Learning and Teaching

For all of you who don’t fancy wading though wave watching and kitchen oceanography blog posts in search of those posts on teaching and learning in higher education (I usually summarise articles, podcast episodes or conversations I found useful, post new slides I create, or share methods that I saw, heard about, or tried myself.), here is an overview!

(Sorry about the format that looks like “oh are we fancy on the Internet! It’s 1991 after all!”)

  • The Curious Construct of Active Learning: A guest post by K. Dunnett (UiO) on Lombardi et al. (2021)
    ‘Active Learning’ is frequently used in relation to university teaching, especially in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects where expository lecturing is still a common means of instruction, especially in theoretical courses. However, many different activities and types of activities can be assigned this label. This review article examines the educational research and development […]
  • Choosing technical terminology that does not make people feel excluded or uncomfortable
    A colleague recently sent me a great article by Peter Kirn: “So yeah, let’s just use plug and socket — industry group recommends obvious change in terminology“. In the article, it is pointed out that the “male” and “female” terminology, referring to and how cables are connected together, is problematic and should be avoided in […]
  • Effective learning techniques for students: Currently reading Dunlosky et al. (2013)
    I want to give you a quick summary of the super useful article “Improving Students’ Learning With Effective Learning Techniques: Promising Directions From Cognitive and Educational Psychology” by Dunlosky et al. (2013). A lot of what I write about on here is about how we can improve our own teaching, but another really important aspect is […]
  • Article just published: Collaborative Sketching to Support Sensemaking: If You Can Sketch It, You Can Explain It
    What a lovely Birthday gift (and seriously impressively quick turn-around times at TOS Oceanography!): Kjersti‘s & my article “Collaborative Sketching to Support Sensemaking: If You Can Sketch It, You Can Explain It” (Daae & Glessmer, 2022) has just come out today! In it, we describe Kjersti’s experiences with using portable whiteboards that students use to collaboratively […]
  • Using peer feedback to improve students’ writing (Currently reading Huisman et al., 2019)
    I wrote about involving students in creating assessment criteria and quality definitions for their own learning on Thursday, and today I want to think a bit about involving students also in the feedback process, based on an article by Huisman et al. (2019) on “The impact of peer feedback on university students’ academic writing: a Meta-Analysis”. In that […]
  • Co-creating rubrics? Currently reading Fraile et al. (2017)
    I’ve been a fan of using rubrics — tables that contain assessment criteria and a scale of quality definitions for each — not just in a summative way to determine grades, but in a formative way to engage students in thinking about learning outcomes and how they would know when they’ve reached them. Kjersti has […]
  • Teaching to improve research skills? Thinking about Feldon et al. (2011)
    When graduate students teach, they acquire important research skills, like generating testable hypotheses or designing research, more than their peers who “only” do research, according to Feldon et al. (2011), who compared methodolocical skills in research proposals written by graduate students. This is quite interesting, because while many graduate students enjoy teaching, there are only […]
  • Three ways to think about “students as partners”
    As we get started with our project #CoCreatingGFI, we are talking to more and more people about our ideas for what we want to achieve within the project (for a short summary, check out this page), which means that we are playing with different ways to frame our understanding of co-creation and students as partners […]
  • Reinholz et al. (2021)’s eight most used theories of change and how they relate to each other in my head
    I’ve been playing with this figure (inspired by the Reinholz et al. 2021 article) for a while now for the iEarth/BioCeed Leading Educational Change course, where we try to look at our change project through many different lenses in order to find out which ones are most relevant to help us shape and plan the […]
  • How much of the work should the teacher vs the student do? Teaching as a dance, inspired by Joe Hoyle
    This week I spent in a really interesting position: Sitting in the back of a workshop on “introduction to teaching and learning in higher education”, occasionally giving inputs, for example on microaggressions or Universal Design for Learning. And, this morning, about dance as a metaphor for learning and teaching. I first came across this metaphor […]
  • Using student evaluations of teaching to actually improve teaching (based on Roxå et al., 2021)
    There are a lot of problems with student evaluations of teaching, especially when they are used as a tool without reflecting on what they can and cannot be used for. Heffernan (2021) finds them to be sexist, racist, prejudiced and biased (my summary of Heffernan (2021) here). There are many more factors that influence whether […]
