities

E-Prospectus

Schedules

Blackboard

    Blackboard is the online learning environment that we use at Leiden University. It is used to improve and manage student learning and as a communication platform between student and instructor. Blackboard is the standard online learning tool for displaying course material and communication with students.

    How does Blackboard work?

  • Go to http://www.blackboard.leidenuniv.nl and log in using your ULCN-account
  • Please download the instructor’s manual: Or for more specific and elaborated use of Blackboard: instructor page
  • If you don’t have an ULCN account yet, please ensure you are registered: http://www.services-facilities.leiden.edu/ulcn/
  • Request your course in Blackboard

    Make sure that your course is available in Blackboard before the course starts. Send an email to the Programme coordinator requesting new course in Blackboard stating: Title of the course, Names of course instructors, Names of teaching assistants or second instructor(s)

    Activate your course in Blackboard

    Your course is either new, thus introduced for the first time or an existing course which has been copied from previous year. In both cases, please ensure that your documents are updated and ready before you put it on the ‘availability’ mode for students to access. On the left menu go to control panel > customization > properties > set availability (working screen) on yes > submit

    Search for other courses in Blackboard

    Searching the course catalogue to find other courses in Blackboard

Exams

    Written exams

  • Have a colleague read and sign your exam questions
  • One week in advance of the actual exam date, hand this in, together with the model answers at the Education Office Astronomy, Oort 564.
  • After the exam please hand in the exams made by students at the Education Office Astronomy, Oort 564.
  • Oral exams

  • Communicate the occurrence of oral exam to the Education Office Astronomy eduassist@strw.leidenuniv.nl
  • There has to be a second examiner present during the oral examination.
  • Use this form to grade the oral exam.
  • Hand this form in at the Education Office Astronomy, Oort 564.
  • Research projects

    • See subject Research projects

    Guide "Tips for tests"

    • The guide "Tips for tests" is intended to help teachers to set and assess tests: English and Dutch

Grades

  • Grading is by a number between 1 and 10. Half integers are also permitted with the exception of 5,5!
  • Grading a research project has to be done with a special form: see subject Research projects.
  • 1 week before the exam date you receive a list of students who have enrolled for the exam from a functional mailbox (cijfersSTRW@science.leidenuniv.nl).
  • Use this list for entering the exam grades. If a student has taken the exam, but is not on the list please add the student to the list.
  • There are courses with 'open' exam dates i.e. not scheduled. Please request a list via cijfersSTRW@science.leidenuniv.nl.
  • Grade communication to students:

  • The instructor or examiner has 15 working days after the date of examination to correct the exam and make the results public in a written document
  • Make the grades list public, without the column student names on your website, or Blackboard and/or mail the list to the students.
  • Grade communicating to Education Office:

  • Enter the grades, sign the list and send it electronically back to cijfersSTRW@science.leidenuniv.nl and eduassist@strw.leidenuniv.nl

Research Projects

    Bachelor

    Each year, starting February, a cohort of students will do their final Bachelor Research project, 23 ECTS.
    Requirements
  • Students MUST have permission from the Study advisor Wouter Schrier, Oort 568, studyadvisor@strw.leidenuniv.nl, to start with their BO project! Usually that means that the practicals are finished and most courses (except for 1-2) have been completed before the start in February.
  • Therefore BO students must complete and hand in the registration form.
  • Start:
  • In September the Bachelor coordinator (a staff member) will ask each staff member to provide a project the students can work on.
  • The students will typically work in pairs, from the beginning of February to the end of June. They should be able to spend at least half of their time on this.
  • The projects conclude with a written report and presentations.
  • The students who are doing a double bachelor project must choose between astronomy or a physics project and supervision.
  • There will be regular meetings of the whole group with the Bachelor Coordinator and two assistants to monitor progress, help with practical items, and advice. But the direct supervision of the research needs to come the supervisor, and postdocs have done an excellent job here in the past.
  • Grading
  • The end date of each project is fixed. Please ask the Bachelor Coordinator for the details.
  • Projects conclude with a written report and presentations.
  • Use the special Research Bachelor Project grading form
  • The grade must be given within 15 working days from the end date.
  • This form needs to be handed in to the Programme Coordinator, Oort 564
  • The paper copy of the thesis needs to be handed in to the Programme Coordinator, Oort 564.
  • The digital copy of the thesis needs to be sent to the Programme coordinator.
  • Master

