Three key words led to Pedagogical Prize 2018
"It feels great and like an appreciation of many years of pedagogical development," says Tomas Wahnström. “The prize is an acknowledgment that I have been on the right track as I have gradually developed the course and it encourages me to continue this development work."
"The students appreciate the design and layout of the course, where their active participation is an important part. They see that they learn new things if they challenge themselves."
What is it that exactly makes Mechanics and Strength Properties of Textile Materials such a good course; what are your thoughts about the structure and design of the course?
"In my teaching, I have three key words: 1. Engagement, 2. Student activity and 3. Clear structure, says Tomas Wahnström and clarifies the key words:
1. I as a teacher must have, and show, a clear engagement with the subject and the course. The students must feel that the course is important and that as a teacher I care about their learning.
About the Pedagogical Prize:
The Pedagogical Prize is awarded once a year to a course team which has made outstanding pedagogical efforts within the framework of undergraduate, Master's, or doctoral education. The prize is a travel grant of SEK 50,000 intended for study trips or other activities related to educational activities. Both students and employees can nominate course teams.
2. I as a teacher must stimulate student activity both at the scheduled times and outside scheduled times. The students must want and dare to learn new things and face new challenges.
3. The course and teaching must be characterised by a clear structure. The layout of the course must be well thought out. The students should know what they are expected to do during the course so that their time is used in the best way.
"Before each time a course is given again, I try to improve the course with at least one action within each of the three above mentioned areas," says Tomas.
Do you have any plans for what the travel grant will be used for?
"I hope to be able to make study visits to some American universities that are very advanced in terms of physics courses. It would also be interesting to visit to science centres in the United States that test new ways of presenting physics to students and the general public."
The course team consists of Tomas Wahnström, course coordinator, instructor and examiner, and the instructor in laboratory work Anders Persson. The Pedagogical Prize 2018 was awarded at the university's academic ceremony on 3 May.
Reason: In a course that many students see as challenging, in a climate characterised by structure, guidance, openness and an inspiring approach, the course coordinators have succeeded in creating self-confidence about learning. Students state that the team has succeeded in engaging, interacting and conveying a feeling that nothing is impossible. In addition, students go out into working life with a practical basis on which to proceed further with the tools they have learned to use in this course.
Text: Lydia Andersson
Photo: Erik Wasselius
Translation: Eva Medin