  • Thinking about theories of change (based on Reinholz et al., 2021)
    I’ve spent quite some time thinking about how to apply theories of change to changing learning and teaching culture (initially in the framework of the iEarth/BioCEED course on “leading educational change”, but more and more beyond that, too). Kezar & Holcombe (2019) say we should use several theories of change simultaneously to make things happen, and […]
  • Thinking about “Universal Design for Learning”
    Something that has been on my mind a lot lately is how to make learning situations welcoming and accessible to all students. A very obvious response is to the “accessible” side of things is to think about UDL: “Universal Design for Learning” (Brand et al., 2012). The general idea is that, instead of making accommodations […]
  • Currently reading: “Microaggressions: Intervening in three acts” by Thurber & DiAngelo (2018)
    I’m currently thinking so much about how to make academia a more welcoming and accessible environment, and just read the article “Microaggressions: Intervening in three acts” by Thurber & DiAngelo, which I think everybody should read. It describes three situations in which microaggressions occurred, one from the perspective of perpetrator, witness and target* each, and […]
  • Thinking about decolonising the curriculum (inspired by Dessent et al., 2022)
    I just read the article “Decolonizing the Undergraduate Chemistry Curriculum: An Account of How to Start” by Dessent et al. (2022) and found it a really nice and encouraging introduction to a topic that might otherwise seem scary to tackle. Because what does “decolonisation” even mean? If we don’t have colonies any more as a […]
  • Reading about quality cultures in academia (Harvey & Stensaker, 2008)
    With my new job as academic developer at Lund University, I’m reading even more about changing academic cultures than before (but don’t worry, I have a couple of wave watching posts in the works, too!). Just now, I read about “Quality culture: Understandings, boundaries and linkages.” by Harvey & Stensaker, 2008. The article first starts […]
  • Funded: Our project on “co-creation to promote active learning and communities of practice”
    This week, we got super exciting news: Kjersti‘s and my proposal to the active learning call by the Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Competence (HK-dir) got funded (perfect timing, since our article on co-creating learning on oceanography was also published this week!)! Below I’m sharing the translation of an interview that Kjersti gave to […]
  • Just published: Co-Creating Learning in Oceanography
    Kjersti and I just had an article published: “Co-Creating Learning in Oceanography” (Glessmer & Daae, 2021)! In this article, we discuss ways in which to share responsibility for learning between teachers and students on a continuum from “just” actively engaging students towards fully shared responsibility, i.e. “co-creation” or “Students as Partners”. We give 13 different […]
  • Students as partners as a threshold concept for students and teachers?
    One of my goals as a teacher is to change culture towards responsibility for student learning being shared equally between teachers and students. This is an idea that is met with some resistance, both from students who need to put in more work, and from teachers. An article by Cook-Sather (2014) sheds light on difficulties […]
  • Kaur & Noman (2020): A study applying self-determination theory on Students as Partners
    I love using self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2000) as a framework against which I check all teaching I develop. Is it even possible for students to feel competence, autonomy, relatedness in the environment I am building, or what can I tweak to create conditions in which these contritions for feeling intrinsically motivated are more […]
  • Using rubrics
    I’ve been a fan of working with rubrics for a long time, but somehow I don’t seem to have blogged about it. So here we go! Rubrics are basically tables of learning outcomes. The rows give different criteria that are to be assessed, and then performance at (typically three) different levels is described. Below, I’ll […]
  • Small groups work on shared artefacts
    Participation in shared production of artefacts is a great way to learn in a community, because putting things on paper (or, as we will see later, on online slides or physical whiteboards) requires a clearer articulation of the topic of discussion, and a level of commitment to a shared meaning (Wenger, 1998). We give two […]
  • Including missing topics that students suggest
    I’ve been talking about the importance of leaving room for topics that students are really interested in for a long time. Today, I want to tell you about my first experience with this: Back in 2012, in my first year teaching the “introduction to oceanography course”, a student came up to me after the first […]
  • Guest post by Kjersti Daae: Using voting cards to increase student activity and promote discussions and critical thinking
    I got permission to publish Kjersti Daae‘s iEarth conversation on teaching (with Torgny Roxå and myself in April 2021) on my blog! Thanks, Kjersti :-) Here we go: I teach in an introductory course in meteorology and oceanography (GEOF105) at the geophysical institute, UiB. The students come from two different study programs: BSc in climate, […]
