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About us

The story behind LabBuddy

LabBuddy evolved from the Ph.D. research of Koos van der Kolk. During his Ph.D. research at Wageningen University and Research at the department of Food Chemistry, he investigated how e-learning would increase study results in the lab, using the best instructional designs of educational literature. 

During his research, he was struck by the fact that students posed so many so-called ‘low-level questions’ to teachers. It became his mission to try to diminish the percentage of these kinds of questions to create more time for teachers to have real, in-depth discussions with their students. This was the beginning of LabBuddy.

In 2013, the company LabBuddy was born. Nowadays, LabBuddy is used in almost every university in The Netherlands. Next to that, we are also making a growing impression abroad.

The people at LabBuddy are a group of dedicated experts who are all convinced of the company’s mission: 

“Create researchers, not cooks”

Are you curious to know the stories behind the faces? Look here

 

Meet the team

Koos van der Kolk, PhD

Founder & CEO

I love to explain difficult subjects to my three little sons, and watch the twinkle appear in their eyes when they suddenly understand something new.

After graduating in Bioprocess Engineering, I started pursuing a PhD degree at the Wageningen University laboratory of Food Chemistry. My main assignment was to design and evaluate an e-learning solution to improve food chemistry laboratory education. Eventually my research let to a dissertation and several e-learning tools, which we bundled under the umbrella of LabBuddy. Because we saw a great future for LabBuddy, I decided to bring the tools to the market.

My job is to ensure the development of LabBuddy so that it increasingly supports students and teachers in the laboratory. It is also my responsibility to make sure our company runs as smoothly as possible. Making other people’s lives easier greatly energizes me, especially if it can be done with high-tech e-learning tools like LabBuddy.

Rens van Wingerden

Commercial director

After 15 years of working in the e-learning industry, I still love what I do. Guiding LabBuddy into the international education market…

is a privilege. Next to that, I enjoy supporting my colleagues in further expanding the Dutch market.

Dealing with new countries, cultures, and different ways of implementing education makes it an exciting journey.

With Koos van der Kolk, I look for new strategies, collaborations, and further product development. Out of many conversations with teachers and educational developers, I discuss their needs with our product development team. In this way, we respond well-timed to the market, and we work continuously towards a solid and stable organisation for our current and future customers.

I am therefore happy to be part of the beautiful journey that we have ahead in the coming years.

Tineke Bijl,
MSc

Head E-learning

I like to create e-learning that results in better understanding for students, so that they have a clear overview of the practical and understand what …

they are doing. In my role as an e-learning developer I help teachers to maximize the potential of LabBuddy in their laboratory courses. This means I advise and support teachers and create e-learning content.

My MSc in biology provides me with the knowledge and higher order thinking skills to create e-learning content on a level that aligns with the courses. 

Rob Hartog, PhD

Researcher

I am always in search of tools and ideas that leverage the efforts of teachers and give them satisfaction.
I support other …

team members by providing requirements for e-learning solutions and evaluating e-learning solutions, partly based on my own experience of several decades as a teacher and e-learning project manager, but also of course on the large body of scientific literature in the relevant disciplines.

I like to think about visualization of basic scientific concepts, diagramming and infographics. Also, I have been interested in research paradigms for a long time. In particular, I would like to see education as a design and engineering challenge and to connect this with a design-related research paradigm. I expect that this would enable us to improve the quality of our education methods.

Carolien Koppejan, BSc

Lab education consultant

I just love calling and connecting with people. 
I enjoy hearing how enthusiastic students and teachers are about LabBuddy…. 

This motivates me to make LabBuddy more widely known. I believe every teacher likes to save time for deeper questions about the content of the course and in this way improve the learning outcome. Together we make lab courses work!

Bianca Bakker

Lab education consultant

I really love the atmosphere within LabBuddy! Although I have no background in the field of education, joining the company felt like a …

warm bath. The positivity of the LabBuddy users is extremely inspiring, motivating me to fulfil my goal to expand the use of LabBuddy in the Netherlands!

Andrea Postmus-Klüche, MSc

E-learning specialist

I was one of those students who came to lab unprepared and had no clue about what was going on during a practical. Only when writing a report…

I could connect the dots. LabBuddy would have made a great difference for me. Now I am making a difference for many laboratory practical classes every day!

Each practical situation is unique which calls for creative solutions. The enthusiasm of teachers for their course is one of my greatest motivations. My master in Animal Sciences stimulated my inquisitive mind to ask questions. I love to understand how things work and how they can be improved. My challenge is to restructure information and puzzle until it all comes together in a clear and logical way.

Tila Menzel, PhD

E-learning specialist

I like to help students to gain a thorough understanding about the practical activities they are engaged in, and to make teaching easier for instructors.

During my time as an as a BSc and MSc student, I took part in many practical classes and often wished that instructors would provide more information. Later, during my time as a PhD student at Wageningen UR, I was teaching practicals so came to understand the time limitations of the instructors as well, and how routine procedures often become self-explanatory to instructors over time.

