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First "Excellent Teacher" appointed at University of Gothenburg

News: Sep 24, 2015

Five questions to Anne Farewell, the university’s first ”Excellent Teacher”. Anne Farewell is a microbiologist at the Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology. She is the first person to be appointed ”Excellent Teacher” at the University of Gothenburg.

1) What does the term ”Excellent Teacher” imply?

I think the key to being a first-class teacher in general is to continually strive to improve one’s teaching. I never stop wanting to improve my teaching. If I hear about some new teaching technique, I want to try it out to see if it can help my students to learn better.
Another important aspect for me is that I feel privileged to be able to teach students at the university and I want to do my best to support and help them.

To be given the title ”Excellent Teacher”, you also have to meet many formal requirements with regard to one’s own education, leadership and experience of designing courses at different levels for the students.

2) What subjects do you teach?

I have been teaching microbiology and molecular microbiology for many years. These are subjects that are related to my research and which I am particularly fond of. For the last five years, I have also given a course where I teach science education methodology to other teachers at the University of Gothenburg. This has been very rewarding since I can see the impact the course has had all over the faculty and not just on my own courses.

3) Do you have any special pedagogical tricks?

Yes, I listen to and learn from the students. I use many active learning techniques where the students do not just passively listen to my lectures; instead, they work actively with the materials both during lessons and at home. All this makes it easier for me to see if the students are having any problems with their studies and it enables me to understand how I can help them.

4) How does it feel to be the first ”Excellent Teacher”?

I hope that I am the first of many! I would like the University of Gothenburg to acquire a reputation for having excellent tuition. I think the new title of ”Excellent Teacher” is a good way of rewarding researchers who are also good teachers. Often, teaching and learning methodology has to take a back seat while research is in the front, but both are needed in order for a university to function well.

5) At the moment, you are expanding your teaching so as to include open online courses on the problem of antibiotics resistance. How does that work?

I am designing open online courses where a wider audience has the possibility to learn more about resistance to antibiotics. The first part of the course is being tested right now and it will be made accessible to the general public later this year. I am working with other researchers at the University of Gothenburg to make the course part of our common bank of knowledge on antibiotics resistance.

Anne Farewell, senior lecturer at the Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg
Tel: 031-786 2583, Email: anne.farewell@cmb.gu.se



Originally published on: science.gu.se

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