When the state of academia turns more and more towards a ‘Publish or Perish’ model, the focus on teaching slowly reduces. It is not a new development that it is less important to ‘perform’ as a teacher in a higher education institution, than performing as a scholar or researcher. And thus, the individual efforts turn to those that will bring more external funding, more internal rewards, and quite frankly, more career advancement. And so, it is difficult to keep the pedagogical aspect of our profession as a priority.
That’s why every year, I try to take a course that helps me improve my pedagogical skills. This year I have tried something a little bit different. It is an Open Networked Learning course, promoted and co-organized by my institution, Karlstad University. If you are reading this, most probably you are taking the same course (or you are one of the many facilitators of the course). The course brings together MANY students from various university in several countries. I am happy to step outside of the little bubble of “pedagogically-interested” group in Karlstad and engage with a wider group of people.
So far, it all looks good. I created a blog for this very purpose, and this is my first entry. We will see how things go from here on. But I can say I am very excited about the prospects of being part of a broader community of scholars that are interested in the pedagogical aspect of academia.