Rachelle Esterhazy will defend her PhD thesis on 21st of June

Rachelle Esterhazy, UiO

Rachelle Esterhazy has been one of the PhD students in the project and she is now scheduled to publicly defend her thesis on 21st of June at 12.15. The defence will take place at the University of Oslo campus, Helga Engs hus, Auditorium 3.

Rachelle has been supervised by Monika Nerland and Crina Damsa who were both a part of the project, and were working on Part C of the project.

Her thesis is titled “Productive feedback practices in higher education. Investigating social and epistemic relations in two undergraduate courses“.

Her trial lecture will be held on Friday 21st of June at 10.15 – 11.00 on the topic Feedback to meet 21st century student learning needs: Problems and potential practices to prepare university students for an uncertain future.”

The defense is public for all interested people.

Read more at UiO webpage.

Report on student centered approaches in higher education launched

This morning, the report on student centred approaches in higher education was launched at a breakfast seminar. Monika Nerland (IPED/UiO) and Tine Prøitz (NIFU) presented the key results in the report. This was followed by a panel discussion with Oddrun Samdal (UiB), Ida Austgulen (NSO), Stein Erik Lid (NOKUT) og Gunn Engelsrud (NIH).

The report presents results from 8 course level case studies that employ various student centered approaches. All of the chapters present specific lessons learned, and the final chapter concludes with a number of dilemmas for using student-centered approaches.

The report includes chapters on: 

  • Introduction by Monika Nerland and Tine S. Prøitz
  • Project-based learning in Computer Engineering Education by Crina Damşa
  • Portfolio assessment in an undergraduate course in ecology by Rachelle Esterhazy
  • Group assignments and roleplay in Organisation and Management by Line Wittek & Monika Nerland
  • Simulation in a practicum course in nursing by Yngve Nordkvelle & Odd Rune Stalheim
  • Bringing work-related elements into teaching and learning of legal education by Trine Fossland & Thomas de Lange
  • Online teaching and learning in an experience-based MBA programme by Trine Fossland & Cathrine Tømte 
  • Problem-based learning in a field course in ecology research by Heidi Hyytinen
  • Large class lectures and essay writing in legal education by Heidi Hyytinen & Anne Haarala-Muhonen
  • Quality of educational practices: Lessons learned and recommendations for the future by Monika Nerland, Tine S. Prøitz, Crina Damsa, Thomas de Lange, Rachelle Esterhazy, Trine
    Fossland, Heidi Hyytinen, Yngve Nordkvelle, Odd Rune Stalheim, Cathrine Tømte, Line Wittek

Download the report here.

Report om student centered teaching methods – launch next week!

Dr Tine Prøitz, NIFU

Professor Monika Nerland, UiO

As a part of the project, researchers from sub-project C have been working on case studies of educational practices at the course level.

The report with key findings will be launched with a breakfast seminar at NIFU on 23rd of January, 2018, at 0830-1000. Tine Prøitz and Monika Nerland present the key results from the report.

Read more about the event here.

The case studies examine aspects that matter for the quality of educational practices in course designs that employ student-centered approaches. Whilst ways of engaging students more actively in their learning processes are high on the political agenda and a variety of pedagogical approaches are developed for these purposes, less is known about how such approaches are
enacted in practice and the challenges teachers and students face in this regard. The cases presented here illustrate different pedagogical designs and approaches and how they play out in different domains and program contexts. Each case study addresses three research questions:

  • What characterizes the teaching approaches and ways of engaging students in the course?
  • What challenges do students and teachers face with the given pedagogical approaches and learning activities?
  • What can we learn from this case about issues that matter for quality of educational practices?

The case studies used a common methodological approach combining participant observation, interviews with teachers and students, document analysis of course documents, and a questionnaire to the students targeting their course participation and experiences.


Vabø and Maassen at a seminar about the newly announced White paper “Kvalitetsmelding”

Research professor Agnete Vabø, NIFU
Research professor Agnete Vabø, NIFU

Professor Peter Maassen, UiO
Professor Peter Maassen, UiO

The Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research (Kunnskapsdepartementet) presented last Friday a new White Paper on quality in higher education. The white paper is titled “Culture for quality in higher education”.

On the occasion of the White Paper being launched a NIFU seminar was held on Monday. Agnete Vabø and Peter Maassen provided a research commentary during the seminar.

The state secretary for education, Bjørn Haugstad, first presented the White Paper, followed by a Vabø and Maassen as two researchers in the area of higher education providing a commentary based on their extensive expertise with studying governance and quality of higher education.

Later, they all joined a panel debate along with Curt Rice, rector at Oslo and Akershus University College, Ragnhild Hennum, pro-rector at University of Oslo, Marianne Andenæs, leader of the Norwegian Student Union and Terje Mørland, director of NOKUT. The debate was moderated by Sveinung Skule, director of NIFU.

Overall, the seminar highlighted that while there are a number of critical points that have been raised (for example, the emphasis on competition, questions of funding, coherence, implementation and so forth), several of the sector representatives also emphasized that the White Paper has not introduced drastic new measures and can be seen in many ways an expression of many of the processes that already take place in Norwegian higher education.

New White Paper on Quality in Norway

On 27th of January, the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research launched a new White Paper on quality in higher education. The document is titled “Culture for quality in higher education” [own translation] and has main focus on quality of education.

Among the proposals are the option for institutions to set own intake criteria, instruments related to increasing the status of education by creating mechanisms for awarding merit for excellence in education, higher requirements of pedagogical competence when applying for professor positions, a new portal for quality, and peer review of education to name a few.

The White Paper can be downloaded here (in Norwegian).