Trial lecture guidelines

Trial lecture
The trial lecture is a teaching event within the field of the applied teaching position. The selection of persons to be invited to give a trial lecture is made by the faculty council, the University Council, or an appointing body set by them. The body assesses the overall competence of the most eligible applicants for the open position. The appointing body issues a written statement and prepares a proposal for the faculty council or the University Council of the person to be chosen for the position considering all the competence requirements and application material. The faculty council or the University Council or the appointing body set by them may exempt an applicant from having to give a trial lecture if he or she has previously given an accepted trial lecture in the same subject for a position requiring corresponding teaching competence. This trial lecture may not be older than five years.

If a person invited to give a trial lecture refuses to give it or does not arrive to give it at the assigned time without a legitimate reason, he or she forfeits the opportunity to give the trial lecture. The faculty council, the University Council, or an appointing body named by them may reserve a new opportunity for the trial lecture due to a special reason.

The language used in teaching and in the completion of degrees is Finnish at the University of Lapland. According to dean’s decision, a trial lecture may also be given in another language.

Trial lectures and the relevant practical issues are arranged by the unit’s administrative office.

Topic and level of the trial lecture
The topic of the trial lecture must fall within the field of the applied position. The applicant must report the topic of the lecture by a specified deadline to the faculty’s presenting official unless the faculty council, the University Council, the appointing body set by them, or the evaluation committee assign the topic. At the beginning of the trial lecture the applicant must state the level of studies it concerns.

Giving the trial lecture
The trial lecture follows a lecture format unless the faculty council, the University Council, or the appointing body named by them states otherwise. The lecture is open to the public, and it is given in the university premises at a time specified by the faculty. However, the presence of other applicants for the same position is not allowed. The duration of the lecture is 20 minutes, and thereafter the audience is allowed to ask questions.

If the faculty council or University Council so decides, a public trial lecture may be recorded, but this decision must concern all the applicants.

When announcing the topic of the trial lecture, the applicant must also list the required AV and other equipment.

Evaluation
A written evaluation of the trial lecture is given by the faculty council or the University Council unless the task has been delegated to an appointing body or a separate teaching skills assessment group. The trial lecture can be either accepted or rejected. An accepted trial lecture can be graded excellent, good, or satisfactory. Other teaching merits cannot be used to compensate for a failed trial lecture.

If necessary, more detailed applications of these guidelines can be issued by the faculty council or the University Council. Instructions deviating from or complementing the above may also be provided for individual teaching positions.

Trial lecture is part of the evaluation of teaching skills
Teaching skills are evaluated as a whole consisting of a possible trial lecture and other merits contributing to teaching competence, such as pedagogical education, practical experience acquired through teaching and supervision of students, ability to produce learning material, development of teaching, other teaching-related merits, and international activities. These different aspects of teaching skills can be weighed in various ways depending on the open position. Teaching portfolios can also be used in the evaluation of teaching skills. Faculty-specific instructions on the teaching portfolio can be found on the university’s web pages.

One is required to have adequate teaching skills when selected for a permanent teaching position at the University of Lapland. Good teaching skills are required from those applying for the title of docent.

The evaluation of the trial lecture includes e.g. the following:
The ability of the applicant to
" structure the topic so as to make it understandable to the audience
" structure the teaching situation appropriately
" give reasons for his/her ideas and arguments
" draw on the latest research or artistic activity in his/her discipline
" teach in an engaging and intellectually stimulating manner
" interact with his/her audience
" use teaching aids

Interview
An interview may be arranged for the applicant. The faculty council, the University Council, or the appointing body invites the applicants for an interview at a separately agreed time. The interview takes place after the lecture and the applicant is informed about it in advance.

Dissemination of the guidelines
These guidelines are delivered to each trial lecturer and evaluator.

These guidelines have been issued on 26 April 2010.