  • A review of change theory in STEM higher ed (Reinholz et al., 2021)
    More reading for my “leading educational change” course run by iEarth and BioCEED! Today on how change theory has been used in STEM higher education over the last 25 years  (Reinholz et al., 2021), which I am summarising here. Why are people interested in change theory? In order to change a system (for example to […]
  • Communities of practice
    Summarising my reading on “communities of practice”, and my views on how this framework might be useful for thinking about change in our context, for our iEarth/BioCEED-led course on “leading educational change”… Communities of practice are often used as a model for “learning through participation”, describing how culture influences how knowledge within organisations is built […]
  • Quick summary of literature on the Teacher-Centered Systemic Reform
    As preparation for our next meeting in iEarth & bioCEED’s course on “Leading Educational Change”, I am reading up on “Teacher-Centered Systemic Reform” (TCSR). The motivation to develop TCSR as a new model to plan and ealuate change arose of observations of “the school reform paradox: change without difference”, i.e. a century worth of school […]
  • Podcasts on learning and teaching, career development, and mental health in academia
    Over the summer, I’ve really gotten into podcasts, mainly to get new perspectives and ideas on university teaching, and also on life in academia. Here are several that I listen to regularly when I’m going for walks and that I can fully recommend! And by “fully recommend” I mean that I listen to all new […]
  • 8 steps to accelerate change in your organization (Kotter, 2018)
    I’ve been thinking a lot about driving change recently (especially in the context of the “leading educational change” course by iEarth and BioCEED), and found the Kotter Inc. website on the topic super helpful. They provide a free e-book on the “8 steps to accelerate change in your organization” which I want to summarise here. The […]
  • Letting students choose the format of their assessment
    I just love giving students choice: It instantly makes them more motivated and engaged! Especially when it comes to big and important tasks like assessments. One thing that I have great experience with is letting students choose the format of a cruise or lab report. After all, if writing a classical lab report isn’t a […]
  • Vicarious experiences in learning
    In a recent iEarth teaching conversation, we talked about enthusiasm, and about what mechanisms might be at play if having an enthusiastic teacher really leads to better learning. Torgny then recommended the chapter by Hodgson (2005). She mentions “vicarious experience of relevance” in the context of what makes a good lecture. In addition to the vicarious […]
  • Currently reading: “Leveraging Multiple Theories of Change to Promote Reform” (Kezar & Holcombe, 2019)
    I am attending a course on “leading educational change”, run by two Norwegian centres for excellence in education, iEarth and BioCEED. The course brings together people working on educational change in very different roles: teachers, administrators, deans, network coordinators, and it’s a great opportunity to connect with people and to do some really focussed thinking […]
  • Learning together across courses — our iSSOTL presentation
    Last week, Kjersti Daae and I gave a virtual presentation at the iSSOTL conference, and here is a short summary. We presented an ongoing teaching innovation project, funded by Olsen legat and conducted together with Jakob Skavang, Elin Darelius and Camille Li, that we started last year at the Geophysical Institute in Bergen: Bringing together […]
  • The story of Robert and Susan (Biggs, 1999)
    I attended iEarth’s GeoLearning Forum today and yesterday, and had a lot of great conversations with amazing students from the four iEarth institutions: Universities of Bergen, Oslo, Tromsø, and UNIS. One student, Sverre, told me about having read articles on learning and teaching as part of a normal geoscience class (how awesome is that? Hat […]
  • #Methods2Go: Methods for feedback and reflection in university teaching
    More methods today, inspired by E.-M. Schumacher’s “Methoden 2 go online!“! Today: Evaluating Flashlight I used to hate it when in in-person workshops everybody was asked to give a statement at the end, about what the most important thing was they learned, or how they liked something, or that kind of thing because on the […]
  • #Methods2Go: Transferring theoretical ideas into actionable knowledge in university teaching
    More methods today, inspired by E.-M. Schumacher’s “Methoden 2 go online!“! Today: Converting Battle of theories The idea in this method is that students asynchronously read up on certain theories and prepare to defend them against other theories. In a video call, a handful of students than “battle” while the rest takes on roles like […]
  • Giving students choice on what is being discussed in class
    Speaking about co-creating learning and giving students choice in what they learn, one thing that I have found to work really well is to sometimes present different options. For example, in my workshops on university teaching, there are some topics that are always requested, even if they are not part of the planned content for […]