I wish Labbuddy had already been available when I was a student, and genuinely believe that Labbuddy can bring students and instructors closer, by preventing cognitive overload situations

Charita
Furumaya, MSc

E-learning specialist

As an e-learning developer at LabBuddy, I feel like I am contributing to science in the best way imaginable. I love combining my lab experience with my …

enthusiasm for improving education to make sure future scientists are trained as well as possible.

I have a background in molecular and cellular biology and first worked with LabBuddy as a practical course assistant. During my PhD, I was involved in the transition of an immunology course to a LabBuddy practical. In the ExperD, students better understand the connection between experiments and prepare for them by answering encouraging questions. Having witnessed this improvement from close-by, I feel excited working together with teachers to reach the same goal!

Annereinou
Dijkstra, PhD

E-learning specialist

At LabBuddy, I am happy to be able to support the next generation(s) of scientists. I still remember the feeling at the start of my first internship: I had no idea …  

how to do research. In LabBuddy, I recognize the way of working that I have developed while working in the lab. I believe that if I would have had LabBuddy during my education, I would have started my internship years ago with some more confidence.

I love to support teachers to make the most of their practical classes in my role as e-learning developer. My experience in biotechnology (BSc), microbiology (PhD) and over 15 years of laboratory work help me to do so. 

Albert
Rhemrev

Software engineer

When I was an Electronic Engineering student at the University of Twente, I started working on some e-learning projects for the faculty of Educational …

Science and Technology.

This sparked my interest in learning technology, and I have been developing e-learning software for more than 30 years now.

It is my job to make sure that the LabBuddy software keeps improving all the time.

Vadim Gnidashev

Software engineer

Seconded from Alpha Web Group.

Partnerships

Elevating experiences together

our partnerships ensure optimal enhanced lab education

Amber Gerritsen – Visual productions

In a society where more and more takes place online and is represented in a visual way, it is very important that our education adjusts to this way of life. Especially with the increasing pressure teachers experience due to increasing student numbers, it is even more important to use tools that can offer support in this area.

LabBuddy has developed an e-learning tool that teaches students how to design and build their experiments in a structured and playful way. The content used on this platform is provided by the instructor supervising the practicum. However, much of this content is textual or consists of general videos taken, for example, from platforms such as YouTube. This can make it challenging for the students to really visualize the procedure and prepare for the practical lessons in the lab. An educational video specifically focused on the procedure that they have to perform would be a huge benefit. This is where the expertise of Amber Gerritsen comes in.

The use of video provides the opportunity to visually support students in understanding the content at their own pace and in their own time. Thus, students come to lab days better prepared and have a better understanding of why certain experiments and protocols are necessary. This, combined with interactive moments in the video ensures that they learn and remember as much as possible, while staying engaged with the content of the video.

LabBuddy recognized this and therefore, together with Marjo de Graauw, Senior Teaching Fellow and Projectleader Science Skills Platform at Leiden University, applied to SURF to make this type of educational video possible. Amber, as a video specialist, took care of the videos from A to Z. This not only involved the initial contact with the teachers, but also brainstorming topics, drafting scripts, filming and editing and making the videos interactive. The outcome of this project was that teachers and student assistants were relieved of basic questions; this created more time to delve deeper into the content.

By using LabBuddy, videos can be presented to students in the right context and at the right time. This allows students to independently design an experiment in a structured way with the right support. LabBuddy therefore provides much more context than individual videos that can be found scattered in an LMS or on any video platform.

The videos developed in collaboration with Leiden University, LabBuddy and SURF are collected online in a large video library on our website www.labprep.video. Here, the videos, scripts, questions and protocols we have developed can be found under a Creative Commons license. The videos have been created in such a way that they can hopefully be applicable to anyone conducting similar experiments. By sharing content in this way, we hope to avoid the unnecessary creation of new content and stimulate reuse among other institutions. These videos can all be easily embedded within a LabBuddy environment. It would be great to add newly developed content here in the future as well.

Corporate social responsibility

We strongly believe that it is important to give something back to the world

We strongly believe that it is important to give something back to the world. Therefore, we invest in various charity projects. 

Edukans

At LabBuddy we are passionate about education.

Although education alone will never solve the world’s problems, we do think that it can have a huge positive impact on people’s lives. We are therefore very happy that LabBuddy has become a partner of the EduKans foundation!

EduKans’ mission is to create opportunities enabling children and young people to shape their futures with confidence. They provide marginalised children and youngsters around the world with basic education and vocational training and focus on four key themes: quality basic education, vocational education, education in emergencies and equal opportunities for boys and girls.

For more information: https://www.edukans.nl (Dutch)  or https://edukans.org (English)

Trees for All

 

LabBuddy has always had a heart for the world around us. Therefore, we are happy that we are minimizing our carbon footprint by having become a CO2-partner of Trees for All. They plant trees, restore existing forest and contribute to a better climate, more biodiversity and better living conditions for local people. Not only close to home, but also further away in developing countries. They are the only foundation in The Netherlands with CBF Certification offering CO2 offset through sustainable forest projects.

For more information, look at their website: https://treesforall.nl/en/ (English) or https://treesforall.nl/ (Dutch).

 

Vacancies

Interested to work at LabBuddy?

At this moment, we do not have vacancies. Feel free to send your open application to us if you are interested in expanding your career at LabBuddy!