The broad scope of biology in science and society, and the variety of subjects studied within a biology degree, offers great potential as a ‘lab’ for testing out a variety of teaching and learning methods. Exploring these opportunities is the core of our strategic development area Innovative Teaching. Activities in innovative teaching are tighly linked to Teacher Culture and Practical Training.
Our educations are research-based. This means that we teach the latest biological research; that our students get experience with conducting their own research; and that our work is both based on, and contributes to, educational research.
Student motivation and educational outcomes are connected with using appropriate, student-active learning methods, and with having access to an appropriate learning environment. We are developing and testing a series of methods and tools to support learning.
Examples of Innovative teaching projects:
- The digital platform bioSKILLS – an online training platform for transferable skills across curriculum which focus on online tutorials, learning materials and videos. bioSKILLS includes bioST@TS, bioWRITE, bioCOM, bioPRACTICE, bioCRUISE, bioLAB and bioFIELD and functions as a learning platform for students and teachers.
- ArtsApp – we develop a digital species identification tool and do research on the use of mobile-application tools on motivation, self-efficacy and learning in biology (see Lucas Jeno’s article).
- We offer internship courses in research, industry and public sector (see Practical training). The research project PRIME assesses learning outcomes and investigates societal relevance of practical training.
- We promote flipped classroom teaching – several of our courses contains elements of team-based learning which support a learning environment focusing on problem solving, critical thinking, and collaboration in classroom teaching.
- Students produce video tutorials on lab and field methods. Teach-to-Learn (TE2LE) investigates how this influences creativity and develops collaborative, communicative and pedagogical skills.
- COPUS – a project that is aiming to map how biology faculty teach, what characterizes their teaching, teaching methods and student participation.
- biORAKEL – a student-driven service where bachelor biology students can seek help from more experienced students.
- Open student meetings and seminars where teaching and learning methods are presented and discussed. The seminars are also used as transferable skill training seminars for students to gain knowledge on specific subjects.