Further work and future challenges

Barriers

My ambition is to bring down some of the barriers hindering new development and flexibility in the academic sector. In my opinion “tradition” is often a hinder for progress in relation to renewal of education, courses and programmes. Some staff members wish to keep courses the way they always have been. Similarly, some students are annoyed when we wish them to participate in flipped classrooms or other innovative teaching activities such as virtual internships, and state “we prefer to come to university and just listen to lectures”. I think it is important to engage teachers in teaching teams, and meet the students collectively early in the semester to discuss the learning outcomes and the goals of the students. This is likely to engage both teachers and students, and allow for new approaches. The course plan and execution should be a common responsibility of the teaching team to avoid the “privatization” of courses, and thereby allow for adjustments to new societal challenges and curriculum.

Institutional pedagogic development

I have a few institutional projects at different levels that are in progress, and others that I wish to initiate.

Peer review at all levels to improve writing skills

Students at all levels in all fields struggle when it comes to writing scientific texts, and I am very interested in how we can get on a better track. In 2009 I introduced an approach where students evaluated students when writing a term paper, “Bruk av medelevevaluering”. The aim was to give them training in writing skills, but also in peer review practice. This was a fruitful exercise, but at that time I had some issues with the exam rules that did not allow for cooperation on the term paper that was part of the final exam. I think the time is ripe for introducing this; to have students performing peer review on each other’s texts. This would train them in giving and receiving constructive criticism, make them more conscious about their writing, and prepare them for the peer reviews of manuscripts, and even teaching. To peer review is therefore a central part in the Writing science course provided by the High North Academy which I helped create.

Improvement of the education in fisheries programmes

In 2013 there was an agreement between the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) and BFE to develop the education in fisheries biology to meet the needs related to personnel and competences that IMR face in the short and the long run. We had several meetings in the planning group, but the work stopped in 2015 due to disagreements among staff, and lower budgets. My aim is to vitalize the planning group and get a shared associate professor position between IMR and BFE announced in fall 2017.

PhD training practices at BFE and UiT

In less than a year I will be replaced by a new vice dean, and during 2017 the research and communication department at BFE is being slightly reorganized with key individuals moving to new duties. I am very conscious about trying to bring the routines and practices that I have established also into the new administration. The administrative routines are well documented, but the practical work with department and BFE HR representatives to ensure help to PhD students with issues related to mental and physical health, as well as supervisor PhD relations, needs to be reflected in guidelines and applied continuously in practice.

Career plans

I will continue the work in developing career plans within BRIDGE, and in cooperation with the institute leader K. Tveiterås communicate and facilitate the approach at the institute. I will present my ideas for the Personnel Director at UiT, and I have already made the career plan template for early scientists available to the Norwegian Research Council. In this work, I will get support from my teaching philosophy and the theories presented therein.

Peer review of teaching

I will also contribute to the development of the scholarship of teaching and learning by participating in the project “Fra kollegaveiledning til fagfellevurdering – Et felles løft for kvalitetskultur” at BFE, initiated by the vice dean of education, M. Sundset. I have suggested that we introduce the spiral model approach to ensure systematic development of templates and guidelines, as well as the scholarly teaching environment that we aim for. If I become “an excellent teacher” it will be my duty to advise my colleagues on how they can develop and apply for similar qualifications.

Train the trainers

In 2011 I got inspired by Karin Ågren from Umeå University who gave a workshop on how to train the trainers. I had some correspondence with her and we made a plan for a course at BFE, but due to financial constraints the plan was not effectuated. In 2013 Result, UiT gave their first course named “Supervision of scientists”, and I attended. In February 2017 the UiT board stated that all PhD supervisors at our university should take a course in how to train scientists by 2020. I have been in contact with Result and the research department (AFU) at UiT, and given my input on content of the new course in development e.g. research ethics, PhD-student / supervisor relationships, psycho-social conditions, and how to handle stress. I hope to contribute to the course as a lecturer and facilitator.

Plan for personal development

I will continue to have a curious analytical approach in the three dimensional space of lifelong learning. My plan is to develop my digital competence to ensure that I can run webinars and put up blogs for educational purposes when needed. My plan is to make my teaching portfolio available in both English and Norwegian, as it is slightly confusing when communicating in two languages.

I have recently participated in a weekend long workshop and have learned how to write a live action role-playing game. So now, the plan is to write a 22-26 player game for educational purposes with the aim to demonstrate how the new ethical guidelines work in practice. I will do this in cooperation with colleagues in Tromsø, and at a writing workshop in UK (see plan for details).

I wish to develop my oral teaching skills through a TED or a TEDx talk on dyslexia, and focus on my personal experience. I wish to do some background studies on the recent science in the field, and present it in relation to the skills and the approaches that I have acquired to cope in academia and in international research contexts. I think that I owe the students with dyslexia an easily accessible oral presentation that can encourage them, and show them what is possible.