  • #Methods2Go: Methods for “informing” students in university classes
    More methods today, inspired by E.-M. Schumacher’s “Methoden 2 go online!“! Today: Informing “Informing” in quotation marks, because that’s what that phase is called in the AVIVO model which underlies the structure of the Methoden 2 go online! collection by EM Schumacher, in other models the same phase might be called something that implies more student […]
  • CHESS/iEarth joint course on “communication skills in outreach and teaching”
    Kjersti Daae and I led the CHESS/iEarth joint course on “communication skills in outreach and teaching” in Bergen in September 2021; here is a short summary: CHESS is training the climate scientists of tomorrow, iEarth is changing teaching culture in Norwegian geosciences. Naturally, PhD students from both centres have a lot to talk about, and […]
  • Where do you see this in your own life? Asking students to suggest examples
    Heat fluxes are a topic that at first seems pretty theoretical, but with which we have tons of experiences in our everyday lives! A quick brainstorm for where we experience different types of heat fluxes gives so many examples: having a lid on a pot suppresses convective heat fluxes beyond the lid! coming out of […]
  • #Methods2Go: Methods for assessing previous knowledge in university classes
    More methods today, inspired by E.-M. Schumacher’s “Methoden 2 go online!“! Today: Assessing previous knowledge Pre-tests Using a virtual voting tool or a tool that allows for very short free-text answers to assess previous knowledge before class starts (or at the very beginning of class) is great for many reasons. Doing a “test” right before […]
  • #Methods2Go: Methods for “arriving” in class, i.e. getting to know people & raising interest
    Remember my recent #Methods2Go blog posts, inspired by E.-M. Schumacher’s “Methoden to go”? There is more! She kindly sent me the new “Methoden 2 go online!“* — bringing us tons of methods that are adapted for online use! *this is not a sponsored post, all opinions are my own This set of flashcards is structured in […]
  • “Things I wanted to say but didn’t get the chance…”: A method to include missing voices!
    I’m currently leading another virtual 3-day workshop on “introduction to university teaching”, and yesterday I left a prompt on the shared slide deck we are working on, “Things I wanted to say but didn’t get the chance…”, for participants to react to when they gave me the continue, start, stop feedback on that day. As I […]
  • #Methods2Go: methods to end lessons with in university teaching
    Another method idea from E.-M. Schumacher’s “Methoden to go” pool of suggestions! Today: a method to end a lesson with. Cheat sheet I’m pretty confident that anyone who has ever written a really good cheat sheet will not actually need it to cheat with later on. Putting together all the relevant information is a condensed […]
  • Using student representatives to improve communication with your class
    Maybe it’s a German thing, but we have had student representatives starting as early as in primary school: two students per class, a boy and a girl, that get selected by the class and that have the mandate to speak for the whole group whenever the teacher wants easy access to what the class thinks […]
  • Our presentation at #FieldWorkFix: “An interactive mobile adventure on coastal protection”
    This summer I had a fun little side project: I was co-supervising a Bachelor thesis in geography at Kiel University! Janina Dreeßen, with Katja Kuhwald as her main supervisor, did an excellent job, and I am presenting her work at the #FieldWorkFix conference today. If you can’t join later, here are my slides and what […]
  • #Methods2Go: Methods to secure results in university teaching
    More method ideas from E.-M. Schumacher’s “Methoden to go” pool of suggestions! Today: methods to secure results. Learning walk I’ve been using plenty of virtual “gallery walkes” recently, where students have worked on a joint google slides document (either each on their own slide, or each group on their own slide) and we then go […]
  • #Methods2Go: methods to facilitate knowledge application in university teaching
    Another method idea from E.-M. Schumacher’s “Methoden to go” pool of suggestions! Today: a method to apply knowledge. Application cards I really like the idea behind “application cards”: the teacher writes a theory, technical term or other important keyword on one side of flashcards, students then come up with an application, a concrete example or […]
  • #Methods2Go: methods to facilitate discussion in university teaching
    More method ideas from E.-M. Schumacher’s “Methoden to go” pool of suggestions! Today: methods to discuss content. Amplifier The idea of using an “amplifier” is really simple: after a mini lecture, students are asked to write questions on what they just heard on a piece of paper and hand it to a “lead-learner” or “amplifier”, […]
  • #Methods2Go: university teaching methods for acquring knowledge
    More method ideas from E.-M. Schumacher’s “Methoden to go” pool of suggestions! Today: methods to acquire knowledge. Learning-speed duo The “learning-speed duo” method works like this: The group is split into two, and everybody in each of the two sub-group gets the same text to read (or exercise to work on) individually. When people finish […]
