Plan for Success


The VU wants to contribute to the success of your studies and the success of future VU students. This is why we conduct this research and why we are building a dashboard that can give students insight into their study progress. Both start in September 2020 and are part of the Comenius project Plan for Success. The research is on the effectiveness of proactive and targeted student counselling with regard to the study planning and chance of study delay.

Student counselling to prevent delay
The motivation for this study is a previous research on study delay. This research showed that students who enter the second year with a credit backlog have a chance to end up with a study delay in the long term. By providing targeted student counselling we hope to prevent this. Also, students without a credit backlog can contribute to this project and have access to the dashboard.

The project starts in September 2020 and has two parallel tracks.

Dashboard for insight in personal study delay
• The team of VU Analytics is building a dashboard based on 10 years of historical and anonymous data.
• The dashboards is built for the School of Business and Economics (SBE) and the Faculty of Behaviour- and Movement science (FGB).
• The dashboard compares your obtained credits to the obtained credits of students of previous cohorts of your programme. Based on this comparison you can see how long the previous students took to finish their bachelor’s programme.
• The dashboard is accessible for study advisors and (in the future) for students. Study advisors use the dashboard as a tool to converse with students.

Research about learner autonomy
• The Amsterdam Centre for Learning Analytics (ACLA) starts a research project in September on how autonomous you feel in choosing your study planning.
• Students who are in their second year of the educational program will be invited in the first period to fill out a survey. You will receive this invitation via email, but you will also be alerted to the project in different ways, such as in your class, via Canvas and VUnet.
• After the first semester, Research Institute ACLA will predict the optimal course-arrangement for each student, based on their survey answers and first-year performance. The research outcomes will be shared with you. Second-year students who start in 2021 will also receive individualized information on their optimal course arrangements before choosing which courses to take.
• In the second research year the final effect study will be conducted in which ACLA examines if student performance increased due to the offering of optimal course arrangements.

The dashboard will be improved continuously based on the research. On the other hand, the dashboard is also input for the research.

This project will take place at the School of Business and Economics (SBE) and the Faculty of Behaviour- and Movement science (FGB). Study advisors and students of these faculties are involved in the preparation of this project. This way we develop a dashboard that matches the needs the advisors have in student counselling.

Do you want more information or would you like to contribute? Check what this project could mean for you.

In September 2020 this project starts at the School of Business and Economics (SBE) and the Faculty of Behaviour- and Movement science (FGB). Not all bachelor’s degree programmes will participate in the research. VU Analytics, research group ACLA and the study advisors of these two faculties have decided on which programmes join in the project.

The participating programmes are;
International Business Administration (SBE)
Business Administration (SBE)
Economics and Business Economics (SBE)
Psychology (FGB)
Movement science (FGB)
Pedagogical science (FGB)


Are you a second-year bachelor’s student in one of these programmes and did you start your studies in 2019? Then you will be invited via email in period one to contribute to this research. You can also register directly to join this project.

If you give permission to use your personal data;
• You will fill out the survey by ACLA on learner autonomy.
• You will receive the innovative student counselling based on the dashboard. This depends on the availability of the study advisors of your faculty.
• This fall you will get exclusive access to the dashboard for students. The dashboard gives you valuable insight in your study planning.

We value your privacy. In the privacy statement you can read how we handle your personal data.

Do you have any questions? Contact the study advisor of your faculty:
SBE: Mascha Heemskerk ([email protected])
FGB: Tanja van der Heijden ([email protected])

If you study at one of the other programmes of these faculties, you cannot join this project in the coming academic year. If you are interested in this project and research, you are welcome to visit the kick-off session at the end of period 2.
When we have more details on the kick-off session, we will publish it on this page.

In September 2020 this project starts in the School of Business and Economics (SBE) and the Faculty of Behaviour- and Movement science (FGB). Study advisors and students of these faculties have been involved in this project from the start and are specifically consulted with regard to building the dashboard.

The dashboard is based on a dashboard used by the KU Leuven. Their dashboard is developed in consultation with their study advisors. The KU Leuven is an external advisor and trainer in this VU project. However, the focus of the VU dashboard differs from that of the KU Leuven: the VU focus is on learner autonomy and study planning.
Also, at the VU the study advisors of SBE and FGB are involved in this project since the start. This guaranteed that VU Analytics built a tool that matches how the study advisors hold the conversations with the students.

If you are a study advisor of another faculty, you cannot use the dashboard yet. If you are interested in this project and the research, you can visit the kick-off session at the end of period 2. When we have more details on the kick-off session, we will publish them on this page.

If you have questions for the study advisors working with the new dashboard coming academic year, you can reach them via:
SBE: Mascha Heemskerk ([email protected])
FGB: Tanja van der Heijden ([email protected])

In September 2020 the study advisors of SBE and FGB will follow a training on how to counsel a student supported by the dashboard. If this is positively evaluated, we want to make this training available for study advisors of other faculties later this year.

After the research and when proven successful, we want to make this innovative way of using the dashboard available for more faculties in the VU.

In September 2020 this project will start at the School of Business and Economics (SBE) and the Faculty of Behaviour- and Movement science (FGB). Team VU Analytics, the researchers of ACLA and the study advisors of SBE and FGB have decided which bachelor’s programmes of these faculties join in the project.

The participating programmes are;
International Business Administration (SBE)
Business Administration (SBE)
Economics and Business Economics (SBE)

Psychology (FGB)
Movement science (FGB)
Pedagogical science (FGB)


The other programmes of SBE and FGB and the other faculties of the VU cannot use the dashboard yet in the coming academic year. They will also not contribute to the research done by ACLA.

Are you interested in how this study will help VU students to improve their study success? You are most welcome at the kick-off at the end of period 2. At this kick-off we will tell you everything about this project and the research. When we have more details about this kick-off we will publish the information on this page.

After the research and when proven successful, we want to make this innovative way of student counseling available for more faculties in the VU.