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Digital tools should make teaching smarter

Flipped classroom, peer instruction and blended learning are new digital teaching methods, which can make teaching both smarter and more fun. The Centre for Health Sciences Education (CESU) is now offering lecturers at Health a six-month course.

2015.10.05 | Christina Lund Højfeldt

Flipped classroom, peer instruction and blended learning are new digital teaching methods, which can make teaching both smarter and more fun.

Flipped classroom, peer instruction and blended learning are new digital teaching methods, which can make teaching both smarter and more fun.

The course is called Educational informatics for senior teachers (Edu-IT S). It will help teaching staff to use digital technologies for teaching activities and to identify areas that can benefit from being altered to digital courses.

"It's really a question of rethinking teaching methods in relation to developments in the area – and doing it in a smart way that makes sense and benefits both teachers and students," says Mads. R. Dahl. He is as a special consultant at CESU and both develops and teaches on the course.

In the long term, he expects the use of digital tools in teaching to ensure better quality in the degree programmes, to save time and also support flexible and more inclusive learning processes for the students:

 "An example of this could be combining video lectures, which the students can stream at home in front of the computer, with classroom teaching. This gives them the opportunity to listen to the lecture as many times as they want, while the lecturer can spend time concentrating on teaching and learning activities for the class," says Mads R. Dahl.

Individual development course for participants

The first group to take the course have just started. Teaching staff from Biostatistics at the Department of Public Health can look forward to developing their competences within e.g. flipped classroom and mobile teaching technologies over the next six months

"The course will be challenging for the course participants. They will have to work on seeing new opportunities and meeting requirements within the field of digital teaching methods. They will also have to make decisions and discover the form and the solutions that can be supportive for their teaching and their students' learning," explains Mads R. Dahl.

Positive experiences from the first module

The course participants are expected to spend around 130 hours on the course and on individual development plans. It is therefore also important that they can see the purpose of investing time in developing their teaching methods.

"There will often be a certain scepticism among experienced teaching staff in relation to investing time in new technological methods. But it is both rewarding and attractive to be able to produce, implement, and in the long term, also operate sections of your teaching using e-learning. Sometimes we can find a solution that solves a challenge and saves the teacher some time", says Niels Trolle Andersen, section manager at Biostatistics.

The first course module also gave rise to reflection among the participants about whether the new digital teaching methods could perhaps make teaching more fun:

"As teaching staff, we often find ourselves holding the same lectures several times a year. If we can instead make teaching videos combined with questions that can be answered online, we can concentrate more of our time on dialogue-based class teaching," concludes Niels Trolle Andersen.

Requirements for digitisation

E-technology governs the university’s procedures for studies, teaching and learning today, and developments are moving fast in this area. This means that teaching staff, students and administration will come to experience new opportunities and requirements for digitisation.

One of the central performance metrics in Aarhus University's development contract for 2015-2017 is improved quality in the degree programmes. This includes, among other things, targets for more up-to-date teaching courses and types of examination.

Read the full description of the courses offered at Educational Informatics for senior teachers/Edu-IT S (in Danish).

Find out more about Aarhus University's 2015-2017 development contract (in Danish).


  • Blended learning: Courses that are supplemented with online teaching.
  • Flipped classroom: Lectures are moved from the collective space to the individual space (e.g. by using video lectures). The collective space is instead converted into a dynamic and active learning space for the students.
  • Peer instruction: A form of instruction that creates dialogue in which the students' responses to the teacher's questions before and during the teaching are pivotal for the didactic choices and focus areas. Technologies such as student response systems, Padlet and online forums can be effective tools for teaching and give everyone new insights.

Further information

Special Consultant Mads R. Dahl
The Centre for Health Sciences Education (CESU), Aarhus University
Mobile: +45 6127 8942

Section Manager Niels Trolle Andersen
Biostatistics, Department of Public Health, Aarhus University
Mobile: +45 2172 5480

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