Our guest blogger today is Pia Lappalainen. She has a PhD in Science (Technology) and an M.A in English and French Philology, Communications and Pedagogics. Currently a lecturer at Aalto University in Finland, she pursues new pedagogy promoting doctoral-level curriculum design.
By Pia Lappalainen
If doctoral candidates are pained by various aspects of their research process, so are their supervising faculty! While pressure is accumulating for expediting thesis completion and for increasing high impact factor publications, universities everywhere are feeling the strain of fewer resources to support those outcomes. Higher engineering institutions in Finland, too, are struggling with fiercer competition for state- and private-sector funding and the subsequently tighter finances. To survive, Aalto University has taken some drastic decisions, cutting down on post-graduate course supply and contact hours in those courses that survived a recent downsizing. This forces pedagogues to re-think their pedagogical approaches to the already dwarfed course foci and contents. I’d like to share here how we harnessed peer critique as an instrument ensuring sufficient feedback while shrinking teacher contact hours. Continue reading