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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.

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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.

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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.

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Complete list of CTL’s publications