BIO-info (en)

Frå toppen – Week 9: Excellence in teaching

Thursday I had the pleasure to attend the Olav Thon Foundation Award Ceremony for 2016 in the University Aula in Oslo. It was of course especially nice to witness the national awards for excellence in education both to Karin Pittman and Christian Jørgensen from BIO, in company with four other colleagues from different Norwegian universities. The awards amount to 500.000 NOK each. In addition, Anne Gro Vea Salvanes was awarded 1,2 million NOK to her national tuition-related research project «Ecosystem, climate, and variation in a maritime mini-ecosystem: a fjord in Western Norway». Very nice, and well deserved! Congratulations to all three!

Christian is also displayed on the front page of Forskerforum, the magazine of Forskerforbundet, where you can find a longer piece on our excellent Center for excellence in biology education, bioCEED. – The problem is not to have teaching with a high halleluja factor, the question is what the students actually learn, says center leader Vigdis Vandvik in an interview. Both politicians and rectors have started to talk about the importance of raising the status of teaching, both as a criterium when recruiting new employees, and as an expectation to our faculty. bioCEED has put the focus on systematic quality assessments and developing a teacher culture with focus on quality in teaching.

Based on inspiration from Lund, bioCEED also has taken the initiative to establish a system for meriting excellence in teaching at UiB. The system proposed will be based on application from each candidate and build on portfolio assessment. Criteria like focus on what the students learn, development over time, and a scientific approach to teaching, will form the basis of status as excellent teacher, with accompanying salary rise. A similar proposal is presented in the fresh report Innsats for kvalitet from a committee appointed by UiT and NTNU.

What are we waiting for?

Hilsen Anders


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