Reflect-Lab - Supporting lecturers in applying inquiry based learning

REFLECT LAB - Supporting lecturers in applying inquiry based learning is a thirty-month lasting European project co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme.

Erasmus+ supports transnational partnerships among education, training, and youth organizations to foster cooperation and bridge the worlds of education and work in order to tackle the skills gaps we are facing in Europe.

REFLECT LAB is a strategic partnership in the field of higher education. Five institutions from five countries collaborate in order to develop an innovative course structure, which fosters self-directed learning at Higher Education Institutions. The project has started in November 2016 and will last until April 2019.

Visit our Reflect Lab Platform.

Register yourself and become a member of the Reflect Lab community.

Project Coordinators

Profilfoto Prof. Dr. Dirk Lange Profilfoto Prof. Dr. Dirk Lange
Prof. Dr. Dirk Lange
Callinstraße 20
30167 Hannover
Profilfoto Prof. Dr. Dirk Lange Profilfoto Prof. Dr. Dirk Lange
Prof. Dr. Dirk Lange
Callinstraße 20
30167 Hannover


The „refugee crisis“ has become a crisis of the EU. There is still no agreement among the EU Member States what will happen to the immigrants who enter the EU every day, the so called ‘refugee deal’ between the EU and Turkey is highly criticized.

On the one hand, EU citizens are welcoming and supportive; on the other hand, they perceive refugees as a threat to internal security. An increase of votes for right wing parties throughout Europe is visible (Law and Justice in Poland, UKIP in UK, AfD in Germany etc.) and violence against refugees and people who allegedly look ‘different’, is also increasing.

Against this background, universities are needed in order to enable students to take a differentiated stand. On the part of the EU Commission, an active and informed European citizenship is the key: “Education and training are crucial to prevent and tackle poverty and social exclusion and discrimination and to build a foundation on which active citizenship rests” [“New priorities for education and training (ET2020)”, p.2].

The REFLECT LAB project intends to support universities, more specifically lecturers, to implement the currently discussed implementation of inquiry based learning. For these socio-scientific teaching/learning laboratories - REFLECT LABs - will be developed and tested. The objective is to establish an innovative course structure, which fosters self-directed learning at Higher Education Institutions (HEI). Students do autonomous research in REFLECT LABs with socio-scientific methods towards pressing political and socially issues. Lecturers accompany and support this process and the critical discussion. As such, the project sets a counterpoint to the widely criticized reduction of learning in HEI to sole knowledge transfer.


Reflect Lab Platform

Visit our Reflect Lab Platform.

Register yourself and become a member of the Reflect Lab community.

  • Lecturers of social science, teacher trainers and teachers are able to exchange ideas and experiences about Reflect Labs and Inquiry-based learning.
  • We provide you with an overview of ICT-tools valuable for the implementation for Reflect Labs.
  • A calendar for Europe-wide events related to Inquiry-based learning is available


This manual will support you to familiarise yourself with the ReflectLab methodology and guide your students through the experience of inquiry-based learning.

It is also available in the following languages:

Reflect Lab - The Movie

Instructions for creating Stimulus Material

Stimulus Materials are crucial for the implementation of Reflect Labs. It gives students first ideas and input in order to initiate their research process. 

For copywright reasons, examples of stimulus materials can be found on our platform. Nonetheless, we provide you a short instruction on how you can create your own stimulus material.

It is also available in the following languages:

Manual for Learners

The Manual for Learners will help and support students in implementing Reflect Labs.  Whle implementing a Reflect Lab, students can use this manual for their reasearch process.

It is also available in the following languages:

Webinars for Lecturers for the Implementation of Reflect Labs

Working with portfolios and with small groups is essential for implementing Reflect Labs in your class.

On the left you find two links to webinars dealing with these challenges.

Find the accompanying presentations here:

Webinar on using portfolios for Reflect Labs

Webinar on working in small groups when implementing a Reflect Lab

Manual for Lectures for the Implementation of Reflect Labs

This manual is the first part of output two. It contains advices and answers FAQs for implementing inquiry-based and problem-based learning in the form of Reflect Labs.

It is also available in the following languages:

  • Romanian

Analysis on the needs for Implementation of Inquiry-based learning projects

Our first output - Analysis on the needs for Implementation of Inquiry-based learning projects. - is based on 100 questionnaires and 10 interviews with lecturers from Universities of Spain, Romania, UK, Poland and Germany. The purpose of this research was to investigate the current state of inquiry-based and problem-based learning at universities. These concepts are the basics for Reflect Labs.

Find below the full english version including an introduction, a summary, claims and five detailed country reports. In addition, find the introduction, the summary and the claims in Polish, Spanish, Romanian and German, as well.

News & Events



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Dissemination & Events

Below you will find photos of certain dissemination events, conducted during the lifetime of Reflect Lab.

Among the events are impressions from multiplier events, reflect labs and additional dissemination activities.

