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Are you passionate about developing teaching, and do you have a good idea for a project that experiments with digital learning technologies? From now and until 12 October, you can again apply for a share in the university's EDU IT pool funds. All teaching staff with good ideas are encouraged to apply for funds from the EDU IT pool. The application deadline is 12 October, and the funding will be available from January 2021.

2020.10.05 | Kristoffer Jakobsen

All teaching staff with good ideas are encouraged to apply for funds from the EDU IT pool. The application deadline is 12 October, and the funding will be available from January 2021. Photo: Anders Trærup

If the corona crisis has taught us anything, it is that physical teaching on campus is indispensable. However, the crisis has also exacerbated the need to rapidly develop digital teaching and confirmed that intelligent use of new digital learning technologies is essential if we are to develop and future-proof our teaching.

And this is the exact goal of Aarhus University's EDU IT initiative. In the period 2018-2024, a special funding pool has been earmarked for new projects, and for the third successive year, employees can apply for funding to finance their project ideas. Berit Eika, pro-rector at Aarhus University, is heading the initiative.

"Digitisation of teaching is not a goal in itself, but when teaching development is our goal, good use of digital learning technologies is crucial for us to be able to offer up-to-date and motivating teaching that increases learning outcomes," she says.

In recent years, grants have shown that there are many possibilities, and projects have covered everything from a virtual reality robot arm to the introduction of multiple choice in the classroom.

"It's important that we continuously build on our experience and allow ourselves to be inspired by each other, so that we can work together to push development in the right direction," says Berit Eika.

Better E-Learning for medical students

One of the projects that was awarded EDU IT pool funding this year was launched by Mette Kjærgaard Nielsen, part-time lecturer at the Department of Public Health. The project will build a bridge between theory and practice by reinforcing the e-learning component of the general medical practice course for 12th semester medical students.

As part of the project, large parts of the theoretical material have been uploaded as short videos on Blackboard. This provides enables students to easily re-visit the material and quickly familiarise themselves with both the theoretical and practical information. The project also provides students with the opportunity to talk with each other via online padlets when, for example, they are on clinical stays at different locations.

Mette Kjærgaard Nielsen, the architect behind the project, is looking forward to following the project's effects on student learning:

"I hope that the project will give students a better overview and allow them to give their full attention to their clinical training and how they interact and communicate with the patient. Teaching will simply reach a higher level of learning," she says.

Quiz in educational sociology

At the department of Educational Sociology, Tom Gislev Kjærsgaard from CUDiM is one of the driving forces behind a project that has just been launched using EDU IT pool funds. Students on the course will be given access to a digital quiz system, where they can test their knowledge and receive direct written feedback. The students will not only be told whether their answers are wrong or correct, but will also be given supplementary feedback, for example where to find more reading material or where to find the correct answer in the literature.

"The student will be nudged in the right direction instead of just being told that their answer is incorrect," says Tom Gislev Kjærsgaard.

The idea is that feedback will be more informative and will not be about testing what the student knows, but rather it will ensure that the student gets an overview of the theory. This is precisely why Tom Gislev Kjærsgaard and his partners call it a quiz and not a test.

The main objective of the project is to supplement ordinary teaching and interaction with the lecturer," says Tom Gislev Kjærsgaard:

"It provides students with an alternative to their lecturer, who they have limited access to during the week. The quiz gives them direct feedback on their comprehension of the text. It doesn’t replace teaching or interaction with the lecturer, but it supplements students’ text work, which takes up a lot of time."

Apply for funding for your project now

And if you have an idea for a project, apply for funding:
“If there’s something that you find interesting and would like to spend some time exploring and researching, I think you should definitely apply for funding.”

Mette Kjærgaard Nielsen also encourages other teaching staff to apply for EDU IT funding.

"It gives you the time and focus to create a new and better framework for your course, which improves the learning conditions for students," she says.

All teaching staff with good ideas are encouraged to apply for funds from the EDU IT pool. The application deadline is 12 October, and the funding will be available from January 2021.

Read more about how to apply for funding for your project in 2021 (in Danish) 

Facts about EDU IT at AU The Aarhus University board has earmarked DKK 60 million for the period 2018-2024 for work on learning technology. The EDU IT Hub is the joint coordinating support unit for technology in teaching. From 1 October, it will be a permanent part of the new joint University Pedagogy Centre. Activities includes:

  • Development, testing and implementation of learning technologies
  • Improving the user-friendliness of Aarhus University's joint learning management platform
  • Collaboration on teaching development
  • Establishment of experimental teaching facility
  • Help with video production
  • Allocation of project funding, for example for the redesign of teaching at departments and centres

For more information about EDU IT and applying for funding, contact Anders Hyldig, head of Educational IT at AU, or Troels Pedersen, educational consultant at the EDU IT hub.

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