The Stockholm’s University Teacher of the year Award 2018 has been obtained by our colleague Iñaki Rodríguez Longarela. The jury’s decision is motivated under several grounds.

Flipped classroom teaching method

"Iñaki has shown an ambition to constantly develop and push forward the boundaries of his education. The students appreciate how he takes the time to listen to what they find difficult and to support them in different innovative ways to learn as much as possible. Iñaki’s implementation of a flipped classroom teaching method in his first-year bachelor course Finance I has resulted in a huge reduction in the proportion of students failing such course. With the help of digital aids and good planning, Iñaki succeeds in creating diversity and commitment to the students.

Iñaki Rodriguez Longarela
Iñaki Rodriguez Longarela

Iñaki exercises true academic teaching by adopting a researching approach to his education as he builds on college education research and systematically examines the effects of his education both in the students' perceptions of their learning and their actual learning. Iñaki also inspires other teachers to develop their education both at their own institution and across the university, through his commitment as educational ambassador in 2017 and mentor to his colleagues."

"Let's make the student active in class"

According to Iñaki, the traditional lecture is in its best-case scenario an entertaining review of a textbook. The pupils are passive in class and they are active at home. Flipped classroom is an educational method based on a simple premise. Let's make the student active in class (precisely when the teacher is there to help and correct on the spot any misconceptions and when students can work together) and let them be passive when they are at home alone (and watching the videos that contain the traditional lectures). It is obvious that this is a more efficient use of resources, and it is not surprising that it produces better results.

The evidence is clear. A metastudy published in PNAS (Proceedings of the Academy of Sciences from 2014) that evaluates active learning methods in science, engineering and mathematics (flipped classroom is one of these methods, and finance is a high mathematical subject) versus traditional teaching, finds that the former is significantly superior. The evidence is so strong that the authors consider that if their study had been a medical trial testing a given drug, it would have been unethical not to stop the trial and give the medicine to the placebo group. When are we going to give the medicine of active learning to all our students?

Iñaki finds this prize a very important achievement. “It is awards like this and the appreciation of the students that provide me with the necessary energy to continue improving and innovating my teaching.”

The teacher of the year Award 2018 has been given, in addition to Iñaki Rodriguez Longarela, to Robert Daniels (Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics), Nils Larsson (Department of Language Didactics), and Emma Wikberg (Department of Physics).