Learning Forum 2017

4th Learning Forum at UNIS, October 2017. Photo: Inger Lise Næss/UNIS

Top image: All the participants gathered during the 2017 Learning Forum. Photo: Inger Lise Næss/UNIS

In October, the fourth annual Learning Forum took place at UNIS. The Learning Forum is an event where the entire UNIS teaching staff can share and gain knowledge regarding research based education, course construction and development. 

8 November 2017

The forum consisted of two full days of talks and workshops, and the included the announcement that UNIS will be a part of the new merit system for teaching at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Bergen.

Berit Kjeldstad, Head of Education Quality Division, NTNU and chair of the Board of Directors at UNIS opened the forum with a talk presenting several of the trends in higher education in Europe where there is a growing attention to learning and teaching, and a digital revolution in the educational sector. Berit also brought up some of the main challenges for institutions and students, and how NTNU is working with teaching on different levels by use of digital tools, flexible teaching and learning spaces, educational leadership, a merit system and quality assurance “follow-up-tasks” that is connected with budget processes.

Field teaching was again on the agenda including both internal and external lectures. Professor emeritus Peter van Marion from NTNU, who has a wide experience from fieldwork in university courses in biology and in-service courses for teachers in science, biology and geography was invited to hold a speech about his experience with field teaching. Peter raised some valuable questions and gave some interesting thoughts about different perspective on fieldwork; the “hands on” and “minds on” pitfalls, use of the outdoor as a context for learning, degree of inquiry in field-based teaching and the cost-benefit perspective of fieldwork. The participants were also able to join in on a 2 hour-long workshop with Peter on this theme.

We were also introduced to the reviewing and reflective techniques by Roger Greenaway from Scotland, a training consultant who has specialized in how to facilitate learning and the transfer of learning. Roger went through some of his techniques during his lecture and deepened up on the theme in his workshop where the participants learned more about different active methods, and how these methods could be applied at different stages of learning.

The presentations were filmed and are available here:

Trends in Higher Education and the effect of teaching and learning – by Berit Kjeldstad

Teaching in the field – by Peter van Marion

Transforming lectures into participatory active learning – by Roger Greenaway

A big thank you to the organizing committee, the presenters, and workshop leaders – and to all the participants!