Success Stories

Working online in the BCBU+ project Course

Host Institution: University of Oulu 
Duration: 4 days - 15. – 18.11.2011 
Number of participants: 27 teachers

IT-Course for teachers was organised on 15.­18.11.2011 in University of Oulu, Department of Information Processing Science. Knowledge of virtual campus and web conferencing tools has increased among the partner universities. The course included visits to two ICT companies (Videra Oy and Elisa Oyj) in the technology park of Oulu. Video conferencing tools were presented for the course participants.

Intensive Language Course ‘English For International Lecturers’

Host Institution: Northern (Artic) Federal University
Venue: NArFU, Arkhangelsk, Russia
Duration: 4 days, January 30 - 2 February 2012 
Number of participants: 34 teachers
Trainer: Micheal Hurd, the University of Lapland

The course was designed for the lecturers of Russian partner universities and aimed mainly to further improve their English language skills to be competent to develop courses and deliver lectures under BCBU program. This four day course was divided in to five modules. It includes: English for Lectures, Academic Writing and also modules that address for specific areas within the BCBU project, i.e. Social Work, IT, Environmental Engineering.
The English for Lecturers module includes teaching presenting skills in English, covering various topics; eye contact, the importance of “speaking” one’s text (talking to the audience) instead of reading from a paper, attempting to make lectures and presentations in general interactive. The Academic Writing module includes “macro” skills (organization, quality of argument, clearness and full development of the ideas, good and effective introductions and conclusions), and “micro” skills (mechanical issues, grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, the choice of British or American English, etc.). 

One of the reasons for the training is that the language skills are connected to the quality of the courses and co-operation is impossible without participants speaking one language – English. As it became evident after the course the lecturers do need training in English. In addition, this kind of academic English training is not often available for the teachers and other MA actors in Russia. People usually pay for such training. Furthermore, due to full-time work and administrative duties the lecturers lack time for English which leads to losing the skills. Short-term courses like the above-mentioned one are helpful in this way and do not overload learners with too many hours. The last but not least, the course contributed to networking, partnership establishment and information exchange.

Pedagogy Course for Teachers: Distance Learning in Cross Border Environment
Host Institution: Murmansk State Humanities University
Venue: Murmansk, Russia
Duration: 4 days, May 14 -17, 2012 
Number of participants: 32 teachers

This course was organized within Activity 2.2 of the BCBU+ project plan Developing Academic Practices aimed at improving teaching quality in the courses provided within BCBU network and thus promoting effective learning in a cross border context. The target group was teachers and specialists who are involved in BCBU MA programmes teaching. Overall objective of the course was to approach distance learning from different aspects and sides: from the point of view of psychology, pedagogy, intercultural communication and IT. in view of the fact that learning within BCBU MA programmes will be implemented in cross border environment, it is essential for teachers to be ready to teach to students of different national and cultural background using effective teaching techniques and approaches. Specific objectives of the course were to share MSHU expertise in distance learning and approaches used, practice English skills, create working atmosphere for stimulating exchange of professional opinions and networking and detect what possible challenges can be faced when teaching MA programmes in a particular cross border context. The course programme included lectures in psychology, approaches to academic assessment in Russia, intercultural communication, workshops in English, and pedagogical techniques for distance learning.