EigenWijzer is a system developed with the purpose of guiding high-school students towards a matching field of study. In contrast to the tools that currently exist, EigenWijzer gives high-school students the opportunity to build a portfolio based on their whole school career and to connect this to the vocational world. This system consists of a tangible tool, an online portfolio and an online platform used to connect the portfolio to  the colleges. The student can build an online portfolio using the tangible tool in which the student will answer the following core questions; Who am I?, What are my strengths?, What do I want to accomplish?, How do I want to work?


EigenWijzer does not match students to fields of studies, but enables them to discover it themselves using the online platform.


"With this project we aim to provide the proper tools and knowledge in order for Dutch High-school students to choose a career path".


In today’s society high-school students have to make an important decision early on in their lives; choosing a field of study. Research has shown that there is a big gap between high-school and college, a significant amount of Dutch students drop out in their first year [1]. The reason for Dutch students to drop out can vary, however most common reasons are because of personal circumstances, lack of motivation or wrong college choice [1]. We believe that if students have more knowledge about themselves they will be better equipped to choose a field of study that matches their vision, identity, competences and work-style. This demands a “lifelong learning” approach in which individuals take responsibility for their own education and their careers [2].


1. Wartenbergh, F., & Van den Broek, A. (2008). Studieuitval in het hoger onderwijs: Achtergrond en oorzaken [Study withdrawal in Higher Education: backgrounds and causes]. Nijmegen: ResearchNed.

2. Oomen, A., van den Dungen, M., Pijls, T., & Egelie, J. (2012). Career Development in the Netherlands: State of play.




With the four core questions the students are challenged to gain better understanding of their identity, competences, vision and work-style. The assignments integrate their search into their daily lives, e.g. their current school activities and give them the opportunity to research or try things out. All this data is gathered in the personal, online portfolio. With the portfolio we aim to make a bridge between high-school and the vocational world. A personal profile can be compared to the profile of college- or fellow  students or with the profiles of fields of study or colleges.



The portfolio visualizes the outcomes of the different phases and generates a personal profile consisting of the words that answered the core questions. This profile can be compared to other high-school students, college students, colleges or faculties.


EigenWijzer will not give an advice or a 100% match to a person or specific faculty but provides the tools needed for students to figure it out themselves. The portfolio gives the student who is not sure the opportunity to find students of faculties that are like-minded. Besides this it can give the certain student a broader perspective of other like-minded faculties which prevents tunnel-vision.


EigenWijzer starts with building a personal, online portfolio using three different phases; Research, Evaluation and Try-out. These phases are repeated throughout a student’s high-school career. The portfolio gives an overview of a student’s EigenWijzer profile, build from the outcomes of these phases.


Evaluation phase

In an Evaluation session the student will be asked to answer the four core questions with the help of an EigenWijzer teacher, who has a background in psychology. During a session a tangible reflection tool is used to evoke a conversation or discussion. The tangibility makes it easy to interact with and makes the process visible and easy to focus on.


Every question consists out of a (scientifically) pre-defined set of words. On a board the student can put the words that define him or her and highlight words that are more important. When the board is complete the EigenWijzer teacher will take a photo and upload it to the portfolio. The portfolio then creates a visual and analyses the chosen words.

Research & try out phase

Besides the evaluation sessions a student goes through two additional phases: a research phase and a try-out phase. In the research phase students will be asked to explore their identity, competencies, vision and work-style with the help of other people in their social network (e.g. friends, family, a sport coach). During the try-out phase students are asked to try a specific skill, vision or work-style within a school project and evaluate their experience.


Project in collaboration with Marjoleine Boersma.