Since October 2017, UNIS is part of the same merit system for teaching as the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Bergen. Teachers at UNIS from all four scientific departments have the opportunity to get their pedagogical competence and efforts evaluated for the distinction Excellent Teaching Practitioner (ETP) by the Pedagogical Academy at the University of Bergen.
The distinction is awarded to teachers that can document a systematic effort to develop their teaching and student learning, and that contribute to a scholarly and collegial teacher culture. Those awarded with the status as ETP become members of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences’ Pedagogical Academy at UiB, and will also get a rise in salary.
The ETP system will not replace other systems for career promotion or educational quality assurance and development, but represents a new way of acknowledging quality in teaching and learning efforts. By awarding especially qualified and engaged teachers, UNIS signals that student learning and quality education is a prioritized area. For the individual teacher the system represents an opportunity to get quality work and pedagogical competence assessed and acknowledged.
The call to apply for ETP status at MN UiB was issued in April 2018 to all full-time academic staff, with an application deadline on the 1st of October 2018. Evaluation of applications will take place in October-December 2018. UNIS will offer follow-up for educators who wish to apply for evaluation, including a portfolio workshop at UNIS in June 2018.
The criteria for being awarded the distinction Excellent Teaching Practitioner have been carefully developed by a group of teachers, pedagogical experts and educational leaders from UiB and the MN Faculty to ensure that the status rewards excellence in teaching and learning. Four main points are emphasized in the criteria:
- Focus on student learning
- Clear development over time
- A scholarly approach
- A collegial practice and attitude
A closer description of the criteria and the application process is given here:
The idea of rewarding excellence in teaching is based on clear intentions on a governmental and institutional level to give research and education equal status and attention in the scientific community. In the recently published White Paper on Educational Quality merit systems are one of the mechanisms for developing a quality culture in higher education, and will be implemented at all Norwegian higher education institutions by 2019.
The merit system at the University of Bergen was initiated in 2016 as a pilot project lasting for five years, and is inspired by the Pedagogical Academy at Faculty of Engineering (LTH), Lund University in Sweden. BioCEED has been a driving force to establish the merit system for teaching with criteria based on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). The system at UiB is described in more detail here (in Norwegian). In October 2017, UNIS decided to join the ETP merit system developed by the MN-faculty at UiB.