Modern Education: Interactive Lectures

What is modern education and teaching? We asked Kepler Award winner Prof. Smirna Malkoc.

2021 Kepler Award winner Smirna Malkov
2021 Kepler Award winner Smirna Malkov

The JKU has set itself a goal to establish new standards in education by becoming better and more highly visible. To support the university’s efforts, the JKU created and recently presented the Kepler Awards in recognition of innovative teaching. Smirna Malkoc, a professor of Educational Psychology, is among the 2021 award recipients and was presented with an award in the category of "Digital Teaching - Kepler Award for Excellence in Digital Teaching".

What are the characteristics of modern teaching methods?
Smirna Malkoc: For me personally, modern teaching methods include learner-centered education that can sustainably support professional and personal development. It is interactive, innovative, varied, skills-oriented, and transparent.

What makes the way you teach special?
Smirna Malkoc: My classroom lessons are not just about teaching the course content – when I teach, I also focus on conveying a critical look at the course content. The core of my educational concept links theory, current research findings, and real-world practices. I aim to prepare my students for the real world by supporting and encouraging critical and practical thinking. In addition, I consider each classroom session an opportunity to learn something new and further develop my educational concepts. In this regard, when I teach, I believe appreciative feedback culture is vital. It not only supports acquiring skills but also helps create a pleasant and motivational learning environment.

In one sentence, what is educational psychology about?
Smirna Malkoc: As part of the course in Educational Psychology, we focus on human behavior, experience, and action in the educational context.

What does winning this award mean to you?
Smirna Malkoc: Winning the first Kepler Award for Excellence in Digital Teaching is a great honor, especially in recognition of my work. I would like to sincerely thank the jury for the award! A special thanks also goes to my students. They are my biggest source of motivation and inspiration.