Aarhus University Seal

Insight into the academic competences in practice

Teacher's motivation

The purpose of this initiative is to give the students an insight into their own academic competences, an understanding of the career paths to which their programme might lead, and concrete role models. The motivation for the activity is that academic competences are related to practice and that the career perspective is incorporated in the course.

Description of the activity

Both activities are described in the first half of the course handbook and are well suited for a course that contains introductory elements regarding the academic competences.

The first activity: Exploring the teaching staff

In groups, the students should explore who the tenured experts in the programme are and what their jobs involve. This exercise runs over two teaching sessions.

  • The students are divided into groups, and each group is assigned a tenured expert from the degree programme (an assistant professor, associate professor or professor).
  • Two hours are scheduled for the first teaching session. In this session the students should investigate who their assigned experts are and what their jobs involve. They may visit the department’s website or Pure to answer the following questions:

    • Where were they trained?
    • Where have they worked?
    • Which historical period(s) are they studying?
    • What methods are they using?
    • What material are they including in their work?
    • Students may look at some of the written work the experts have published; this is available in their AU websites (under publications).
  • Between the two teaching sessions, the students should prepare a presentation of their assigned expert, including a PowerPoint presentation. This is part of their activities between sessions. The presentation is defined as a three-minute madness presentation with three slides based on a template uploaded on Blackboard.    
  • In the following teaching session, 60 minutes are set aside for the students’ 3-minute group presentations.

The second activity: Archaeology at the museum

In groups, the students must investigate what alumni from their own degree programme work with. This exercise runs over two teaching sessions.

  • In advance, the teacher will find alumni in work from the degree programme and make appointments regarding places and times for interviews. At Archaeology, an agreement exists regarding interviews with members of staff at different sections of Moesgaard Museum.
  • In the first teaching session, 60 minutes are set aside for the students to prepare a guide for the interviews with alumni.
  • Before the following session, the students must conduct the interviews with alumni at work. Based on visits and interviews, the students must prepare a PowerPoint presentation to present to their class in the following teaching session. The students are given the following instructions:
    • Give a presentation of one of Moesgaard Museum’s sections, based on interviews with a member of staff. The presentation should last six to seven minutes. The product to be submitted for the portfolio is the PowerPoint presentation used (min. 10 slides), which must contain the essential information and describe how the member of staff in question performs their task ― and possibly how the task field relates to the Danish Museum Act.
    • Each group has 10 minutes for their presentation, with six to seven minutes for presenting and three to four minutes for questions and answers.

Outcome of the activity

The students meet face to face with relevant people who may act as professional role models, and the exercise is one way of getting an idea of what their future work might be.

Worth considering

As a teacher you must bear in mind that time must be set aside for making appointments with alumni. You may also consider leaving it up to the students to make the appointments if you consider this an opportunity for added learning.


    Examples of practice

      Basic information

      • Faculty: Arts
      • Degree Programme: Archaeology
      • Course: Introduction to Archaeology
      • Study level: BA, 1. semester
      • Course size: Approx. 35 students 
      • Teaching method: Small class teaching
      • Extent: Whole course
      • Primary type of activity: Acquisition
      • Applied technology: Blackboard (Now Brightspace), Powerpoint
      • How the case was conduted: Campus teaching with the use of digital tools for learning

      Learning objectives

      The purpose of this initiative is to give the students an insight into their own academic competences, an understanding of the career paths to which their programme might lead, and concrete role models.

      Andres Minos Dobat

      Associate professor, head of department

      This example of practice is developed in connection to "Projekt 1. studieår", where initiatives for retention at the faculty of arts at Aarhus University was mapped.