Bjørn Sortland

Associate Professor in marine technology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim

Bjørn was involved in the development of the concept of ‘Experts in Teams’ at NTNU and has worked with the concept for the past 15 years – today as head of EiT at NTNU. EiT is a mandatory course for all NTNU students on the graduate level. Bjørn participated as an observer at Business Academy Aarhus’ EiT in 2014.

What do you think worked well with us in relation to EiT as you know the process and use it at NTNU in Trondheim?

I am impressed by how you managed to include the whole school in the process and that it was so well organised. For us the competency of teamwork is the main learning objective for EiT. For you innovation is in the forefront and is the most important learning outcome. We are very preoccupied with the process and make sure that the teams reflect a lot along the way. The students should end up understanding themselves better. This requires some time. That is why we spend three weeks on the course, whilst you focus on three intensive days, which emphasise innovation. So therefore, the concept is somewhat different to yours.

The structure of your EiT process works really well, I think. I particularly like your help-desk with learning assistants/facilitators, who act as consultants and go around and help the groups if this is required. It is an element we could easily end up copying so that we could use it as well.

You have managed very well to get EiT started-up fast, and it is very instructive for me to see how the EiT concept can be useful in different versions and in different organisations. I am sure that the concept will be extended to many more educational institutions, in many different countries, over the next few years and I believe that there is much we can learn from each other.