  • When flying turns out to not be essential for academia (after Jack & Glover, 2021)
    Yesterday morning on Twitter, I saw this quote: “The sudden grounding of academics has demonstrated that air travel ‒ previously deemed a necessary part of a successful academic career and university internationalization ‒ was not in fact essential.”. This, naturally, led me directly to the original article on “Online conferencing in the midst of COVID-19: […]
  • #Methods2Go: Ideas for starting off your university classes (inspired by EM Schumacher’s work)
    “Methoden to go” by E.-M. Schumacher, which you see in the picture above, is a handy collection of well- and less-well-known methods for university teaching, organised by the six different phases of a typical session (getting into a topic, learning about a topic, discussing it, applying knowledge, securing results, and ending a lesson). It’s a collection […]
  • Enacting frames of reference in geoscience education? (After Rollinde, Decamp and Derniaux, 2021)
    I just read a super interesting article by Rollinde, Decamp ad Derniaux (2021) on “Should frames of reference be enacted in astronomy instruction?”. Frames of reference are an important concept in the geosciences, and one that is difficult to grasp as we’ve noticed when teaching about Coriolis force and how trajectories look differently depending on […]
  • Teaching inspiration dispenser
    I just had this fun (I think) idea of a “teaching inspiration dispenser” for faculty development (inspired by Laura’s Instagram post on her experience with a @shortedition kiosk): I basically want a receipt printer, located somewhere centrally on campus, that gives out small pieces of paper with teaching inspiration or tips when people press a button. It […]
  • Negotiating a rubric of learning outcomes and letting students pick the format in which they show they’ve mastered the learning outcomes
    I’m still inspired by Cathy’s work on “co-creation”, and an episode of “Lecture Breakers” (I think the first one on student engagement techniques where they talked about letting students choose the format of the artefact they do for assessment purposes; but I binge-listened, and honestly, they are all inspiring!). And something that Sam recently said […]
  • Co-creating learning and teaching (Bovill, 2020)
    Maybe it was because of the contexts in which I encountered it, but I always perceived “co-creation” as an empty buzzword without any actionable substance to it. I have only really started seeing the huge potential and getting excited about it since I met Catherine Bovill. Cathy and I are colleagues in the Center for […]
  • Pick a role and write a lecture summary from that perspective. Does that sound motivating?
    Kjersti and I have been talking about asking students to take turns and write summaries of lectures throughout the whole semester. We would then give feedback on them to make sure we get a final result that is correct (and that the student learns something, obviously). The summaries are then collected into a booklet that […]
  • The learning styles myth (based on Pashler et al., 2008; Nancekivell et al., 2020)
    One idea that I encounter a lot in higher education workshops is the idea of learning styles: that some people are “visual learners” that learn best by looking at visual representations of information, and other people that learn best from reading, or from listening to lectures, and that those are traits we are born with. […]
  • Building gender equity in the academy (Laursen & Austin, 2020)
    After being “invited” to do some service work because someone noticed “that there was nobody on the committee without a beard” (gee, thanks for making me feel like you appreciate my qualifications!), and then the next day feeling all kinds of stereotype threats triggered in a video call where I noticed I was the only […]
  • Why it’s important to use students’ names, and how to make it easy: use name tents! (After Cooper et al., 2017)
    One thing I really enjoy about teaching virtually is that it is really easy to address everybody by their names with confidence, since their names are always right there, right below their faces. But that really does not have to end once we are back in lecture theatres again, because even in large classes, we […]
  • A tool to understand students’ previous experience and adapt your practical courses accordingly — by Kirsty Dunnett
    Last week, I wrote about increasing inquiry in lab-based courses and mentioned that it was Kirsty who had inspired me to think about this in a new-to-me way. For several years, Kirsty has been working on developing practical work, and a central part of that has been finding out the types and amount of experiences incoming students […]
  • Increasing inquiry in lab courses (inspired by @ks_dnnt and Buck et al., 2008)
    My new Twitter friend Kirsty, my old GFI-friend Kjersti and I have been discussing teaching in laboratories. Kirsty recommended an article (well, she did recommend many, but one that I’ve read and since been thinking about) by Buck et al. (2008) on “Characterizing the level of inquiry in the undergraduate laboratory”. In the article, they […]
  • “Wonder questions” and geoscience misconceptions.
