UT aims to improve teaching quality by wording best practice in teaching
Good teaching is of great importance at the University of Tartu. As proof of this, the University of Tartu will compose a document on the best practice in teaching, being the first Estonian university to do so.
How to teach well and what the principles of good teaching should be was the topic of discussion at the conference which took place on 14 January at the University of Tartu—“From lecturer to lecturer 2016: best practice in teaching”. More than 200 lecturers, researchers and students came together at the conference to share best methods and means, exchange ideas on good studying and teaching, and learn from each other’s experience.
“In order to explain the principles of best practice in teaching and support substantial discussions, it is important to give examples and show how one or the other principle is already present in our daily teaching practices,” said UT Vice Rector for Academic Affairs Mart Noorma and added that the discussion at the conference was a significant input for drawing up the document on the best practice in teaching, which provides common values and principles that should to be the basis in planning teaching work.
President of UT Student Body Martin Noorkõiv thinks that writing down common principles is important. “It helps create a certain common toolbox to use later. For me, the keyword of good studies is awareness: the problem with studies is usually not what is done but what is not done. For example, not enough discussion or thought is put into the organisation of studies. Students feel the quality of studies mostly through lecturers,” said Noorkõiv.
Noorma added that student feedback and the recently introduced collegial feedback at the University of Tartu are one of the indicators of the quality of studies. “Feedback says that the lecturers’ understanding of good teaching has become more learning-based. It is realised more and more that when it comes to teaching in university, the most important thing is supporting the learner’s development and the best way to do this is active multilateral communication or contact learning,” was an example given by Noorma of what best practice in teaching at the University of Tartu could be.
At the conference “From lecturer to lecturer 2016: best practice in teaching” on 14 January 2016, the university’s lecturers and students met at UT Library and in joint discussions put into words what makes teaching good and what principles should UT lecturers follow in teaching.
UT Vice Rector for Academic Affairs
tel. +372 52 39 159
mart.noorma [ät] ut.ee
Associate Professor of Higher Education Teaching
tel. +372 737 6470
mari.karm [ät] ut.ee