This course is aimed at Ph.D. students who may work with different kinds of teaching. The course includes group work, individual work, mandatory meetings, and online work in Canvas. The main objective is to provide an opportunity to develop a foundation that enables the development of the participants’ teaching and their students’ learning.
The course has a high demand and the number of applicants often exceeds the number of places. It is important that at registration you are aware that you are expected to spend 80 hours on the course including mandatory meetings during the course period.
The first meeting is compulsory without exception. You must attend 5 out of the 6 meetings in order to pass the course. As we have designed the meetings with much interaction between the students, active participation is necessary to make the course both interesting and evolving for you and your course colleagues. There is a preparation task before every meeting.
Headings denoted with an asterisk ( * ) is retrieved from the course syllabus version Autumn 2020
Content and learning outcomes
The main themes for the course are:
Basis for learning and teaching
Natural learning environments
Teaching of engineering sciences
Feedback and supervision
Interviews and group work
Recording of teaching
Your development as teacher
Intended learning outcomes
After completing the course, the student should be able to:
apply basic concepts, materials and methods, as well as conditions for teaching and learning in higher education;
discuss her/his own role in relation to sustainable development with focus on learning and teaching their own subject;
present and explain subjects, and carry out activating assignments in their own knowledge field;
give and receive feedback with focus on analysing, evaluating and developing teaching and learning;
extract the most interesting parts of a scientific study and present it in an interesting way with focus on learning;
analise a chosen area of a field study and relate the findings to their own teaching practice, for the development of their own educational skills and ability as teacher in the long run.
Meeting 1 (Concepts of Learning): Students are asked to prepare for this meeting by reflecting on education and learning, watching videos related to metacognition of learning and rethink the way we teach. Groups meet for the first time and spend some time getting to know each other. The field of teaching and learning in higher education is briefly introduced and discussed, followed by general information about the course. In the second half of this meeting, students have a workshop on sustainable development and are introduced to education for sustainable development, CDIO, and the concept of an integrated curriculum. This workshop also serves as a preparation for the interview assignment in which students investigate how teachers at KTH work with the integration of sustainability in their courses.
Meeting 2 (Natural Learning Environment): Flipped classroom. Bain’s natural critical learning environment is thoroughly discussed during the meeting and Kahoot is introduced for retrieval practice. In this meeting, we discuss how teachers motivate students to learn by providing the necessary mechanisms. Students are briefly introduced to the importance of communication in teaching. Groups discuss how a teaching activity can be improved with focus on learning. The first group assignment (interviews) is introduced.
Meeting 3 (Teaching in Engineering Sciences): A discussion on Mazur’s video concerning peer instruction is carried out and much appreciated by participants. This meeting introduces concepts of a teaching practicum to help students design a teaching activity. A brainstorm on designing a teaching activity is carried out in class, which is the first step towards the recording of a teaching activity.
Meeting 4 (Feedback and Supervision): Feedback according to Hattie’s article (model) is discussed. As engineers are not used to articles in social sciences, some complain the text is hard to digest. Nevertheless, the outcome of the discussions is very positive and this is reflected in their last assignment. Students practice giving and receiving feedback (on their design of teaching activity). Supervision is discussed based on the students’ initial research on what supervision is and the different types or forms of supervision which students discussed in their groups during class meeting 4.
Group meeting 5 (What Makes a Good Teacher): The group work, together with the video recording are by far the two most appreciated elements of the course. The groups feel they have the freedom to choose whom to interview and areas to investigate. A number of students mention they feel they get concrete examples of how to handle specific topics that novice teachers may not be confident to deal with. They also like the fact that they talk to more experienced teachers on how they plan their courses taking into consideration elements of the natural critical learning environment.
Meeting 6 (Your Teaching Developing Steps): The final meeting is a wrap-up of the contents in the course with focus on revising the main concepts presented in the course, the design of a teaching activity with the video recording, feedback and possible next steps. The article Principles of Instruction (Rosenshine) gathers many of the main concepts discussed throughout the course. The hybrid format has not attracted as many students to the classroom as we expected after being online for two years.
Preparations before course start
Bain, K., What the best college teachers do. 2004
The book is available online in Canvas.
Other articles, links and films are provided via Canvas.
Support for students with disabilities
Students at KTH with a permanent disability can get support during studies from Funka: