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Donald Blomqvist recognised for his educational contributions

News: Sep 29, 2020

Researcher Donald Blomqvist is a popular lecturer in biology with his unwavering focus on the student perspective and an appropriate amount of Gothenburg humour. He is now being awarded the Faculty of Science's 2020 Pedagogical Award for his contributions.

Donald Blomqvist standing outdoors with binoculars.

Congratulations for the award! How does it feel to receive our 2020 Pedagogical Award?

“I am honoured. It inspires me to try to be an even better teacher,” says Donald Blomqvist.

How do you view your educational achievement?

“I’ve always tried to train student to relate to biology based on a quantitative and traditional natural science perspective. So, my teaching has theoretical aspects that many students are not used to, including modelling, statistics, and mathematics. Even so, I think I can dare claim that it works well.

Another important component has been what today is called active learning. And, not least, to link the teaching as often as possible to my own research in evolutionary ecology and conservation biology. Students are often inspired when they see that biological theory and experimental methodology can be applied in different ways, such as in the work to save threatened species.”

What are you working on right now in terms of educational development?

“My colleagues and I are working with revising the bachelor’s and master’s biology programmes. The general goal is to increase the programmes’ accessibility, attractiveness, and quality, so that we can attract more students to our courses and can ‘supply’ talented biologists to society. Personally, I have some ideas for new courses that should be able to attract a lot of students and that I hope we can create.”

More about active learning is available at the Network for Active Learning’s website at the Staff Portal.

Donald Blomqvist was awarded the Faculty of Science’s 2020 Pedagogical Award with the following explanation:

Donald Blomqvist has a long and greatly appreciated teaching career within ecology and biostatistics. Donald has also been active for several years as the director of studies and the chair of the advisory council for biology and molecular biology. On several occasions, he has been nominated and twice received the Pedagogical Award from the Göta Students’ Union.

The students’ award statement includes words like enthusiasm, playfulness, and, not least, Gothenburg humour. Donald has succeeded in ways no one else has been able to in making statistics tests and mathematical modelling accessible even to students who have not yet come very far in their mathematical understanding. He can explain difficult concepts so that they are both exciting and graspable.

Donald shows concern for student learning, takes the bachelor’s programme very seriously, and never compromises on quality. He always has an unwavering focus on the student perspective and has been a driving force behind the department’s continual dialogue with students that has contributed to developing the department’s teaching and that students feel seen and enjoy studying at the department.

About the Pedagogical Award

The Pedagogical Award recognises positive efforts within the University’s teaching. The award is in the form of a grant of SEK 100,000 for use in the recipient’s work and is in recognition of an appreciated and successful teaching career. It can be awarded to one person or be shared among multiple individuals.

Award ceremony 26 November

Because of the coronavirus situation, the faculty’s 2020 awards will be presented at a smaller ceremony on 26 November. The award winners’ lectures will be recorded and made available online.

+46 31-786 98 72

Originally published on: science.gu.se

Page Manager: Tanja Thompson|Last update: 9/30/2020

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Print date: 2022-01-29

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