As a lecturer, you want your students’ education to be fun, but also useful. You want it to be related to practice. To achieve that, it’s good to go off campus with students or to bring the ‘outside’ world into the lecture halls.
For my course HNH-52306 Quantified Self: Monitoring Physiology and Behaviour, I recently organized one such ‘outside world day’. First, the students were given a lecture about building apps by a real-life designer. Then, a Food Informatics researcher supervised a practical session in which students were allowed to build their own heart rate monitor.
And as a thank you, receive a travel expenses form to fill in
Then we walked from Orion to Plus Ultra II for a tour of the OnePlanet Research Centre, where we were shown the latest sensor and health technologies they are developing there. Earlier this year, I invited a food journalist to tell Nutrition students how a story ends up in a newspaper. On the whole, the people I approach are happy to share their knowledge with students.
But a problem I come up against is that it can be hard to find a good way of thanking these guest speakers. As a university employee, you want to encourage external lecturers to come and teach here, so you want to be a good host. Guest speakers have to make time for us, travel to the campus, and prepare a lecture. And as a thank you, they receive a travel expenses form to fill in.
With our new dialogue centre Omnia, we want to open up to other points of view. External speakers help us do that by introducing our students to the world outside the classroom from different angles. Let’s thank these guest speakers properly for that. Let’s invest, as WUR, in a nice thank-you package of local produce along with generous compensation. Let’s do justice to our status: Wageningen, the best university in the Netherlands. For guest speakers too.
Guido Camps (38) is a vet and a researcher at Human Nutrition and OnePlanet. He likes baking, keeping bees and unusual animals.