    Each student carry out two research projects during the two year master programme Astronomy. The First research project, 30 ECTS), is of a preparatory nature, resulting in a thesis. The Master's research project, 30 ECTS, is the MSc project, resulting in the officially recognized MSc thesis. In addition, the project will be presented in a formal colloquium. The Medium Research Project (30 EC) is carried out only by students following the SBB, CE or ED specialisations.
    Requirements
  • All projects are carried out under close supervision by a member of the scientific staff.
  • The First and Master's project must be of a different nature and be supervised by different staff.
  • The Master's Research Project can be started only after the First Research Project is finished.
  • Next to doing their project, students also must follow courses (half courses/half project)
  • Start
  • In June the study advisor will ask each staff member to provide a project the students can work on.
  • Students seeking information on possible research projects should contact the study advisor, consult the Sterrewacht Annual Reports, or check out the Sterrewacht website.
  • Students who strongly prefer to conduct part of a research project outside the Leiden Astronomy Department or abroad, must first propose this to the study advisor. They need, in all cases, prior permission from the Board of Examiners.
  • Milestone notifications
  • At the start, at 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%, an automatic message will be send to the student, supervisor and study advisor, aimed at helping the monitoring of progress on research projects.
  • Regular meetings with your student are important, but make sure you meet up at each notification date. In that way, you’ll be in time to notice problems or delay.
  • Problems or delays should immediately be reported to the student adviser, who will also monitor progress.
  • If the project has not been completed by the end date, a grade will be given based on the available material. Student and supervisor should monitor progress with this schedule in mind.
  • Master thesis guidelines
    Generally, the theses are written in English. They typically contain
    1. 1) Abstract
    2. 2) Introduction
    3. 3, 4 ...) sections describing the work
    4. N) Conclusion
    5. N+1) References
    6. N+2) (Optional) Appendices

    Sometimes the Conclusion is split up in a Discussion section and a Conclusion section.
    Tips and Trics:
    1. The abstract summarizes the main "message" of the paper. It should not be too long, maximally 50% of a page at a 11point font.
    2. The Introduction gives the background science with references, introduces the problem which is addressed by the paper, and can also briefly explain the structure of the paper. For example: in section 2 we define the sample, in sections 3-5 we present the analysis, a discussion is found in section 6 and the conclusions in section 7.
    3. Figures should be clear and have very clearly written figure captions. In general, the figure captions explain the content of the figure, and also give the most important science conclusion from the figure. The goal is that people can understand the science of the paper by just looking at the figures and their captions. Hence it is generally not enough to just write "Figure 1 shows the size of a planet against its age". It should add "Young planets are larger than old ones".
    4. General structure and story line.
    5. It is important to have a clear story line to the paper. One trick which can work well is to first define the figures, then the abstract, and then write the paper as a story around the figures. The figures should be the figures you show in a talk. If you have many more figures to highlight details, consider to put them in an appendix. (e.g., if you have 30 objects to show, show 2 typical ones in the paper, and the rest in an appendix).
    6. Another helpful trick can be to first define a 30minute talk: make the slides, with science introduction and conclusions etc; make sure the story line is clear; practice a few times; then write up the paper as if you are giving the talk (but now in a "paper" format - the language is somewhat different but the overall story line can be the same). Story line is one of the most important aspects.
    7. And don't forget, most people don't read papers fully. Play into this. They first
    1. look at the title
    2. look at the authors (be clear on that)
    3. read the abstract
    4. look at (some) figures
    5. maybe read the conclusion (or part of it)

    Colloquium

    By approaching the end of the MSc degree students will have to give a presentation about their Medium or Master's research project.
  • This presentation will be judged, not on the scientific content or the way the student conduct research, but only on their presentation skills.
  • Per year there are 3 opportunities and it will be done in the form of a MSc colloquium conference.
  • Students can make their own reservation for one of these dates
  • Students need to practice their talk before they present your colloquium.
  • The grade will be given by the colloquium coordinator and will be sent to the supervisor of the Medium/Master's project.
  • Grading

  • All research projects conclude with a master thesis and the Master's research also with a colloquium.
  • The end date of each research project is fixed.
  • The student needs to hand in his/her final thesis by the end date.
  • The supervisor needs to find a 2nd reader of the thesis.
  • The grade must be given within 15 working days from the end date
  • Use the special Research grading form
  • This form needs to be handed in to the Programme Coordinator, Oort 564
  • The paper copy of the thesis needs to be handed in to the Programme Coordinator, Oort 564.
  • The digital copy of the thesis needs to be sent to the Programme coordinator.

Graduation procedure

    Bachelor

    The graduation procedure for bachelor students can be found on https://www.strw.leidenuniv.nl/education/examendata.php
    Please keep in mind that there are 2 dates: a certification date and a ceremony date:
  • The certification date counts as the formal exam date and is stated on the Master certificate which will be given during the graduation ceremony.
  • The graduation ceremony is planned on a fixed date. See the table overview of the dates
  • Guidelines Bachelor Graduation ceremony
    1. The chair of the Exam Committee of the Leiden Observatory leads the ceremony. See the members
    2. The ceremony takes places in the Huygens Building and all graduates and their guests are invited to join the ceremony.
    3. All supervisors of the Bachelor Research projects are asked to say a few words about their students. For example
    1. Content/Result of the research
    2. Your impression of the research skills
    3. Your impression of the social, communication or teamworking skills
    4. Anecdote (an interesting or amusing incident)
    1. In case you are not available, you write a small piece about your student(s). Please send this in advance to the Programme coordinator.
    2. Final obligation
    1. The diploma will be handed over together with a gift.
    2. All papers have been signed beforehand and are handed to the students. Exception on this is the exam form.
    3. The Exam form is proof of handing the diploma by the exam committee to the student.
    4. The chairman signs this form, as well as the student.
    5. The exam form has to be brought back and handed in at the Programme Coordinator Arianne Pen (Oort 564).
    1. Afterwards there will be a “borrel” together with all astronomy and physics bachelor graduates.

