An interview with Lasse Christiansen, lecturer within the department Design and technology, University College of Northern Denmark.
- What was the purpose of running pilots?
The pilots served as an experiment, where we test our developed educational framework and training material. The goal was to test whether the students learned what we intended in an engaging way. Furthermore, I wanted to develop some learning material based on my own research, and this framework allowed me to incorporate my own knowledge into the educational designs.
- How did you use the framework to structure your lectures?
I relied heavily on the flipped classroom approach, where online content is used for lecturing and the teaching hours are used for exercises. Moreover, I emphasised the use of authentic task design, where tasks are ill-defined as well as complex and relates to real-world scenarios. My first lecture took place just a few days after Denmark went into the first COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020. I was preparing for a normal lecturing, but with flipped classroom approach. It was, therefore, easy to convert the rest of the learning material to this approach, and as a result, I could increase the amount of supervision in order to utilise the time with the students better.
- How was your experience with using the educational framework?
I was rather satisfied with the framework. I have had the opportunity to gain new insights into teaching styles, which can be used outside of the pilots as well. I have changed my way of lecturing, so it contains more activation of the students prior to teaching and supervision and a little less demonstration. I still demonstrate, but now I use less of the teaching hours on it.
When using the framework, it is good to be conscious about how you want to teach: do you want it to be authentic, abstract or something else? I believe that some teaching styles suits specific situations better than others, but in most cases, the authentic task design seems to hit home for me.
- How did your students react to the lectures based on the framework?
Very positively. We can see from our pilots that the students were satisfied with the content and the way that the lectures were structured. The students were also inspired to investigate my teaching topics in more details during and after the lectures. In one of the pilots, I had to change a little because the IT did not support my intensions. However, this was a minor incidence that did not seem to influence the students, and the rest of the pilots that I held have been rather successful.
- Will you use the educational framework in future lectures?
Definitely – both for teaching and research. By running these pilots, I have gained new teaching- and planning tools that have proved effective for the teaching that I perform. In other words, the framework has helped me develop my teaching skills, but I will continuously strive to become better.