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Lecturer of the Year

2021 Lecturer of the Year: ‘It makes a difference that the students work actively with what they need to learn’

Marian van Bakel takes pride in creating and developing a great learning environment, and she meets her students with great enthusiasm and attention. That is why she is the recipient of this year’s Teaching Prize at SDU.

By Asta Holst Bach , , 11/4/2021

Every year, SDU selects the University’s best lecturer. This year, the prize is awarded to Associate Professor Marian van Bakel from the Department of Business & Management at SDU Slagelse, because she makes an extraordinary effort as a lecturer to create relevant and involving teaching for her students.

Watch the video with the Lecturer of the Year

Tools for self-reflection

When Marian van Bakel teaches, her students need to reflect and take a stand. She places great emphasis on having them work actively with the theory in exercises and academic discussions.

A good example of Marian van Bakel’s approach to teaching and one of the reasons for awarding her the Teaching Prize is her Going Abroad online modules, which she has developed based on her research in intercultural competence, and the content prepares students for exchange stays.

In the Going Abroad modules, students are given tasks that require them to set goals and explore their own and others’ cultural values.

The modules have been significant for her students, who have been given new tools for self-reflection that they can use when encountering a foreign culture. In fact, Marian van Bakel’s Going Abroad modules have become such a huge success that they are now being offered to a larger group of students.

The good teaching environment

With the prize, Marian van Bakel is also being honoured for her commitment to creating a good teaching environment.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, Marian van Bakel was quick to adjust her teaching to make it work online. For Marian van Bakel, it was important that her online lectures were engaging and provided her students with hands-on exercises.

In addition, she immediately took the initiative to use the department’s digital Teams platform, allowing lecturers and students to communicate with each other. The platform made a big positive difference during COVID-19 for both Marian van Bakel’s colleagues and students.

Another of Marian van Bakel’s initiatives is a mentoring scheme that connects current and graduated students and allows them to exchange experiences. She has also set up a networking group in LinkedIn where all the students can meet and network. These examples emphasise Marian van Bakel’s commitment to her teaching environment and students.

Active learning makes a difference

On receiving the prize, Marian van Bakel says:

-  I am very honoured to receive this prize. It is a great recognition of my work as a lecturer and adviser. The prize focuses on one of my initiatives as a lecturer: The Going Abroad online modules. It means a lot to me that the modules are given prominence. Because I think it is important to equip our students with skills for an increasingly internationalised labour market.

What do you emphasise in your teaching?

-  I place great emphasis on active learning in my teaching. I believe that it makes a big difference that students work actively with what they need to learn. As a lecturer, I also find it more interesting than just giving a lecture. Therefore, I try to include practice in my teaching. For example, by inviting guest lecturers and by letting the students work with both concrete cases and hands-on exercises. I find this makes it easier for them to understand and remember the academic content.

What does the prize mean to you as a lecturer?

-  With the Lecturer of the Year Prize, the University shows that teaching is also highly valued; that it's not just about research. And that, I think, is very important.

The 2021 Teaching Prize is not the only recognition Marian van Bakel has received for her abilities as a lecturer. Earlier this year, she won the Faculty of Business and Social Sciences’ Teaching Award.

About the prize

SDU’s Teaching Prize is awarded to an extraordinary lecturer who creates engaging and committed teaching of the highest quality.

Editing was completed: 04.11.2021