Assessment of Teaching Skills at the Faculty of Pharmacy

When necessary, the Teaching Skills Committee will issue written statements on the teaching skills of applicants for the position of professor or other teaching and research positions (university instructor, clinical instructor, university lecturer, assistant/associate professor), as well as in the process for granting the title of docent.

The Teaching Skills Committee of the Faculty of Pharmacy assesses teaching skills based on the written report submitted by the applicant, and a demonstration of teaching skills.

Assessment matrix for evaluation of teaching skills and demonstration of teaching skills

The following assessment matrix is used to aid the assessment of teaching skills and the demonstration of teaching skills: 

Assessment matrix for teaching skills and demonstration of teaching skills (pdf)

As specified in the Regulations of the University of Helsinki, the minimum requirements for teaching skills vary between different research and teaching positions as follows:

  • Full professor: teaching skills as a whole at least good
  • Associate professor: teaching skills as a whole at least satisfactory
  • Assistant professor: teaching skills as a whole at least satisfactory
  • Senior university lecturer and senior clinical instructor: teaching skills as a whole at least good
  • University lecturer: teaching skills as a whole at least good, teaching demonstration at least good
  • Clinical instructor: teaching skills as a whole at least satisfactory, teaching demonstration at least satisfactory
  • University instructor: teaching skills as a whole at least good, teaching demonstration at least good
  • Docent: teaching skills as a whole at least good (Universities Act, section 89)

In case the organization of the teaching is jeopardized and it is a short-term substitute in question, it is possible to deviate from the minimum requirements mentioned above in the positions of a university lecturer and a university instructor. In short term substitutions teachings skills can also be assessed by the appointment committee or similar, if necessary.

Assessment of teaching skills

The applicant’s report on teaching skills

Applications must be accompanied by a report on teaching skills no more than four pages in length, or an academic portfolio containing equivalent information as described below.

The applicant must include at least the following in the report on teaching skills (please see the assessment matrix):

1. Teaching experience and development

  • Scope of teaching experience
  • Quality and diversity of teaching experience
  • Applicant’s own teaching and assessment methods
  • Supervision of theses
  • Development of teaching methods and use of feedback in the development of teaching

2. Pedagogical training and thinking

  • Studies in university pedagogy or other pedagogical studies, e.g., in educational sciences
  • Teacher education, related qualifications
  • Other studies, e.g., training in leadership, work counselling or mentoring skills
  • Pedagogical thinking

3. Ability to use and produce learning material

  • Learning material can be slides, hand-outs, manuals, articles, books, or chapters in books
  • Scope of learning material
  • Quality of learning material   
  • Digital learning material and environments (videos, games, online platforms, AR or VR)

4. Other teaching merits, such as:

  • Directorship of a degree programme, membership in a steering committee
  • Participation in drafting documents guiding teaching (e.g., curricula, modules, student admissions)
  • Expert duties related to teaching (e.g., membership in a teaching skills committee)
  • University-level, national and international working groups related to the development of teaching
  • Teaching development projects
  • Research and publications related to teaching
  • Special distinctions and prizes related to teaching
  • Other equivalent merits gained outside of the University in support of teaching, learning and expertise
  • Teaching collaboration with the University
Demon­stra­tion of teach­ing skills

The length of the teaching demonstration is 20 minutes, after which 10 minutes will be allocated for discussion.

The topic of the demonstration should be of interest to students of the discipline, and should be such that it could be included in a course in the discipline. The context of the demonstration of teaching skills (target group and location in the syllabus or course) must be stated at the beginning of the demonstration. The audience for the demonstration of teaching skills will represent the target group of the teaching. The applicant may use notes and the usual teaching aids.

The main focus of the assessment of the demonstration will be on the ability of the applicant to engage and direct participants in learning and how the aspects indicated in the report on teaching skills are manifested in the teaching situation. The demonstration can be a lecture or a seminar supervision session. It should be less of a formal presentation and more of an interactive learning experience for the students. The demonstration should be designed and prepared from the student’s perspective, bearing in mind how to promote and support their learning and thinking.

The applicant should devise a plan for the teaching demonstration, outlining key goals, learning outcomes (what students should learn during the teaching session) and content. The plan should indicate how the demonstration can ensure the achievement of learning outcomes. It should also indicate how students’ learning can be assessed or monitored, or, how feedback on their learning can be obtained. The demonstration itself need not constitute an entire teaching session, but at the beginning or end of the demonstration the applicant can, for example, offer instructions to students about subsequent work.

The applicant can provide the audience with a hand-out outlining the structure, key content and goals of the lecture or other details. When planning the demonstration, the applicant should study the teaching evaluation matrix and consider how to promote interaction during the teaching session as well as how to engage students in discussion and learning. In addition, the applicant should consider how key content can be connected to wider contexts or a practical perspective. The teaching session should be planned so as to (1) correspond to the applicant’s idea of a good teaching and learning session and (2) be consistent with the applicant’s teaching portfolio and the teaching philosophy described in it. At the beginning or end of the session, the applicant can explain how he or she has planned the teaching demonstration and how he or she would like to assess learning.

The Teaching Skills Committee will assess the teaching skills of each applicant in detail. The assessment of teaching skills as a whole is based on the teaching-related documentation submitted by the applicant as well as the teaching demonstration. 

All sub-criteria listed under a certain level of teaching skills in the evaluation matrix need not be fulfilled for the level to be met. Instead, different aspects of the demonstration can compensate for one another. Applicants should consider the feedback received for teaching skills (statement) as part of their own learning process.