    Recently, as part of the CHESS/iEarth Summer School, Kikki Kleiven lead a workshop on geoscience teaching. She gave a great overview over how to approach teaching and presented many engaging methods (like, for example, concept cartoons and role plays), but two things especially sparked my interest, so that I read up on them a little […]
  • Why should students want engage in something that changes their identity as well as their view of themselves in relation to friends and family?
    Another iEarth Teaching Conversation with Kjersti Daae and Torgny Roxå, summarized by Mirjam Glessmer “Transformative experiences” (Pugh et al., 2010) are those experiences that change the way a person looks at the world, so that they henceforth voluntarily engage in a new-to-them practice of sensemaking on this new topic, and perceive it as valuable. There are […]
  • #WaveWatching as “transformative experience”? (Based on articles by Pugh et al. 2019, 2011, 2010)
    I was reading an article on “active learning” by Lombardi et al. (2021), when the sentence “In undergraduate geoscience, Pugh et al. (2019) found that students who made observations of the world and recognized how they might be explained by concepts from their classes were more likely to stay in their major than those who […]
  • Follow-up on the iEarth teaching conversation: Why cognitive apprenticeship?
    One question came up after I had written up my one-pager on the iEarth “teaching conversation”: Why “cognitive apprenticeship”? Over the years, I made a couple of observations across several universities in three countries: Students learn a lot of factual, conceptual and formalized procedural knowledge, working mainly on textbook data and problems. They often have […]
  • An iEarth teaching conversation with Kjersti Daae and Torgny Roxå on #WaveWatching
    iEarth is currently establishing the new-to-me format of “teaching conversations”, where two or more people meet to discuss specific aspects of one person’s teaching in a “critical friend” setting. Obviously I volunteered to be grilled, and despite me trying to suggest other topics, too (like the active lunch break and the “nerd topic” intro in a […]
  • Using an active lunch break to see the world through our subject area’s lens and to reconnect us to what fascinates and motivates us
    I often teach faculty development workshops at Kiel University. Since we have been in remote teaching mode almost exclusively since March 2020, dealing with virtual classes is a pressing subject – both for the faculty who attend my workshops, but also for myself as I have to present best practice examples of leading fully-virtual all-day […]
  • The “lightning storm in the chat” method
    In a workshop I led recently, a participant helped me gain a new perspective on an old method: the “lightning storm in the chat” (my best attempt at translating “Chatgewitter” to English. No idea what the name of the method is in English). The idea is simple: You ask a question, people type their responses […]
  • What does “sensemaking” really mean in the context of learning about science? (Reading Odden & Russ, 2019)
    I read the article “Defining sensemaking: Bringing clarity to a fragmented theoretical construct” by Odden and Russ (2019) and what I loved about the article are two main things: I realized that “sensemaking” is the name of an activity I immensely enjoy under certain conditions, and being able to put words to that activity made me […]
  • My two favourite methods for re-activating and re-focussing workshop participants
    I have always hated workshops where you had to do “active stuff”, moving around to music and the like, because the facilitator wanted to “get everybody active!”. But recently I’ve come to appreciate the value in that (better late than never, right?). So what I occasionally do these days, sometimes after a break or when […]
  • Asking for the “nerd topic” when introducing workshop participants to each other to foster self-disclosure to create community
    I am currently teaching a lot of workshops on higher education topics where participants (who previously didn’t know each other, or me) spend 1-1.5 days talking about topics that can feel emotional and intimate and where I want to create an environment that is open and full of trust, and where connections form that last […]
  • My 3 favourite podcasts on university teaching
    Thanks to Corona and my minimum of 10k steps a day, I now have a good hour every day that I increasingly often use not to quietly ponder my surroundings or catch up with friends in a phone call, but listen to podcasts. I am very selective about what I want to listen to, but […]
  • “Invisible learning” by David Franklin
    Several things happened today. I had a lovely time reading in the hammock I tried to kill two birds with one stone (figuratively of course): writing a blog post about the book I read (which I really loved) and try a new-to-me format of Instagram posts: A caroussel, where one post slides into the next […]
  • Metaphors of learning (after Ivar Nordmo and the article by Sfard, 1998)
