BI researchers win award for pedagogical innovation

3 May 2024

Associate professors Klemens Knöferle and Jan Kudlicka are this year’s recipients of BI’s Pedagogical Innovation Award.

Jan Kudlicka and Klemens Knöferle received the award from BI's Jørgen Aanderaa (left) and Bendik M. Samuelsen (right).

Knöferle, who works in the Department of Marketing, receives the award for his work with the course Marketing Communication. He says he is humbled and surprised to receive such an honour.

“I never expected to get a teaching-related award. It makes me very happy that our teaching team’s efforts are recognised in this way,” says Knöferle. 

Kudlicka, who works in the Department of Data Science, receives the same recognition for his work with the courses Python in Data Analysis and Data Management and Python Programming

“Receiving this award is truly an honour. I am deeply grateful for the recognition from BI and my colleagues, acknowledging the dedication I have put into enhancing the learning experience for my students,” says Kudlicka. 

Enhancing the learning experience  

“As a researcher, I’m used to developing and testing new ideas. It feels very natural to me to also apply that mindset in my teaching, and to figure out what makes students more engaged and what makes them deliver better results in the end. Besides, trying new approaches is fun and keeps things fresh – I would become bored of my own teaching very quickly if there was no innovation or improvement, and I think students also notice stagnant courses,” says Knöferle. 

According to the jury, Knöferle and his course team have fostered a more interactive and supportive learning environment by, among other things, using a shared Padlet for Q&A and combing Rubrics with Itslearning technology. Knöferle explains that he initially realised that there were some challenges and tensions with the way he previously taught marketing communication. 

“One challenge was to integrate practical aspects of marketing communication with the theory and science that enables students to make better practical decisions. Without a meaningful term project, these two “worlds” remain disconnected. Another example: The course was too large to let students loose on a practical, wide-open project and still give them detailed feedback on how to improve. A classic exam approach would have worked to give formative feedback to 400 students, but it wasn’t a good match for the term project. So we needed to come up with an efficient way to provide feedback.”

Klemens Knöferle.

After winning the award, Knöferle praises BI’s Learning Center “for exposing me to ideas such as student-centered learning and constructive alignment”, his colleagues at the Department of Marketing “for their helpful advice on course design”, the Central Department Administration “for being patient with me and for helping me to work around the many quirks of Wiseflow”, and Carlos de Souza, his former TA, “for helping to bring the project to life”. 

“And finally, I have to thank the students taking the course and the lecturers who teach it, for trusting me with the approach and helping to refine it over the years”, he says. 

Explored new ways of learning 

According to the award committee, Kudlicka has changed the teaching in his two courses and explored new ways of learning. By developing digital tools where students can actively take part in their own learning, and constantly get feedback on their own performance, he has embraced both the active learning perspective and student-centred learning. 

“My motivation to innovate stems from a desire to continually enhance the learning experience for my students. Observing students struggle more than I find useful, challenges me to find solutions, whether by adjusting my teaching methods, incorporating more interactive elements, or utilising existing or developing new interactive digital tools. Finding these solutions is immensely rewarding, when I see students having a smoother learning experience,” says Kudlicka.

Jan Kudlicka.

The winner would like to acknowledge all colleagues who genuinely care about students’ learning and strive to improve their teaching. While everyone will not receive an award like this, their dedication still deserve recognition, Kudlicka notes. 

“Innovation is not merely a luxury; it is a necessity in a world that is constantly evolving, including education. It should be a dynamic, ever-changing journey, not a stagnant pool of information,” he says.

Better student learning

Harald Øverby, BI’s Provost for Research, Learning and Impact, congratulates both winners on their achievements. He is very happy to register that the school’s academic departments have increased their focus on excellence in teaching and pedagogy.

“Both Jan and Klemens have shared their experiences with other colleagues and been an inspiration to their peers. Through excellent cooperation, they have not only enhanced the further development of their own courses but also contributed to better student learning,” says Øverby. 

About BI's Pedagogical Innovation Award 

  • Handed out annually.
  • The award is given to a course leader or a course team (faculty and professional staff) who have demonstrated outstanding educational development work through developing, planning, conducting, and assessing their subject or course. 
  • The award prize is NOK 25 000.
  • Previous winners include Giovanni Pagliardi (2022), Mona Kristin Solvoll, Cathrine von Ibenfeldt and Håvard Huse (2021), and Ragnvald Sannes (2020). 
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