Peer-to-peer learning

DEWIS offers intervision to female academic staff. Intervision helps you to become more effective in your work (and often also in your life :-). It is peer to peer learning. By sharing experiences from the workplace with colleagues with a similar background you will broaden your view of yourself and work. Participating in a peer to peer learning group leads to an improvement in the quality of work, it teaches you to approach situations with more distance and gives space to finding solutions in a creative way. So intervision helps you to better understand and improve yourself in the working context. The peer to peer learning group is guided by Rosemarijn Koenen.

Every year we start with approx. two groups in different positions. In 2021 DEWIS offers intervision to (tenure track) assistant professors and postdocs.

Target group: (Tenure Track) Assistant Professors and Postdocs. (2021)
Language: English or Dutch, depends on the preference of the participants.
Duration: 6 meetings of 2,5 hours each live or 1,5-2 hours online.

How intervision works and registration

Intervision group. We work in a fixed group of about 6 people, so that trust can grow within the intervision group. Working in a trustful, constructive group is already very powerful in itself. It works as a support system, that functions at the side of the competitive world you are in. Also intervision groups often turn out to become powerful networks.

Cases. Concrete, actual cases are at the centre of an intervision meeting. One person introduces an issue, something that has recently occurred and that maybe happens more often, and that bothers or puzzles her. The group will reflect on the case and on the person who introduced it to the group. Often we recognize the case, or something rather similar, from our own working life.

The way a session works is not so much to give the person who brought up a question ‘advice’ on how to better handle the issue. The aim is to reflect on it and to help the case holder by asking questions to take a broader view on the issue. Doing this with a group of colleagues helps the case holder to break out of her own way of looking at a situation and to being open for alternative perspectives and ways of handling it.

Subjects for intervision are for example: improve the contact with your ‘boss’, students or colleagues; balance in work-life; politics in the organization; how to handle stress or anxiety etc.

Methods. In intervision you work with structured methods. They help you to understand, explore and reflect on the case and on the person that introduces it. Some of these methods are more analytical, some of them more creative or intuitive, some of them help to really practice or experiment.

Zoom. In normal life we come together in a meeting room to do intervision. During Corona, we will have to come together via Zoom. I have experimented with this in the past months, and it can be done. Though not every method works equally well with screens, and the interaction in the group is different from seeing each other ‘live’, it can still be very powerful.

Practicalities. We aim at forming one group of Postdocs and one group of Assistant Professors. The group will come together at a start meeting in January + 6 times during 2021. We will plan these 6 times together. We do intervision every 6 to 8 weeks. An intervision session takes 2,5 hours when we meet ‘live’, and on Zoom it will be a bit shorter, 1,5 – 2 hours. During these 7 times, the group will be facilitated by me. After this period, you know more or less how intervision works and the group can continue to do intervision by itself, if you want.

Commitment. We ask you to commit to the 6 intervision meetings after the start meeting. This commitment is needed for trust to grow, and a safe environment is created from the beginning for participants to work in.

Sign up. If you want to participate please write an email to Astrid Taal at And try to formulate why you would like to participate, why you think it might be interesting or beneficial for you, what are the subjects you would like to address etc. Astrid will try to make two groups that are as diverse as possible, from different faculties etc. For that reason it can be that not all of you will be admitted to these first two groups.

Some evaluative remarks by your predecessors  

Why did you start to participate in intervision?

  • Curiosity. I wanted to connect with peers and exchange experiences on work-related issues.
  • To better understand my functioning at the TU.
  • To improve listening/conversational/problem solving skills and dealing with difficult situations.

What did you like about intervision? What have you learned?

  • I learned a lot about myself, in work and in life. Also it made me more confident about who I am and my own strengths and weaknesses.
  • It brought reflection, different perspectives, new insights by means of a case based approach. I liked some of the intuitive methods, as we tend to forget that part of ourselves.
  • I learned to listen more and ask questions instead of giving ideas.
  • I feel more energy at work. I look at the work environment with a more positive eye.

A quote from a post-doc

“… people will be encouraged to invest time in it just as they are encouraged to visit conferences or write papers, because it really helps you to become a better researcher, lecturer, and simply a more balanced person altogether."