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Research and development

The CTL conducts practice-oriented research on HE pedagogy at an international level. This means

  • that we work with pedagogical topics within HE learning and teaching. This guarantees a synergy   between our research and our training and it ensures relevance and quality in our development and counselling tasks;
  • that we, as a rule, work empirically on the basis of data collected at Aarhus BSS and Aarhus University. Thus, our research is immediately usable and can be applied by teachers and management at the university as a point of departure for development of courses and programmes;
  • that our research is based on the relevant literature and contributes to the international research through articles, books, and conference papers.

 Our research covers the central teaching formats at the Aarhus BSS: lectures, small group teaching, and supervision. This goes for a number of strategically important focus areas, too: the use of EDU-IT, feedback, internationalisation, and quality assurance of the teaching.

Taken together, our projects demonstrate a methodical comprehensiveness that is important for us in order to comply with the various subject areas and needs of the Aarhus BSS. We work with both quantitative and qualitative methods as well as systematic literature reviews.

Many of our research projects are based on external funding; others are financed from strategic sources distributed by the faculty and university management to conduct surveys and analyses at the Aarhus BSS and Arhus University. Furthermore, the centre has two PhD students at the moment.

Below, you will find a list of the research and development projects that the CTL is involved in.

Interaction between student and teacher in small class teaching

Classroom teaching is an important part of study programmes at Aarhus BSS. Students meet teachers at close range. Students can practice and apply what they have learned between classes. Students can test their knowledge and receive feedback.

Classroom teaching thus has a great learning potential, and at the CTL we conduct research into how this potential can be realised in the best possible way. We do this by examining the interaction between students and teachers, and by analysing the teaching practices that best help students to engage in teaching and in activities outside the classroom.


Selected publications

Herrmann, K. J., & Bager-Elsborg, A. (2018). Når forberedelse er en pligt, og undervisningen er et privilegium: et casestudie af universitetsstuderendes forberedelsespraksis. Dansk Universitetspædagogisk Tidsskrift, 13(24), 37-54.

Herrmann, K. J. (2013). The impact of cooperative learning on student engagement: Results from an intervention. Active Learning in Higher Education, 14(3), 175-187.

Herrmann, K. J. (2014). Learning from tutorials: a qualitative study of approaches to learning and perceptions of tutorial interaction. Higher Education, 68(4), 591-606.

Herrmann, K. J., & Bager-Elsborg, A. (2014). Effektiv holdundervisning: en håndbog for nye undervisere på universitetsniveau. Frederiksberg: Samfundslitteratur.

Bager, A. J., & Herrmann, K. J. (2013). ”Du skal ikke stikke næsen for langt frem”: Et studie af normer for deltagelse og forberedelse blandt førsteårsstuderende. Dansk Universitetspædagogisk Tidsskrift, 8(15), 36-46.

Supervision on projects, master theses and PhD

Today, supervision is a common, important and resource-intensive form of teaching at Aarhus BSS. Therefore, there is a need for systematic knowledge of what characterises qualified supervision and how it can be further developed.

At the CTL, we conduct research on supervision of Bachelor’s projects, theses and PhD dissertations. The research is primarily based on data from large questionnaire surveys. The analyses have highlighted a wide range of topics, from student independence in Master's theses, to the importance of external funding for PhD projects.

Educational value of Edu-IT

CTL research projects in the field of educational IT examine the educational value of learning technologies in university teaching and learning at Aarhus BSS. The projects focus particularly on students’ experience and on learning outcomes from learning activities implemented wholly or partly by means of learning technologies. The aim of the projects is to generate knowledge about the appropriate use of learning technologies (primarily) in campus-based university teaching, and about how to further develop this area of teaching and learning.

Research currently in progress is primarily based on data from interviews, course evaluations and systematic reviews. The analyses focus on a large number of topics, ranging from student engagement, for example in relation to their experience of being able to apply academic competences, to the relationship between technology-supported learning activities and other elements of the academic discipline.



