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Successful internal seminar on educational IT

Teaching staff from departments and centres at AU gained and shared inspiration about how digital learning platforms can be incorporated into teaching at the educational IT seminar on 8 October 2015.

As Pro-rector Berit Eika stated in her opening remarks, “I know that a lot of really good, exciting things are taking place around the university in relation to educational IT. Today, we have a chance to share those experiences with each other today, so we can all learn and gain from each others’ insight across the university.”

She went on to add:

“Technology has become a natural, fully integrated aspect of our teaching. For this reason, it’s extremely important that we constantly work to ensure that we work with digital learning platforms in the most constructive way possible, so that teaching becomes more satisfying and our students learn better and in a more motivating way.”  

Scottish insight

The keynote speaker at the seminar was Professor Sian Bayne from the University of Edinburgh. Professor Bayne spoke about the University of Edinburgh’s innovative approach to online education, with a total of 25 Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS) available. She also presented a ‘manifesto’ with good advice and points to remember in connection with online education. Watch Professor Baynes’ presentation . [link]

From monologue to dialogue

Associate Professor Carsten Bergenholtz from the Department of Management at AU also spoke. Using the system PollEverywhere, Bergenholtz is able to engage students in dialogue during classes, even when 200-300 students are present. Bergenholtz uses the system to pose questions that the students can respond to on a website. The advantage of the system is that it makes it possible to give students immediate feedback in a teaching situation - and vice versa.

“What’s more, the system is inexpensive, and the students are very positive about incorporating an activity into the lecture,” explains Bergenholtz, who continues:

“As I see it, the only challenge is that it sometimes takes time to learn how to pose really good questions, but you learn how. You have to find a balance between true/false questions and more in-depth questions.”

Online learning tools for students

Professor Bjørk Hammer, Department of Physics and Astronomy at AU, presented another way of including digital learning platforms in teaching. Hammer has developed a digital learning tool for his students. Called Sci2u, the system is an online platform that gives students practice their maths skills. Practicing maths in the system has a positive effect on students, who show improved skills as a consequence.

Feedback from participants

Participants in the seminar had signed up to learn about how other teaching staff incorporate digital learning platforms into their work – and they received a lot of useful input.

In the words of Katrine Kjær, who teaches plant physiology at the Department of Bioscience:

“I think I’ve seen a lot of exciting ideas presented here today, and I’m particularly intrigued by the PollEverywhere system. However, there are some barriers to getting starting on using these new digital learning platforms – money and time.”

Åge Laurtisen, who teachings mechanical engineering at the Aarhus University School of Engineering, had also signed up to gain new inspiration:

“I think coming here today was an exciting eye-opener. I’ve gotten inspiration on how it’s possible to work with different digital learning platforms which I’ll take back to my colleagues and my network.”

Sources of inspiration

There was a wide variety of exciting, innovative presentations at the educational IT seminar. If you missed a presentation or would like to watch one again, the Power Point presentations are available below:

Further information

  • If you would like to learn more about the event, you are welcome to contact Kirsten Brusgård, adviser to the pro-rector.