Lecturer of the Year again, again, again

For the third time, the students have chosen Ole Bækgaard Nielsen as Lecturer of the Year at Health.

2014.03.20 | Helle Horskjær Hansen

[Translate to English:] Årets underviser, professor i medicinsk fysiolog Ole Bækgaard Nielsen (th). Her er han ved prisoverrækkelsen sammen med dekan på Health Allan Flyvbjerg. Foto: AU Kommunikation Maria Randima.

Lecturer of the Year, professor in Medical physiology Ole Bækgaard Nielsen (to the right), together with Dean of Health, Allan Flyvbjerg.

“After every one of his lectures I had the same feeling as I have after seeing a good film in the cinema - that I would like to see it again.” This was one of the reasons why Ole Bækgaard Nielsen was awarded the title of Lecturer of the Year 2013 at Health after a ballot among the students. Again. As this is actually the third time that he has won the title. Ole Bækgaard Nielsen lectures in respiration physiology, among other subjects. Not the easiest subject in the world if you ask the students, but still a subject that Ole Bækgaard Nielsen manages to communicate in an alternative and understandable way.

“Respiration physiology is difficult material but it suddenly became much more fun to learn once Ole got the balloons and rainbow-coloured springs out. By using different props he helped us to understand the various, complex topics,” writes one of the students.

The first occasion on which Ole Bækgaard Nielsen received the Lecturer of the Year prize was in 2003. A prize that he is very proud of.

“I am naturally pleased to be awarded such a prize. I really do try to develop my teaching and for me personally, the prize is confirmation that constantly developing the teaching is the right thing to do, even though it takes time. I really like teaching and I love knowledge,” he says.

Focus on including the students
And his commitment has an effect on the evaluations he has received from the students over the years. A student explains:

“Ole is committed and he is able to create more than just his own commitment. He involves and captivates the students, so things are not just instructive but also really exciting, entertaining and put into perspective.”

Involving the students is an essential aspect for Ole Bækgaard Nielsen.

“I often think about how I can bring more interaction with the students into my teaching. It could be with new methods of teaching, but it can also be much more simple things like preparing supplementary questions, discussion topics and so on, so these can be introduced during the lessons,” says Ole Bækgaard Nielsen.

He has lectured for 15 years and, as an experienced lecturer, he knows the subject matter well. So part of Ole Bækgaard Nielsen’s preparation time is spent on educational initiatives such as finding alternative explanatory models for issues and topics that the students, in his experience, find difficult to understand.

“If the lessons are to be meaningful, the students - and also myself - should really leave the room a little wiser. I believe the best way to achieve this is to take a Kirkegaard-inspired approach where you try to meet the students there where they are in their knowledge. I really try to do that,” he says.

The Lecturer of the Year at Health prize was presented to Ole Bækgaard Nielsen by the Medicine Students’ Council. This took place in connection with the ‘Academic Day’ event held on 7 March, 2014 at Aarhus University. The prize includes a check fro DKK 25,000.

Further information
Professor Ole Bækgaard Nielsen
Aarhus University, Department of Biomedicine
Direct tel: +45 8716 7714
Mobile: +45 6020 2674
obn@fi.au.dk

obn@fi.au.dk


obn@fi.au.dkAbout the Lecturer of the Year
Ole Bækgaard Nielsen is professor in medical physiology at the Department of Biomedicine, Health.
He completed his final examination for the Master’s degree in biology at Aarhus University in 1990 and took his PhD degree at the Faculty of Natural Science in 1993.
Ole Bækgaard Nielsen’s area of research deals with the ability of the muscles to detect activating signals from the brain and translate them into movements.

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