Professor Anna Karlsson-Bengtsson


Vice President of Education and Lifelong Learning, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

Prof. Dr. Anna Karlsson-Bengtsson Copyright: © Chalmers University

Should we return to full live courses after the pandemic, continue to offer online-only teaching, or do hybrid teaching?

The basis for teaching should always be to use the tools and pedagogy that best suits the subject and content, under the given circumstances. Having stated that, a teaching format that mixes campus education with digital education is probably the most suitable as long as we develop both formats and integrate them in a way that they support each other and provide benefits for students‘ learning.

Moving forward, the ability to vary between different degrees of campus-based and online teaching may be a necessary competence to tackle coming challenges such as the covid-19 pandemic and we will most probably be better prepared for such a scenario in the future.

Which teaching formats would you like to see online, which ones in personal settings?

Any teaching format can be adapted to an on-line setting, perhaps with the exceptions of certain labs and other education that requires on-site equipment. I want every teacher to make the judgement of what her/his course requires and benefits from with regards to content and pedagogy so that the students get the best learning experience and reach the learning outcomes.

Your vision: What should the successor model of a traditional lecture look like that integrates research and "doing" (no matter whether in presence or online)?

This depends very much on the subject. A math lecture may benefit from the traditional format as it builds up on the board with the possibility of students to follow and pose questions continually during the lecture. A lecture in biology may very well be flipped, combining movies and reading materials with seminars and group work. Again, a good teacher is imperative for the design of education that meets the needs of her/his students.

Will lecturers still be needed in ten years' time or will AI/robots be enough to keep teaching?

Education is a process of personal growth and maturation, which is dependent on personal interaction. To become an educated person one cannot only learn the facts, knowledge has to be integrated into your being. So, while AI may be a complement, the in-person meeting will never be redundant.

A number of demands are coming from industry and society as to what universities should include in their curricula in future. If studies are not to be extended, one must also ask what we will no longer need in the future. Do you have any suggestions?

Young people today start from a higher level of understanding, meaning that we can use other tools, engage larger parts of their learning capacity, and organize the learning journey differently.