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Who Are the Students?

Who are your students? Do you have students who are genuinely interested in your class, or are they there to get their diploma and then a job? And how does it impact your lecturing?

According to SSB there were 261 000 registered students in higher education in Norway in 2012. Pursuing higher education has become more and more common, in Norway and other countries. This has made researchers claim that we have a challenge regarding how we reach our students (Biggs 1999). Biggs (1999) divides the students in Susan's and Robert's, where the Susans are genuinely interested in learning, whereas the Roberts are motivated by the great job at the end. Susan is doing "deep learning" by herself during the lectures, but Robert will need activities that demand "deep learning" to get there.

The positive aspect of the Biggs approach is that he claims we as lecturers are able to help the Roberts change how they work with their courses, and thereby engage their interest. By aligning the learning activities with the assessment structure and the learning outcomes, Robert can be motivated to engage, and to see the value of the energy put into learning.

Claus Braband from the University of Århus has made videos to illustrate the main ideas from Biggs.

Do you need help aligning your course? Contact LearningLab - we are happy to help.

Biggs, J. (1999). "What the student does: teaching for enhanced learning." Higher Education Research & Development 18(1): 57-75.

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