Skip to 0 minutes and 3 seconds So what makes a university teacher a good university teacher? I think a good teacher is someone who’s very enthusiastic and that she or he has a lot of passion for the subject he’s teaching and gives that passion to the students. I think there are a lot of things that make a good university teacher. First of all, I think it’s that you don’t do all the talking, that you involve the students, as well, so interaction. The main thing is that students need to learn to think critically. So ask questions. Ask them to think about the task. Let them interact with each other.
Skip to 0 minutes and 46 seconds It’s also very important– and what I really like is when there are assignments that make people think in a different way, and perhaps, also, contribute to the job market afterward. So do things that interact with that as well. Well, I think accessibility to students is very important. So in the sense that you convey yourself in such a way, where students feel like they can come to you and ask questions and receive constructive feedback. So I think the accessibility and constructive feedback are probably two fundamentals of being a teacher. A good university teacher is honest about what he knows and not knows.
Skip to 1 minute and 31 seconds Also, I think a good university teacher is involved and that he’s able to make the connection between what students learn and what happens in society. And I also think about good university teacher as an entertainer. So he should be able to teach his…
Skip to 2 minutes and 0 seconds He’s an entertainer so he’s able to teach his information in a stimulating way. For me, it’s somebody who can keep his students kind of lively so that they are still able to pay attention after, for example, two hours of lecture. Because that’s really difficult. My students like, fall kind of asleep after half an hour. So if you find a way to draw their attention, then you’re a really good teacher, I think. If he is able to explain clearly, a topic which is quite difficult, but also in such a way that you want to know more about the topic than is asked.
Skip to 2 minutes and 35 seconds So if you want to deepen your knowledge about something, and he can do this by using different study methods interactivity, in lectures, being open to students. Well, I think, mainly what makes a teacher a good university teacher is, first of all, preparation, knowing the material, but also, knowing how to interact with the students. I have a lot of professors that are quite– and I think it’s a tendency here in the Netherlands– quite friendly. And I think that’s great if you can establish a dialogue between you as a student, and you as a professor. But at the same time, there also should be a distance between being friends or being a professor, and not really crossing that boundary.
Skip to 3 minutes and 23 seconds So I think that’s what makes a professor great, just knowing how to interact, knowing your material, and being available for questions and help. I believe that somebody who has the ability to actually see the strength and weaknesses of a person makes a very good teacher, and somebody who then transfers that into his support of that person. And somebody at the same time, as well, leads by example. So who, of course, has a great expertise in a certain field and can give you just a small impetus, a small pinch in the right direction that will lead you towards the ideas.
Skip to 4 minutes and 1 second He doesn’t choose the answer for you, but he can provide you with an idea that will lead you, finally, to the answer you’re looking for. I think it’s very important to create an environment in which learning is possible. But I think it’s also very important to have fun with your students. So I once had a teacher, which gave really good lectures. But we also had a lot of fun. And in the end, a lot of people passed the course. A good university teacher is someone who does a lot of activating learning forms so that he uses the classroom as a discussion platform. And so that you can have a deeper understanding on the learning materials.
Skip to 4 minutes and 47 seconds Well, for me, a good teacher is somebody who’s telling, maybe, really boring stuff, but still knows how to keep your attention throughout one and a half hours. So I think, it’s that people have a way of telling stories and be really animated, and just that you really keep focused. That helps for me. Well, first of all, I think a good university teacher is someone who’s really passionate about what he’s teaching. Because if you’re really passionate, you can pass this passion upon your students, as well. So they can be more successful in the future, when they get a job.
Skip to 5 minutes and 26 seconds But the second point I will try to make is that a teacher should also touch upon pressing issues of the present day. Because oftentimes, teachers speak about past, but they forget about the present. And from this perspective, I think teachers should involve students in living the moment, and thinking about the issues that are present today in our society. And this, perhaps, will generate more ideas about how we can solve issues today, how students might help our society overcome problems. Oh, well, someone who can trigger you to help find out things you didn’t know before, and who’s open for questions. So if you have questions, that you can come and, well, ask him.
A good university teacher according to UG students
After discussing the question “what makes a university teacher a good teacher?” and reading the article on teaching quality, let’s now find out what the students at the University of Groningen think about this.
In this video 13 students will share their opinion on good university teachers with you.
© University of Groningen