Aarhus Universitets segl

Master of Didactics in Excellent Teaching

A unique project developing educators in higher education

What is the Masters of Didactics in Excellent Teaching?

The Masters of Didactics in Excellent Teaching is a one-year teacher-training programme within higher education. It has been developed by the Centre for Educational Development (formerly the Centre for Health Sciences Education (CESU) and the Science and Technology Learning Lab (STLL)), Aarhus University (AU), in collaboration with the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Poland, and is running from March 2019 until March 2022.

The project is headed by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education in Poland and funded by the European Social Fund within the framework of the Knowledge Education Development Operational Programme. The Ministry of Science and Higher Education in Poland have made partnership agreements with a number of the leading European Universities to enhance excellent teaching and tutoring, including Aarhus University.

Running from 2019 to 2022

The project started in March 2019, where AU received the first team of 24 highly skilled and very motivated Polish lectures and senior lectures representing various fields of studies. They attended the blended learning course consisting of both online learning and two course visits at Aarhus University over a period of 2 ½ months.

All participants showed a remarkable engagement in developing teaching and tutoring – and the collaboration with the trainer team was very fruitful. Full of learning, insights, creativity, and knowledge sharing. A spirit and steep learning curve followed by online feedback, peer feedback, and webinars qualifying the development of their individual educational project – a learning and tutoring design – to be implemented at their home institution. The so-called tutorial.

Our first team of participants completed the Masters of Didactics in Excellent Teaching at the end of February 2020. We celebrated their effort and learning, and they received their well-earned certificates from AU. We are looking forward to following our first team of Polish educators and welcoming new teams in 2020 and 2021.

The course – in short

Masters of Didactics in Excellent Teaching is a blended learning course – i.e. combining online and face-to-face teaching and learning – and taking place both at Aarhus University and at the participant’s home institution.

The course deals with key concepts and methods, including aspects such as quality teaching, didactics, tutoring, feedback, and assessment. With regard to the pedagogical approach, it is characterized by active learning and participation, constructive alignment, and the use of educational technologies. Additionally, the course aims at creating a solid and engaged cross-disciplinary community between the participants, supporting professional reflection and discussion concerning own teaching and tutoring practice – as well as challenges. Last but not least, there is a strong focus on applying the new knowledge, skills, and competencies at the home institution.

Not least of all, during the course, the participants are introduced to Aarhus University’s approach to university teaching, learning, and tutoring practices.

Target group and teachers

The target group is Polish associate professors and professors within all academic disciplines in higher education. They will be taught by a select group of lectures and senior lectures in pedagogy, didactics, and tutoring within different academic disciplines, and specialized pedagogical consultants and educational developers from the Centre for Educational Development at Aarhus University.

The course progress and the combination of in- and out-off-class activities are pictured in fig. 1. We will both enrol online and welcome participants in Aarhus.

The form of the course?

The course integrates both the online learning space and the on-campus learning space into an active blended learning environment. Thus, the course consists of a three-week online module with socializing, tasks, reflection, and feedback. Two weeks of face-to-face modules at the Aarhus University campus follow the online module.

The two visits consist of a mix of lecturing, workshops, active learning, supervision, and developing own tutorial project. Moreover, the visits include an introduction to the Danish educational system and visits to different centres of expertise, academic milieus, and examples of teaching and tutoring in practice.

After the second visit, the participants will work for half a year with their own tutoring project at their home institution. Between visits one and two, and after visit two, the participants are active online and will receive online supervision from the Aarhus University teaching team.

The course progress and the division of in- and out-off-class activities are pictured in fig. 1. We will both enrol online and welcome participants in Aarhus.

What are the learning outcomes?

After the course, the participant will be able to:

  • Plan and execute well-aligned teaching, tutoring, and assessment activities within their disciplines.
  • Use and evaluate educational technologies to promote active learning, assessment for learning, and feedback for groups and individual students.
  • Organize teaching and learning activities that allow the individual student to evaluate their academic progress and development potential.
  • Describe and argue for their supervision practice of individuals and groups.
  • Discuss and critically reflect on quality teaching, didactics, assessment, evaluation, and students as learners.
  • Receive and provide peer feedback to improve their own teaching practice.
  • Disseminate teaching practices and experiences to colleagues.

What are the advantages of joining Masters of Didactics in Excellent Teaching?

  • Opportunities for professional development of your teacher and tutor skills and competencies, thereby developing your teaching practice.
  • Experiencing best practices at Aarhus University, including state-of-the-art, knowledge, tools, methods, and practices and examples of teaching and learning activities, blended learning concepts, and educational technology.
  • Applying and adapting theory and practice of teaching and learning to your home institution through a guided learning process.
  • Dedicated, ambitious, and friendly teachers creating a positive atmosphere and a fruitful learning process aiming at the best possible experience and learning impact for all the participants.
  • Meeting committed colleagues from diverse disciplines and universities in Poland.
  • Participating in dialogue and reflections with peer colleagues on course topics, experiences, ideas, and challenges.
  • Receiving formative feedback throughout the course from teachers and peer colleagues on tasks, processes, and your own learning design for a tutorial at your institution.

What do the participants say?

Participant statements from course evaluation (on-campus courses), 2019:

”It was a fantastic course. Excellently organized and presented. The Educator[s] have been very well prepared, and all the activities fulfilled my expectations. I have learned a lot. I will share the knowledge among my colleagues. I feel better prepared to conduct my teaching. I could reflect on my mistakes, and I got the tools to improve my teaching.”

“The whole course was extremely interesting and productive. Not only tutoring methods but also didactic and teaching processes.”

“I saw how several components of the learning process can work in practice at my university. It was a very needed experience.”

Tailor-made educational projects, training, and consultancy

Masters of Didactics in Excellent Teaching is an example of a tailor-made educational project. Does the project make you curious, or do your organization have similar or other educational needs?

At the CED, we offer educational and learning consultancy, educational IT, faculty development, courses, workshops, and teaching – all based on leading research and a profound experience from academic practicians.

The projects we engage in are small and large scale, national and international, private or public, subject-specific and inter- or multidisciplinary – all drawing on the collective expertise of not only the CED but of all Aarhus University.

Please get in touch with the CED if you are interested in tailor-made educational solutions, collaboration, consultancy – all adapted to your needs, frameworks, and requirements.