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Innovating assessment in teacher education

Erik Adalberon of the Faculty of Humanities and Education at the University of Agder has submitted his thesis entitled «Innovating examinations in teacher education» and will defend the thesis for the PhD-degree Tuesday 21 September 2021.

In total, these results elucidate that introduction and implementation of innovations in higher education is a necessary but demanding exercise to develop new ways of assessing knowledge.

Erik Yves H Adalberon

PhD Candidate

Erik Yves H Adalberon of the Faculty of Humanities and Education at the University of Agder has submitted his thesis entitled «Innovating examinations in teacher education» and will defend the thesis for the PhD-degree Tuesday 21. September 2021.

He has followed the PhD-programme at the Faculty of Humanities and Education at the University of Agder, with Specialisation in in Pedagogy.

Summary of the thesis by Erik Adalberon:

Innovating assessment in teacher education 

A crucial part of higher education is to assess what the students have learned through their studies, and this is commonly done through one or more examinations each semester.

The most utilised examination formats may give a certain impression of their theoretical knowledge, but very few formats reward the students’ practical experiences.

A new examination format 

A novel format from the teacher education in the University of Oslo is investigated in this dissertation, and here the aim is to demonstrate practical skills through assessment.

In short, the new format includes a video of classroom teaching as an element in the examination tasks.

This digital examination format gives the teacher students an opportunity to watch a concrete teaching situation, and thereafter analyse this in light of pedagogical and didactical theories they know.

A connection between theory and practice like this is meant to make practice experiences more relevant in the examination situation, and thus reward such knowledge.

Possibilities and constraints

Possibilities and constraints of the new format is explored through interviews of teacher students, content analysis of examination reports, and written feedback from educators.

The research demonstrates that the video examination adds something new and different by involving practice experiences, at the same time as both students and educators are bound to their habits for existing examination formats.

Writing, writing style, and time pressure is mentioned as obstacles.

In addition, the new and more open format gives room for creative ways to solve the tasks at hand.

Digital examination formats enable them to copy and paste text, which is something students and educators make use of here.

Innovation in higher education 

In total, these results elucidate that introduction and implementation of innovations in higher education is a necessary but demanding exercise to develop new ways of assessing knowledge.  

The dissertation is also concerned with the frames given in higher education, and whether they support the goal of creating new assessment formats.

Opponent ex auditorio:

The chair invites members of the public to pose questions ex auditorio in the introduction to the public defense, with deadlines. It is a prerequisite that the opponent has read the thesis. Questions can be submitted to the chair Hans Hodne on e-mail hans.hodne@uia.no

Disputation facts

The trial lecture and the public defence will take place online, via the Zoom conferencing app (link below) and in  B1-001 Gabriel Scotts auditorium, Campus Kristiansand (registration link below)

Dean Hans Hodne, Faculty of Humanities and Education at the University of Agder, will chair the disputation.

The trial lecture Tuesday 21 September 2021 at 10:00 hours

Public defence Tuesday 21September 2021 at 12:00 hours


Given topic for trial lecture«Opening the black box of Assessment in teacher education: What will Teacher Education look like in the future?»

Thesis Title«Innovating examinations in teacher education»

Search for the thesis in AURA - Agder University Research Archive, a digital archive of scientific papers, theses and dissertations from the academic staff and students at the University of Agder.

The thesis is available here:


The thesis in full:

The CandidateErik Yves H Adalberon (1977, Oslo, grown up in Kristiansand) Cand mag, University of Oslo (2003), Masters degree i  Pedagogy, UiA 2014. Worked as a teacher in Kristiansand (2004 – 2008), Research Librarian - Subject Librarian, science at the University of Agder (2018 -)


First opponent: Professor Filip Dochy, KU Leuven, Belgium

Second opponent: Professor Ola J. Lindberg, Umeå University, Sweden

Associate Professor Esther Canrinus, Department of Education, University of Agder,  is appointed as the administrator for the assessment committee.

Supervisors in the doctoral work were Professor Roger Säljö UiA (see also Roger Säljö at University of Gothenburg, Sweden) (main supervisor) and Professor Emeritus Trond Eilif Hauge, University of Oslo (co-supervisor)