Author:
Christoph Mischke

Staff and students from the University of Tartu gained valuable experience from the ENLIGHT Teaching and Learning Conference

From the University of Tartu, 17 staff members and six students participated in the annual ENLIGHT Teaching and Learning Conference held in Göttingen from 16 to 18 November. Workshops of the conference covered topics such as challenge-based learning, inclusive education, and innovative teaching and learning approaches. Our staff held three workshops. 

Both the staff and students appreciated the valuable experience. According to Programme Director of the Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences Madli-Johanna Maidla, there were several great ideas to take with from various workshops and discussions for developing within their own courses or introducing them to colleagues.  

Another participant, Igor Ahmedov, a doctoral student of theology and religious studies, expressed his appreciation for students being heard as equal partners in lively discussions. The conference gave an opportunity to share impressions and compare learning and teaching in different European universities, get an overview of the work of other student councils and learn about the most pressing concerns for students. The conference gave way to thoughts on how to apply the experience in Tartu and influence changes from a students perspective,” said Ahmedov 

This year’s Teaching and Learning Award went to Uppsala University for their course “Innovation Game: A Summer School Applying Serious Game Design in Health Care and Education”. Jaanus Jaggo and Raimond-Hendrik Tunnel from the University of Tartu Institute of Computer Science also participated in teaching this course 

According to Junior Lecturer of Computer Graphics Jaanus Jaggo, the health and education related course provoked interest from the start. “The aim is to apply techniques used in game design to resolve various issues related to health and raise health awareness in society. We were invited to teach mainly the game design part and how to create interactive games with the expected outcome. Since we have been teaching game creation and design at the Institute of Computer Science for a long time, this seemed like a great opportunity to see how such topics are handled elsewhere and to share our skills in teaching,” said Jaggo.  

In addition to teaching staff from the University of Tartu, professionals from all over the world were involved in the course. Jaggo described the cooperation between lecturers from different fields as impressive, resulting in a standout course. The open classroom teaching method brought along remarkable results and the students were creative and committed to the cause. Jaggo and Tunnel approved of the great balance between work and rest, for every 45-minute session was followed by a 15-minute pause. In the future, both aim to use these techniques in their own courses.  Read more about the award-winning course. 

The ENLIGHT Teaching and Learning Award is given to a course which has implemented innovative international pedagogical approaches and/or learning practices related to the educational aims of ENLIGHT. The nominee for the University of Tartu was the team from the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies with their MOOC “Common Challenges of Competing Regionalisms”.  

The next annual teaching and learning conference will be held in Bordeaux in 2023. Read more about the conference and the ENLIGHT network.

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