Design principles for hybrid learning configurations at the interface between school and workplace

Petra H.M. Cremers*, Arjen E.J. Wals, Renate Wesselink, Martin Mulder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


In today’s knowledge society, there is a demand for professionals who are able to create knowledge across boundaries of disciplines, professions and perspectives. Traditional universities, universities of applied sciences and institutions for vocational education are all challenged to educate these knowledge workers. Accordingly, these institutions are developing competence-based education programmes that promote authentic, self-directed learning and the development of a professional identity. A possible environment for realising this type of learning is the hybrid learning configuration in which learning is embedded in ill-defined and highly-authentic tasks. This study attempted to identify a set of principles that can underpin the design of such a learning configuration at the interface between school and workplace. The research approach consisted of educational design research. Starting from cognitive constructivist and socio-cultural perspectives, a set of initial design principles was developed and evaluated from the perspective of the participants during three consecutive iterations of design and implementation. The process resulted in a set of seven refined design principles which can be used as heuristics to guide the design and development of hybrid learning configurations in contexts that have similar goals and aligned tenets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-334
JournalLearning Environments Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Authentic learning
  • Educational design research
  • Hybrid learning configuration
  • University of applied sciences
  • Vocational education


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