Multiplier Event at the University of Hildesheim, April 18th 2019

XXXIII Encuentro Internacional ARETHUSE 2018 “Gobernanza Postcrisis en la Unión Europea”

Congreso Internacional de Educación e Intervención Psicoeducativa, Familiar y Social, 21-23 March, 2019

Staff Training

Our Reflect Lab staff training with 33 participants from all 5 partner universities took place in Hannover at the Institute for Didactics of Democracy from May 28th to June 1st. Within five days, all outputs produced so far were presented and discussed. Headed by Roland Freitag, all participants did an actual Reflect Lab test run for 2 days. Find the agenda and lots of pictures below.



Partner Meetings

4th partner meeting in Manchester, UK

Crucial decisions were made at the Manchester Metropolitan University on 19th and 20th of April 2018. The Reflect Lab consortium held its fourth meeting and mainly focused on preparations for the staff straining in Hannover from May 28th to June 1st.

This means that all outputs developed so far and are needed for the staff training were discussed and evaluated again. Special emphasis was put on the research guide and the stimulus material as this is the material the participants of the staff training (and the students in the university courses afterwards) will use in order to successfully do a Reflect Lab.

On the second day, mainly organizational aspects for the meeting were discussed. All participants concluded that the project is still on the right track and that we are prepared pretty well for the meeting in Hannover.

3rd partner meeting in La Laguna, Spain

Our third partner meeting took place in La Laguna, Spain on November 21st and 22nd.

The meeting was crucial for discussing and developing actual Reflect Labs and evaluating the webinars conducted by each partner with five staff members in October. We concluded that the webinars have been a success, but in order to improve their quality even further, we will repeat the test run in February. This is the easiest way to check if our revisions made at the meeting were valuable.

The University of La Laguna also presented their first draft of the research guide and method manual. All partners appreciated the draft. Comments by all partners were jotted down and a revision will take place until February.

The last big topic was the planning of our staff training, which will take place in June in Hanover. Overall 35 staff members from all five universities will take place in this training.

2nd partner meeting in Torun, Poland

On the 27th and 28th of June 2017, our second partner meeting took place in Torun, Poland.

The results of our needs analysis were presented and discussed. We concluded that we are on the right track with the Refelct-Lab project: Many of the interviewed lecturers never heard of inquiry-based or problem-oriented learning, but are interested in these concepts and would welcome new methods, fostering critical thinking, for their seminars. In addition, a draft of our manual for the implementation of Reflect-Labs was presented and discussed. It will be revised and finished until the end of July.

Furthermore, next steps were planned until our meeting in La Laguna, Spain in November: We presented and revised a first draft of the online plattform and agreed on ideas for two webinars and a first structure for three Reflect-Labs.

With this meeting we made a great leap forward and are all looking forward to the next meeting.

Kick-Off Meeting in Hannover

The first time the consortium of the Erasmus+ project RefelcLab met, was on February 23rd and 24th in Hannover. Organized by and in charge of the University of Hanover, the consortium first introduced themselves and their institutions. 

Subsequently, all Intellectual Outputs (IO) and other relevant aspects (budget, internal communication, daily management, etc.) were discussed in detail. According to the respective responsibilities the partners presented the different intellectual outputs and multiplier events.

Moreover the partners discussed and revised the questionnaires for lecturers for IO 1, which were prepared by Hanover. Also dissemination and evaluation strategies were discussed and fine-tuned. 

It was a highly efficient meeting, and a solid base for further cooperation was build.

About Us

Institute for Didactics of Democracy, Germany


The Coordinator of the Project is the Institute for Didactics of Democracy of the Leibniz University Hannover in Germany. The university was funded in 1831, nowadays it has 21,000 students and 4,700 staff members. Didactics of Democracy describes the scientific examination of a “learning democracy”. Students who will become teachers for civic education are enrolled here. Active citizenship it the focal point of teaching and researching. The Institute has a strong record of developing educational tools, curricula and teaching material.

Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Iasi

Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi is the oldest higher education institution in Romania. Since 1860, the university has been carrying on a tradition of excellence and innovation in the fields of education and research. With over 23.000 students and 745 academic staff, the university enjoys high prestige at national and international level and cooperates with  403 universities world-wide.

Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun

Nicolaus Copernicus University is the biggest comprehensive, state owned university in Northern Poland. It has 29500 students and 4000 employees. It offer studies at 17 faculties.
The Faculty of Political Sciences and International Studies of Nicolaus Copernicus University is ranked among the top 5 political science schools of higher education in Poland. The Faculty is an important center of education, science, and research and its employees of receive numerous awards for didactic and scientific achievements. They have exercised responsible duties over a number of scientific associations and societies, both in Poland and abroad.

Universidad de la Laguna, Tenerife

The University of La Laguna, with more than 200 years of history is an institution open to the world. It hosts over 23,000 students, more than 1,800 lecturers and 800 administrative staff offering a high quality catalogue of degrees and research programmes meeting the objectives of the European Higher Education Area, helping graduates in the labour market and fostering the economic development of the Canary Islands region.

Its Strategic Research Plan takes advantage of the geostrategic situation of the Canary Islands as an Atlantic Platform for Intercultural Dialogue defining as a strategic goal for the next ten years to become the reference European Atlantic University, an open research institution to be the preferred destination for students and researchers across Europe and the Atlantic area.

Manchester Metropolitan University

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.