Department of Biological Sciences (BIO)

Teaching resources

Students are the future. Good students will make good researchers and good teachers for the next generation. They are BIO’s most critical investment.

  • What makes a good teacher?
  • What contributes to a positive learning environment?
  • What about new technologies?
  • How be used most effectively and optimally?


What makes a good teacher, and, what contributes to a positive learning environment?

We cannot clone the best teachers at BIO, but we can share their advice. Two of BIO’s prize-winning teachers share some of their reflections on these questions.

Geir-Kåre Totland began teaching at the Institute of Anatomy in 1974. His work career a wide cross-section of experiences including stints in the private sector as well as  teaching periods at the high school level as he completed his degrees. On the threshold of retirement, Totland reflects on how important and rewarding teaching is. Totland has received considerable positive feedback from students. He has been a three-time nominee, and one-time winner for The MatNat Faculty’s best teacher (as determined by student evaluations), and the 2011 winner of BIO’s prize for best teacher at the bachelor level (again determined by student evaluations). A comment from a recent student evaluation was that he had been such an inspiring teacher that he should be cloned! Even other lecturers have contacted him for tips – we share some of these here!

Click here to access some teaching tips from Geir Kåre Totland.

In the 80’s Totland became involved in research into teaching and effective teaching practices. Together with Harald Kryvi, he undertook an evaluation initiative, the results of which were published in UNIPED, Norway’s Journal for Pedagogy in Higher Education, in 1986. Both Kryvi and Totland have been invited to speak about teaching and pedagogy at other Norwegian universities. Both men underline the importance of feedback from students. This gives lecturers invaluable information on how they can improve, what has been successful etc. They say that students need to take responsibility for their own learning, including providing teacher evaluation.

Kryvi is the second prize-winning teacher to share his tips based on 44 years of experience.  Kryvi believes passionately in the importance of an engaged, passionate lecturer on learning outcomes. He wrote a paper on this in 1997 in UNIPED.  Kryvi has recognised that the photographic skills involved in documenting his research are also an effective tool for popularising science. The beautiful images of microscopic subjects provide an inspiring glimpse into a world that most of us would otherwise never see. His pictures have been shared in exhibitions, hang on many university walls, and are treasured gifts used in many award ceremonies. His efforts in this area have been recognised with a nomination for the Research Council of Norway’s Communication Prize, and for the awarding of UiB’s 2012 Meltzer Communication Prize.

Click here to access some teaching tips from Harald Kryvi.  


Electronic tools are becoming an increasingly intrinsic part of teaching and learning.

Here is some more information:

Electronic resources at UiB: DigUiB

Some Nature special editions on Topics in Education

Science Journal on Education:


MITs Open Online Courses 

TED – ideas worth spreading 


Send us your tips about resources and trends in teaching.