    Master

    The graduation procedure for master students can be found on https://www.strw.leidenuniv.nl/education/currentyear/MScexamendata.php
    Please keep in mind that there are 2 dates: a certification date and a ceremony date:
  • The certification date counts as the formal exam date and is stated on the Master certificate which will be given during the graduation ceremony.
  • The graduation ceremony is planned on a fixed date. See the table overview of the dates
  • The venue for the meeting will be the Academy building in the Faculty of Science room (Rapenburg 73, Leiden)
Guidelines Master Graduation ceremony
  1. The committee chairman should receive all documentation at the Observatory and needs to verify that all the paperwork is available.
  2. The chairperson invites the candidate into the Faculty of Science room, together with all family/friends that want to attend.
  3. The chairperson opens the meeting and explains the procedure: the candidate will give a short presentation, and questions will then be invited *from the audience*.
  4. The candidate then gives a short talk/presentation (about 5-7 minutes) about his/her research project. For this, the candidate has to bring his/her own laptop.
  5. Following this, the chairperson invites questions *from the audience*. There can also be questions from the committee, but only after the questions from the audience, and only if there is time left. The talk/presentation and questions together should take about 20 minutes.
  6. The candidate has now fulfilled the final obligations
  1. The diploma will be handed over together with a gift (f.e. a book)
  2. All papers have been signed beforehand and are handed to the students. Exception on this is the exam form.
  3. The exam form is proof of handing the diploma by the exam committee to the student.
  4. The chairman signs this form, as well as the student.
  5. The exam form has to be brought back and handed in at the Programme Coordinator Arianne Pen (Oort 564).
  1. Finally, one of the committee members will address the candidate with a short speech.
  1. Please note that it is not necessary to say a 'standard text' as is custom at the end of a PhD ceremony, but of course a certain formality is desired. If you do like to say something more formal then bear in mind that you are 'a formal committee empowered by the Exam Committee of Astronomy'.
  1. The chairperson closes the meeting.
  1. Do not forget to tell the audience to immediately leave the room, congratulations can be done outside. Otherwise the entire day will be delayed.
  1. Masters Graduates may sign their name on the walls of the 14th century room, called “Zweetkamertje”. Please send the student for further instruction to the attendant of the Academic Building.

Quality and Quality control

    Course evaluation

    Evaluation Forms:
  • You receive towards the end of the course a set of evaluation forms (For the evaluation of the research projects, see subject “Research Projects”)
  • The forms need to be hand out after the exam or, in case there is no exam, during the last class. Always use the evaluation form that has been provided. If there is not enough please ask make copies.
  • The student member of the Education Committee is responsible for submitting the forms to the Education Office Astronomy, Oort 564. The student member will contact you in advance about the practical issues.
  • You receive a copy of all the filled out forms by mail.
  • Within a few weeks you receive an analysis report electronically from the ICLON.
  • You are requested to briefly react on the result of the evaluation. Please brief and factual.
  • Send the comments back within a week to the Education Office Astronomy assistant and the Director of Studies
  • Semester response system
  • Four times a year an oral evaluation takes place.
  • These meetings are open and plenary sessions, chaired by the Education Committee chair, with all teaching staff involved present. Feedback on lectures is provided by the EC student members, and other students.
  • Firstly, all active lecture series are evaluated approximately 4 weeks after the start of a semester. This early evaluation enables timely and effective adjustments, should these be necessary.
  • A second evaluation takes place after the end of a semester, and may lead to recommendation on further future improvements.
  • These evaluation meetings are embedded in the course schedules.
  • Student satisfaction

    Aside from the written and oral evaluations described above, the most important global source of information on student satisfaction is the so-called Nationale Studenten Enquête (NSE). The results will be discussed in the Education Committee Astronomy.

    Meetings of teaching staff

  • The Observatory staff meets monthly (lunch meetings), and several times a year a meeting is devoted to teaching matters.
  • In addition we organise a biannual meeting with all the teaching staff.
  • This keeps all staff fully informed on and involved in developments in the teaching program, and generates feedback by the staff on these issues to the Director of Studies and the Policy Officer Education.
  • Training

    ICLON’s Higher Education department is Leiden University’s leading educational expertise centre. They organise different types of training programmes, ranging from one-hour sessions to training courses consisting of multiple daytime sessions. Some examples:
  • University Teaching Qualification (BasisKwalificatie Onderwijs, BKO) . Leiden University offers its teachers support in ensuring that their teaching is excellent and inspiring. Recent developments in education lead to new teaching competences criteria and to meet these, the university offers a number of training options.
  • How to give a lecture
  • Blended learning
  • Supervising thesis students
  • Assignment tips (in Dutch)

  • See for all training and course opportunities the ICLON webpage

    Classrooms

  • Learn about classroom audiovisual equipment with our free tutorials: (DeSitterzaal) , (All other classrooms)
  • Wireless microphones can be picked up at the reception desk of the Huygens Building.
  • In every classroom on the lecture desk a phone is installed to contact the AV services.

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