Bilde fra panelsamtale

Debating education

The Student Council at MF invited to a debate about teaching in higher education. 




Ole-Jacob Skodvin

Anne Line Wittek

Amund Thomassen

- How is the pedagogical competence, and are the study programs put together logically? The majority, both employees and students, believes that teaching in which students participate actively, gives the best results. Another interesting result is that lecturers use a lot of time on the teaching, and they would like to use even more. We see a clear trend towards education and research being characterized by the same culture. Education is put on an equal level with research, Ole-Jakob Skodvin, Director for Analysis and Development at NOKUT, said in his introduction to the debate on April 24th.

Active and varied teaching
- I am grateful for being invited to this important event. These are huge and complex questions. Is it possible to say something about what students actually learn from? According to Anne Line Wittek, it is. She is a professor at the institute for pedagogy (UiO) and referred to a report done by NIFU wih important findings, which she summed up in three short bullet points:

  1. Active forms of learning is what students learn the most from. One has to work with relevant themes/questions in the lectures.
  2. Activities where students, with guidance, can explore a subject on their own, or in cooperation with other students.
  3. Co-students discuss and assess each others work.

Positive to educational merits
The next presenter for the debate was Amund Thomassen, from Norwegian Student Organization.

- It is exciting to discuss quality of education in a national perspective, because there are big variations. Students straight from high school need better clarification of expectations. Pedagogical merit, which has now come, is very positive. We need students to be more included in the academical fellowship.

Need for university pedagogics
Atle Ottesen Søvik, academic dean at MF, and deputy board member at Norwegian Educational Consultant, talked about the need for university pedagogics.

- The most important thing for a lecturer is to be engaged and knowledgeable, and able to light a spark of learning among the students. However, if a lecturer increases his knowledge about university pedagogics, it might lead to greater engagement on several levels. That is why we wish to offer lecturers at MF this kind competence building from now on.

Have clear expectations
The next panel brought these question back to MF. How does the lectures and teaching work at MF? The leader of the Student Council, Fam Karine Heer Aas, pointed to how the students at MF prefer the lectures to be. It is hard, because we are a varied group. However, what is often repeated in selections of "Lecturer of the Year" is the ability to engage, and that we students are given the right tools to acquire the knowledge we`re supposed to. At the same time, she also highlighted the importance of clarifying expectations.

- What do you as a teacher, expect of me as a student? What do I expect from you? For example, we need help to organize literature logically. How should completely new students organize their schedules.

Challenging the students
The university lecturer Hanne Birigitte Sødal Tveito challenged the students.
- As lecturers and teachers we are supposed to communicate in a way that motivates and opens up for new understanding. But you should know that teachers get motivated by engaged students. When you are at a lecture I challenge you to be present. Be at the school and be here mentally. Interested faces is very important for us, she said and her fellow colleges nodded.

Questions for the Academic day:

  • What are the relations between teaching and communication, and the quality in education?
  • How will future lectures look like and how do we get there?
  • Should all teachers have an education in pedagogics? And how are the lectures at MF?
  • Does the study programs give us the tools to become good lecturers?

Ole-Jacob Skodvin - Analysedirektør, NOKUT
Anne Line Wittek - Professor ved Institutt for pedagogikk (UiO)
Amund Thomassen - Fag- og læringsmiljøpolitisk ansvarlig, Norsk Studentorganisasjon
Atle Ottesen Søvik - Studiedekan (MF) og vararepresentant Norgesuniversistetets styre
Trine Anker - Førsteamanuensis, og tidligere leder for lektorprogrammet (MF)
Kjetil Fretheim - Professor, avdelingsrådsleder, årets underviser 2013 (MF)
Hanne Birgitte Sødal Tveito - Universitetslektor, leder av MFs lærermøte, årets underviser 2015 (MF)
Fam Karine Heer Aas - Leder, Studentrådet ved MF
Rebekka Opsal - Fagpolitisk ansvarlig, Studentrådet ved MF (ledet debatten)