Department of
Biological Sciences

Group Leader, Professor, PhD
Christian Jørgensen

I have been teaching the first semester course BIO100 Introduction to evolution and ecology since 2015, from 2019 with Jarl Giske.

Over some years now, I have researched student engagement, motivation, and effects of teaching on this course in close collaboration with Sehoya Cotner, who is now leader of BioCEED, the Center of Excellence in Education at our Department, and Cissy Ballen, now at Auburn University.

Based on work with Helen Bråten (see paper below), I suggested that Norway introduce a new grading scale, Pass with distinction - Pass - Fail, that made it into the national committees's draft National Law for Higher Education. I debated this in a NOKUT podcast from March 2020. The suggestion was later axed by the government with no pedagogical reason given, and is now not part of the suggested new law for higher education, to be debated and voted on in the parliament.

As part of the new law, the government plans to introduce two evaluators on every exam graded A-F. I think this will take Norwegian higher education 30 years back in time, and discuss pedagogical consequences in the national news outlet for higher education:
Khrono 27 April 2021: Kjenner studentene konsekvensene med to sensorer? [In Norwegian]

In 2015 I received the University of Bergen's student-nominated Learning Environment Award and in 2016 I got a national teaching award from Olav Thon Stiftelser.

Here are my papers on teaching in higher education:

Cotner S, Jeno LM, Walker JD, Jørgensen C, Vandvik V. 2020.
Gender gaps in the performance of Norwegian biology students: The roles of test anxiety and science confidence
International Journal of STEM Education. 7: 22. [ doi:10.1186/s40594-020-00252-1 ] [ open access ]
Ballen CJ, Aguillon S, Awwad A, Bjune AE, Challou D, Drake AG, Driessen M, Ellozy A, Ferry V, Goldberg EE, Harcombe W, Jensen S, Jonas A, Jørgensen C, Koth Z, McGaugh S, Mitry C, Mosher B, Mostafa H, Petipas RH, Soneral PAG, Watters S, Wassenburg D, Weiss S, Zamudio KR, Cotner S. 2019.
Smaller classes promote equitable student participation in STEM
BioScience. 69: 669-680. [ doi:10.1093/biosci/biz069 ]
Jørgensen C, Bråten H. 2019.
Can ‘passed with distinction’ as a new grading scale favour the transition towards formative assessment?
Nordic Journal of STEM Education. 3: 7-11. [ doi:10.5324/njsteme.v3i1.2992 ] [ open access ] [ pdf ]
Ballen C, Danielsen M, Jørgensen C, Grytnes J-A, Cotner S. 2017.
Norway's gender gap: Classroom participation in undergraduate introductory science
Nordic Journal of STEM Education. 1: 179-186. [ doi:10.5324/njsteme.v1i1.2248 ] [ open access ] [ pdf ]
Jørgensen C, Goksøyr A, Hjelle KL, Linge H. 2017.
Exams as learning arena: A criterion-based system for justified marking, student feedback, and enhanced constructive alignment
Pages 136-140 in Transforming patterns through the scholarship of teaching and learning - Proceedings from EuroSoTL 2017, edited by Mårtensson K, Andersson R, Fernandez I, Førland OK, Higgs B, Roxå T. Lund, Sweden: Lunds Universitet. [ open access ] [ pdf ]
Brown V, Gutknecht J, Harden L, Harrison C, Hively D, Jørgensen C, Levi T, Pflugeisen B, Rovengno P, Wang Y, Wiedenmann J, Mangel M. 2010.
Understanding and engaging values in policy relevant science
Bulletin of the British Ecological Society. 41: 48-56. [ pdf ]
Webmaster:  Christian Jørgensen.