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Experienced teachers learn new tricks

The first 'senior pedagogical training programme in educational IT' has just been completed. The course provider The Centre for Health Sciences Education (CESU) and the course participants are enthusiastic about both the course and the new possibilities for developing and improving their teaching.

2016.02.22 | Sabina Bjerre Hansen

All nine course participants at a workshop in the Old Town in Aarhus. Photo: Mads Ronald Dahl

All nine course participants at a workshop in the Old Town in Aarhus. Photo: Mads Ronald Dahl

Nine experienced members of teaching staff from Health have just completed the ‘senior pedagogical training programme in educational IT'. The course is a pilot project during which the participants receive help to rethink and renew their teaching practice with the use of new IT technologies.

We challenge the experienced teachers

‘The senior pedagogical training programme in educational IT' developed from an idea that teaching staff can need support and inspiration for renewal and more efficiency regardless of career level.

CESU initially developed a competency development course for the teacher training programme for assistant professors at Health. They then continued with a course designed for the faculty's 75 student teachers. Now it is the turn of the senior teaching staff, who despite many years of teaching experience, also require knowledge about teaching, an understanding of technology and knowledge of modern educational tools, to be able to meet the modern students.

"The participants’ teaching and habits will be challenged. We encourage them to redesign elements of their degree programmes, courses or procedures and to try out some of the latest educational models and forms of instruction. All of which can be a bit of a mouthful. Digitisation influences all the familiar procedures and can thus seem overwhelming for the individual teacher," explains course coordinator Mads Ronald Dahl from CESU.

He goes on to say that there is an increasing demand from both students, the university and government agencies for digitisation as part of the teaching.

Teaching staff are taking up the challenge

The employees at Biostatistics at the Department of Public Health had just began working independently with various ideas for developing their teaching when CESU introduced the possibility of a course.

"We immediately jumped at the chance. It can be difficult to find the time to rethink teaching, which in principle functions as it has always has, if you don't have a specific reason for doing so.

This has been beneficial for all of us and given us something that we can put into practice with a relatively small investment," says Head of Section and Associate Professor Niels Trolle Andersen from the Department of Public Health and continues:

"It may well be that the new initiatives will end up being implemented in small steps. We don't know how this will work in practice. But we hope that in the long term, modern teaching with the new IT technologies will be worthwhile and will save time."

Video, feedback and assessment

On the course, participants worked with three different general topics and selected individual projects within one of the three.

"I have started making small teaching videos that the students have to use to prepare for my lectures. This gives them additional knowledge and the opportunity to revisit parts of the material. Over time I will begin using additional technologies in my teaching," says Erik Thorlund Parner, who is professor at the Department of Public Health.

Great success and new courses on the way

"It has been a really good process. We’ve learned a lot about IT technologies, but there has also been focus on developing our own teaching. It's been good to take part with the entire section. One thing we could do was prepare a general manifesto for our department – Biostatistics – on the use of feedback from students and colleagues in teaching," says Erik Thorlund Parner.

The pilot project was so successful that CESU is already offering a new senior pedagogical training programme in educational IT beginning on 12 February 2016. There are still a few places available.

CESU hopes that another entire department or section of senior teaching staff will have the courage and be ready to develop their teaching with the new IT technologies in the autumn of 2016.


Further information

Head of Educational IT at Health, PhD Mads Ronald Dahl
Aarhus University, Centre for Health Sciences Education (CESU)
Direct tel.:
(+45) 8620 5223
Mobile: (+45) 6127 8942




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