We are in the middle of the second period of this academic year, the days are filled with teaching and research activities at the same time as the daylight is becoming shorter and shorter. But luckily the advent season is coming up, which means that we are allowed to start hanging up advent candelabra and some Christmas decorations. This is something at least I enjoy very much.
When it comes to educational issues I attended a very interesting seminar yesterday arranged by vice dean Per Berglund. The focus for the seminar was on the work that is being done to develop KTH’s quality assurance system according to national and international requirements. We all got a brief overview of national requirements and European guidelines for quality assurance of higher education as well as an overview of how the Sci-school works to develop KTH’s systematic quality work in a collegial and efficient manner. This was very interesting and gave good insights for the work that we all have to do next year. We will discuss this from a ITM-school perspective on the faculty club on December 18th, so I hope you all can participate then.
Finally as part of the public debate that has been ongoing, I hope you all read the blog of our President Sigbritt Karlsson where she shares these words with us, and I will let them be the final saying in this weeks blogg:
At KTH a good work environment is something we need to protect on a daily basis. This particularly concerns harassment, for which there is zero tolerance. In its Diversity Policy, KTH has stated that all forms of discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment and victimisation are subject to zero tolerance. This is what is applicable, and all deviations from this must be dealt with. In this way, we can maintain an attractive environment for both work and study that encourages creativity in education, research and collaboration.
Now the first period of this academic year has passed and I hope you all consider the courses and examinations within your responsibility as successful.
When it comes to educational issues – at both ITM-school level as well as KTH level – several important things are ongoing:
The first very important, and gratifying, thing is that the President (together with the Vice Dean) of KTH decided to transform the track Industrial technology and sustainability (within CMAST) into a separate master of science in engineering program. This is something that the ITM-school has worked for during a long time and therefore this is very welcome news.
I also hope that all teachers with courses that ends in P1 has seen the information from the canvas project that they this week released a new feature that facilitates performance reporting from Canvas to Ladok. The function is accessed from the left menu in all canvas webpages under the name “Exportera Resultat (BETA)”. If you have any questions about this please contact the Canvas project manager Michael Welin-Berger.
Finally, KTH has decided to implement målrelaterade betygskriterier (target-related grading criterias) on all courses with a graduated grading scale. These målrelaterade betygskriterier are to be introduced to all KTH courses in a step by step model from now on. This means that from HT18 all new courses needs to have målrelaterade betygskriterier, from HT19 all courses that are included in special eligibility needs to have it and from HT20 every course at KTH will have målrelaterade betygskriterier. It is the examiner’s responsibility that the grading criteria is published in the course PM prior to course start, and also that they are available after the course has been completed. If you want to read more about this view document v-2017-0740 at kth.se.
So, now the semester has started and all the P1 courses is up and running. When it comes to our teaching and programs several important things are ongoing at KTH. We have all begun to use Canvas as our new LMS system, and even though the implementation of Canvas has been smooth using it extensively in our teaching has unfolded both its benefits and drawbacks. Overall I have talked to a lot of teachers that are satisfied with the functions in Canvas, but of course several of us has discovered a lot of “childhood deceases”. Hopefully these will be corrected as soon as possible.
Also, I hope everyone knows that new rules for written exams will be introduced with exam period 1, H17. Information to the students about the new rules is posted on the web:
And yesterday, on the 21st of September an e-mail has been sent to all students at KTH (about 12 000) regarding the new rules. But, since all teachers probably will receive a lot of questions regarding this it’s important that you all have good knowledge of the new rules.
Finally, I just want to give you a brief summary of the interesting discussions that I took part in this Wednesday. KTHs new vice president Anna Wahl and Nationella sekreteriatet för genusforskning arranged a conference day where the focus was to discuss the importance of equlity integration in higher education. Representatives from more than 20 different universities participated in the conference and shared knowledge and experience on f.i. how to enhance gender and equality issues in both teaching, communication, recruitment activities as well as the management systems. Very interesting!
Finally we have reached the end of the spring semester after a very intense period. The last couple of weeks my time has been filled with both examination, research conferences and the graduation ceremony for masters, masters of engineering and architects in the City Hall. The graduation ceremony was a new experience for me, and during this ceremony the presentation of the diplomas to each graduate was mixed with musical entertainment by the KTH academic orchestra conducted by director musices Gunnar Julin and the student choir. It was a very impressive and an incredible nice arrangement, I really appreciated the opportunity to present and congratulate all of ITMs graduates 🙂
But I have also, as probably most of you, put a lot of time the last couple of weeks on grading, for example master thesis projects. I really think supervising master thesis projects is a rewarding teaching effort, since these students are almost finished with their education and therefore are ready to apply all parts of it. It’s thrilling to be able to see the students execute this in a satisfactory way.
Finally, some educational issues being discussed at KTH tight now. For instance; there is a lot of discussions on how to enhance the quality assurance process (course evaluations and analyses), what the content of the program analysis should be, and off course the shift from Bilda till Canvas. Hope you all have attended a workshop and feel prepared for teaching with the help of Canvas as of this fall semester.
But before we all start to think about the fall I want to wish you all a Glad Midsommar and hope you have a nice vacation.
A very intense week is about to be completed, since the term is about to end. Time to summarize all P4 courses and complete the work of writing and correcting all the examination. But this week has also offered other exciting and interesting education-focused events. For instance, yesterday (on Wednesday) all the schools GA & PA had a rally discussing both the program analysis, that all schools recently have developed, as well as different prioritized development inquiries, performed during the spring. It was interesting to note that there are several common progress areas where we can benefit from networking and collaboration. For instance, lots of the presentations discussed the need for increased sustainability, gender equality and quality assurance in several of the educations.
Next week we can look forward to having a dialogue focused on educational quality with e.g. the President Sigbritt Karlsson and also the vice dean of faculty Per Berglund (who is responsible for the education at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD levels). It will give us the possibility to describe and discuss the strengths and opportunities, as well as threats, for all of our education on 1st, 2nd and 3rd cycle level at the school. Hopefully it will be rewarding.
But for now, let’s enjoy the coming summer weather and bring e.g. the master thesis reading with us outdoors.