Each year LTU awards two educational prizes, to reward teachers for distinguished work in the interests of education at the undergraduate and graduate level at the academic ceremony.
LTU has asked both the prized teachers, Juha Koivuniemi and Harriet Nilsson, about their views on education.
Juha Koivuniemi, teacher of mathematics at the Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics:
– It is a great honor to be awarded a prize of this kind. It gives a little silver lining to my job as a mathematics teacher.
What are you most satisfied with in your role as a teacher?
– It's hard to say. All roles in an activity as a teacher, 30 years in my case, is in fact designed to contribute to students' learning. Diverse roles also make a teacher more complete. But I am most pleased with not having been satisified until I developed my education until the students could fully understand.
What motivates you in your role as a teacher?
– In a broad sense, the role of mathematics practicing students in critical thinking and the accurate drawing of conclusions. The role of mathematics is to teach the necessary language needed and applied by other subjects in the university and the research community in general.
Juha's three top tips for a good education.
Besides the obvious to be well prepared, it is helpful to
1. address students at the level of knowledge they have.
2. have a welcoming student environment in which students feels seen and dare to ask questions
3. emphasize objectives and achieving goals early in the class
Lecturer Harriet Nilsson, the director for the Bachelor Programme in System Sciences, gives her view on education and learning.
What makes a good teacher?
– It is important to listen to students and take into account that all students are not alike and learn in different ways. Some have read the material and do practical labs, others must discuss forward and for some it is enough to read. I have been a teacher all my life and started as a primary school teacher. Maybe it was where I learned that lesson, that it is very important to let children learn their own way.
Do you have any methods to create a good course?
– It is very important to have a clear structure of the course. Students must already at the start of the course have the opportunity to learn the structure and what dates information must be submitted. It is important with routines and security. An early planning creates the breeding ground for a good course and also leave time for the teacher to focus on the educational part.
The System Sciences program that you are holding is distance-based, is the way of learning different for a distance course?
– In the distance course, students usually ask their questions after class. Therefore, the lesson structure is particularly important so that you as a teacher remembers the thinking and the material you went through earlier in the lecture.
Harriet's three top tips for a good education:
1. Create a clear course structure - the student must be told early on what applies and the deadlines for the course.
2. Hear and see the student - understand that everyone learns in different ways
3. Create space in the course that you can use to adapt to different student needs.