Me and my colleagues Björn Hedin and Olle Bälter submitted an abstract to the 9th [Swedish] Pedagogical Inspiration Conference a week ago. I recently attended the 8th International Conference on Engineering Education for Sustainable Development (EESD 2016) and I think of these two conference in similar terms; not the place to submit a paper in order to get a bona fide heavy-hitting academic reference, but, a great place to go to meet and talk to people who have the same concerns that you do and to get inspiration for your everyday life as a university teacher (or director of studies etc.). I do however have to admit that I have never attended any of these smaller Swedish conferences but my colleague Björn has attended several. He and I did in fact submit a paper, "I'm gonna study now! I just have to color-code my books first" (about students' procrastination/studying habits) to the 4th developmental conference for Swedish engineering educations three years ago. I suspect Björn will go also to this conference (in Lund in southern Sweden on December 15) and that I might (again) pass. Or perhaps I should go this time around?
Perhaps I should have written "I suspect Björn will go also to this conference (should our abstract be accepted)..." but I honestly believe the chances this abstract will not be accepted is slim-bordering-on-zero. I'm just stating the facts as I see them when I say that anyone who has taught at a university will want to have a look at this paper. No hubris and no hype here, no-siree! The turnaround is quick, we will find out if our abstract is accepted on October 3 at the latest and the deadline for submitting the full text (≈ 1300 words) is on November 6. Submissions will be evaluated according to the following three criteria:
- Potential for being of interest for teachers in technical educations.
- Potential for creating serious discussions about teaching and learning.
- Anchored in a pedagogical reasoning.
The tale of Blockhead Hans - an academic tragedyBjörn Hedin, Olle Bälter & Daniel Pargman, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, School of Computer Science and Communication, Dept. of Media Technology and Interaction Design.
In the Swedish educational system there are - usually for good reasons - many rules and guidelines. Matters should treated in fair and legally certain ways and everybody should be treated equally. The system should be flexible and it should be possible got students to get credits for having taken similar/equivalent courses elsewhere so as to not make it unnecessarily difficult for students to graduate. Operations should be run efficiently and taxes should be used to the best effect. Not least, all degree objectives should be met and a high quality of education should be guaranteed. Situations do however occurs when these rules and guidelines come into conflict with each other and if the organisational benevolence is consciously being taken advantage of, it could lead to consequences that will seem unreasonable.
We use this example to illustrate how our framework of rules can be exploited, and we question whether it is at all possible to fail or prevent a student who is unscrupulous enough from graduating in the Swedish higher education system. By extension we want to stimulate discussions about how we should balance regulatory frameworks on a spectrum of smoothly and flexibly meeting the needs of conscientious students while preventing unscrupulous students to cheat their way through an education.
This paper (or rather the actual case we report on) is directly related to a blog post I wrote five and a half years ago, "Can a student fail at a Swedish university?"