    On Thursday, I attended a workshop by Ivar Nordmo, in which he talked about two metaphors of learning: “learning as acquisition” and “learning as participation”. He referred to an article by Sfard (1998), and here is my take-away from the combination of both. When we talk about new (or new-to-us) concepts, we often describe them […]
  • Student evaluations of teaching are biased, sexist, racist, predjudiced. My summary of Heffernan’s 2021 article
    One of my pet peeves are student evaluations that are interpreted way beyond what they can actually tell us. It might be people not considering sample sizes when looking at statistics (“66,6% of students hated your class!”, “Yes, 2 out of 3 responses out of 20 students said something negative”), or not understanding that student […]
  • An overview over what we know about what works in university teaching (based on Schneider & Preckel, 2017)
    I’ve been leading a lot of workshops and doing consulting on university teaching lately, and one request that comes up over and over again is “just tell me what works!”. Here I am presenting an article that is probably the best place to start. The famous “visible learning” study by Hattie (2009) compiled pretty much […]
  • Why students cheat (after Brimble, 2016)
    Recently, one topic seemed to emerge a lot in conversations I’ve been having: Students cheating, or the fear thereof. Cheating is “easier” when exams are written online and we don’t have students directly under our noses, and to instructors it feels like cheating has increased a lot (and maybe it has!). We’ve discussed all kinds […]
  • Published in Oceanography: How to Teach Motivating and Hands-On Laboratory and Field Courses in a Virtual Setting
    One of the few “behind the scenes” shots of me taking #WaveWatching pictures! See the super awesome current right at my feet? :-D⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Similar to kitchen oceanography, I believe that wave watching is a great tool in education and outreach, especially during times where activites have to be socially distant. My article “How to […]
  • Mind-set interventions
    Two years ago, I was really into daily writing in my bullet journal. I used it to plan out my day, week, month, year, but also to set goals and reflect on how I was doing achieving them. During that year I felt really efficient, accomplished, capable, and it definitely felt related to all that […]
  • Even though students in the active classroom learn more, they feel like they learn less
    If you’ve been trying to actively engage students in your classes, I am sure you’ve felt at least some level of resistance. Even though we know from literature (e.g. Freeman et al., 2014) that active learning increases student performance, it’s sometimes difficult to convince students that we are asking them to do all the activities […]
  • Teaching field courses in a virtual setting
    For many people it has been (and still is!) a huge hassle to quickly figure out ways to teach field courses in a covid-19 world, and I can relate so much! But I’m also getting more and more excited about the possibilities that are opening up when we think about fieldwork in a new way. […]
  • Instructional videos in a nutshell
    I am completely in love with my new tablet. I love drawing on it and even though the results are not quite up to my standards yet, I am too excited to not share. So here I drew what (I think) you need to know about instructional videos, in a nutshell: They should be short! […]
  • Asking questions that aim at specific levels of the modified Bloom’s taxonomy
    I’m currently preparing a couple of workshops on higher education topics, and of course it is always important to talk about learning outcomes. I had a faint memory of having developed some materials (when still working at ZLL together with one of my all time favourite colleagues, Timo Lüth) to help instructors work with the […]
  • #TeachingTuesday: Student feedback and how to interpret it in order to improve teaching
    Student feedback has become a fixture in higher education. But even though it is important to hear student voices when evaluating teaching and thinking of ways to improve it, students aren’t perfect judges of what type of teaching leads to the most learning, so their feedback should not be taken onboard without critical reflection. In […]
  • #TeachingTuesday: Some things I read about making good lecture videos
    Just imagine you had written an article on “Student Satisfaction and Learning Outcomes in Asynchronous Online Lecture Videos”, like Choe et al. (2019) did. What excellent timing to inform teaching decisions all around the world! Choe et al. compare 8 different video styles (all of which can be watched as supplementary material to the article […]
  • “Excursion week” in Oceanography 101 while physically distancing
    My friend’s university recently decided that “excursion week” (a week in May during which there are no lectures or exercises or anything happening at university to make time for field courses during the semester) is cancelled this year. Which is, of course, not surprising given the current situation, but it isn’t cancelled as in “go […]