There is broad consensus that feedback is a powerful tool for student learning. However, it is not quite clear what counts as feedback. The academic environments at BSS are experimenting with different types of feedback. Many of these are based on large classes and therefore there is a certain distance between the teacher and students. 

At the CTL, through research we seek to identify feedback practices and their implications for the students’ engagement in feedback. The research is based on literature studies and qualitative investigations.


Bente Mosgaard Jørgensen

Teaching Associate Professor

Selected publications

  • Investigating Non-Engagement with feedback in HE as a Social Practice. / Jørgensen, Bente Mosgaard (under udgivelse). Tidsskriftsartikel.
  • Korrektiv peer-feedback som læringsaktivitet./  Jørgensen, Bente Mosgaard 2018. I: Lykkes peer-feedback altid?: 4 perspektiver på et undervisningseksperiment på jura. / Stenalt, Maria; Lassesen, Berit; Naur, Eva; Jørgensen, Bente Mosgaard, symposium. Dansk Universitetspædagogisk Netværks konference 2018
  • Investigating Student Feedback Practices in HE with Practice Theory. / Jørgensen, Bente Mosgaard, Aarhus Universitet 2016, Working Paper
  • Effect of feedback? The use of semantic network analysis – the case of the teacher training course goonline. / Jørgensen, Bente Mosgaard; Alsholm, Anne-Mette; Blok, Rasmus. ICED 2014,  konferencebidrag.

Teaching and learning in international programmes

More and more programmes are being offered in English to both Danish and foreign students. The result is often a great diversity in students’ educational background, language and culture, which is reflected in the teaching, in the interaction between students and teachers, and between students. In some cases, programmes are literally international, as their learning outcomes and content also have a clear international dimension. Other programmes have been changed slightly in relation to an original Danish degree programme.

Either way, there is a need for research and development projects to identify possibilities and challenges in international education and come up with concrete examples of how teaching and learning can be organised to give all students the best possible outcomes.


Quality development and assurance in higher education

Educational quality is an important issue for both institutions, students and society as a whole. At Aarhus BSS quality measurement constitutes an important element in the development of high quality teaching and learning environments which will provide students with the knowledge and skills they need after graduation.  

At the Center for Teaching and Learning we seek to create a solid starting point for discussing quality through evaluations and research. Below you will find an overview of current projects.


Berit Lassesen

Associate professor

Value and effect of continuing education for teachers

Whether continuing education for teachers takes place in a formalised framework or in more informal learning environments, it is important to document, as far as possible, the development that - hopefully - takes place. At the CTL, this is done in at least two ways. Firstly, we measure the effect of seminars, workshops and courses via primarily qualitative methods, and report examples in research articles. Secondly, for individual sparring and supermentoring with written feedback, we can prove the effect in the cases that concern a process with several observations so that there are two or more documents with written feedback.


Selected publications

Lauridsen, K.M. & Lauridsen, O. (2018) Teacher capabilities in a multicultural educational environment: an analysis of the impact of a professional development project. International Journal for Academic Development 23 (2). DOI: 10.1080/1360144X.2017.1357557

Lauridsen, K.M. (forthcoming) Change happens through people. European projects as continuous professional development.

The brain and learning

Over the past 20 years, the research field 'mind, brain and education' has provided much new insight into how the brain learns. However, until the release of 'The Brain and Learning' in 2016 (see below), the amount of work on how this knowledge can be put into practice - not least in a university context - has been very limited and has lacked system and structure.

Within the field of ‘The Brain and Learning' as it is pursued at the CTL, it is important to make the theory widely accessible and to convert existing knowledge into practice. An important side-effect is also that it can have ramifications for neuropsychologically based reasons for many of the aspects revealed by data-driven research and designs for how different didactic/learning problems can be solved ('how').


Ole Lauridsen

Lektor Emeritus

Selected publications

Lauridsen, O. 2016. Hjernen og læring. København: Akademisk forlag.

Lauridsen, O. 2017. Læring i Praksis. Århus: Aarhus Universitetsforlag.

Complete list of CTL’s publications