  • Anna is answering questions on our Nature article at #ShareEGU20
    It feels like an enourmously long time ago that our article on “ice front blocking of ocean heat transport to an Antarctic ice shelf” got published in Nature, but it was in fact only a little more than two months ago. Only right after, life changed so drastically that it feels as if it’s been […]
  • Using campsites for scicomm
    Last summer at the Science in Public conference in Manchester, I heard a talk by Anna Woolman on science communication in campsites. It stuck with me as a really good idea. Now I came across the recent article by Woolman (2020) on that study that I found so inspiring, so here are my thoughts on it for […]
  • Our Nature article in 20 tweets
    (Not true, there were 22 tweets, but apparently I can’t count! :-D) For those of you that don’t follow my Twitter, here is what I posted over there the day our Nature paper got published: Published online in @Nature today: “Ice front blocking of ocean heat transport to an Antarctic ice shelf” by @a_wahlin @nadsteiger […]
  • Playing in a 13-m-diameter pool on a merry-go-round results in Nature article
    A long, long time ago (ok, in fall of 2017) I got the chance to join Elin Darelius and Anna Wåhlin’s team for a measuring campaign at the Coriolis platform in Grenoble for several weeks. I was there officially in an outreach officer-like role: To write and tweet about the experiments, conduct “ask me anything” […]
  • #SciCommSunday: The reason why I choose to post selfies on my #SciComm Social Media
    “I don’t want my face on the internet!”, “My science should speak for itself, it shouldn’t matter who I am as a person!”, “I just don’t like what I look like in pictures!”, “People won’t perceive me as professional when I include selfies in my science communication work!”: There are many reasons for not posting […]
  • Fastest way to read up on the science of science communication? This book!
    (Werbung ohne Auftrag // This blogpost is not sponsored) I strongly believe that all scicomm efforts should be grounded in the science of science communication. That means reading a lot of original literature, or … reading this book that I recently found. It’s a quick and fun overview over the current understanding of what works […]
  • New #WaveWatching series happening over on Elin’s blog: #BergenWaveWatching!
    Kjersti, Steffi, Elin and I recently discussed ways to better integrate the GEOF105 student cruise into the course. Right now,  even though students write a report about their work on the student cruise, it’s pretty much a one-off event with little connection to what happens before and after, which is a pity. Having a whole research […]
  • Guest posts, take-overs, interviews, and why I love them
    Guest posts, take-overs and interviews are a great alternative to maintaining social media channels for every scientist / project / institution individually, if that isn’t what you want to be doing (or — as in my case — a great addition) As I am preparing a workshop on online science communication, I have been thinking […]
  • If one rotating table is awesome, four rotating tables are…?
    I’m actually at a loss for words. Amazing? Spectacular? So much fun? All of that! Today was the first time Torge and I tried our four DIYnamics-inspired rotating tables in teaching. (Remember? We want to use 4 rotating tables simultaneously so students can work in small groups rather than watching us present experiments, and also […]
  • Melting ice cubes experiment published in kids’ journal Frontiers Young Minds
    On publishing in a journal peer-reviewed by kids, and suggesting it as a first journal new PhD students should be asked to write for You guys might remember my favourite experiment with the ice cubes melting in freshwater and saltwater. This experiment can be used for almost any teaching purpose (Introduction to experimenting? Check! Thermohaline […]
  • My kids’ article on the formation of sea ice is out!
    I recently published an article about how sea ice forms which, I think, turned out pretty well. But the coolest thing is the illustration that Jessie Miller did to go along with the article: Seeing this illustration (and, of course, having the article published) was a super nice surprise during the busy run-up to my big event, […]
  • Supporting conceptual understanding of the Coriolis force through laboratory experiments
    My friend Pierré and I started working on this article when both of us were still working at the Geophysical Institute in Bergen. It took forever to get published, mainly because both of us had moved on to different jobs with other foci, so maybe it’s not a big deal that it took me over […]
  • Of timeless relevance: the ESWN mentoring map and how you can provide mentoring to others at any career stage
    This week I had the honor to be invited to give a talk to a network of PhD students of the three Leibniz institutes in Kiel, which is just forming. Being as big a fan of networking as I am, of course I could not say no to this opportunity, especially since I had a […]

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