Experiences wide picture

Photo collage with three images of student groups working together

Previous student projects

Previous student projects

Here you find examples of different projects conducted by former student groups in Experts in Teamwork.

Please press the project titles to read about the projects.



Tidligere studentprosjekter

Village: Saving the world is not rocket science

The team has been working with the topic of overfishing and cooperated with WWF and MSC to create awareness of overfishing and sustainability in our oceans. But also to foster rsponsible, sustainable consumer behaviours in seafood consumption among NTNU students, staff and cafè workers. The team arranged a sustainable seafood day at one of the NTNU cafeterias where it was sold hot dishes with sustainable seafood, presentations and a quiz was also held. The team has also set in motion the process of making NTNU an MSC certified organisation meaning that all seafood served at NTNU origins from sustainable fishing.

The students behind the project: Astrid Anette Carlsen (Behavioural Ecology), Cara Lynn McHardy (Industrial Ecology), Elise Brygmann (Biotechnology), Talgat Ospanov (Project Management) og Yajing Wang (Electronic systems design and innvation)


Village: School facility

The team has tried to solve the challenges of increasing numbers of students and teachers at Åsvang school. They have made a report that presents suggestions for rehabilitation, reconstruction and new use of the school buildings. The old school building becomes "the greenhouse", a reference to a place where the children`s ideas and thoughts can grow and flourish. The greenhouse will contain a library, a science room and a learning room to promote the childrens interest for natural sciences and critical thinking.

The students behind the project: Jan Fuhre (Sport Science), Bente Bjerkan (Human Movement Science), Sophie Kappler (Architechture), Steffan Jansen (Economics) and Mari Skoge (Psychology)

Village: High quality in sport facilities

By assignment from Trondheim 2023 the team has worked on measures that can be taken in and around the tribunes around the skijumpfacilties to create an attractive area for top level athletes and for activites for children and young. Their main focus was activities for children. The team has compiled suggestions and detailed descriptions for an obstacle course, a troll forest, a bike course, a stairwell running facility and other activites to be held in the tribunes.

The students behind the project: Andreas Alvem (Material sciences), Henrik Alvestad (Energy and enviromental technology), Runa Blix , Lise Endresen (Health, Enviroment and Safety), Bjarte Espedokken (Industrial economy) og Joakim Lønset (Electro engineering).

Village: The personal genome

The team has designed a genetics themed board game. The board game was designed to raise awareness about gene-technology, gene manipulation and how this new technology affects us. The game engages the player in discussion and reflection and the target group is ages 16 and up. It is relevant for students attending 10th grade but also high school students and others who would like to learn more about gene-technology. The game tries to balance probability and knowledge to make the experience more life-like. 

Students behind the project:  Emilie Kvaløy (Molecular biologi and biochemistry), Erlend Tande (Medicine), Shannen Sait (Enviromental chemistry), Sunniva Haugen (Science and technology studies), Thomas Malmo (Human movement science) og Viktor Olsson (Architechture)

Village: Public Health

The entire village has participated in arranging a public health conference for and with children. The goal of the conference has been for the attendees to gain insight in childrens thoughts and opinions about public health. The teams has done research on physical activity, diet and mental health together with 6th grade children from different schools in Trondheim. The research findings was presented by the children and the students presented the different methods they applied to involve the children in the research. The conference also consisted of a panel discussion with the Ombudsman for Children Anne Lindboe and a presentation by Linda Hofstad Helleland the Minister of Children and Equality.

Village: Design of future health services

The team has developed an app called "My PatientProfile". The app is a personal tool for cancer patients where the patient can register information like how their symptoms are each day, side effects of treatments an other relevant health related information. The app also contains important information about the disease the patient is suffering from and a calendar with appointments to give the individual better control and disease mastery.

"My PatientProfile would be a major safety for me"

Family member of a patient

Students behind the project: Gyrid Madsen (Adult learning), Bård Balto and Astrid Kirkaune (Entrepeneurship, innovation and society)

Photos of the BæggLåkk prototype.Village: Consumption | design | lifestyle

The team conducted a survey and interviews on the use of bicycle helmets, and they discovered a clear need for a simpler way to store a helmet when the bike is parked. The need to carry a helmet around with you after a bike trip, or to leave it hanging from the handlebars exposed to wind and weather, makes many cyclists reluctant to use a helmet. As a solution to this, the team developed the BæggLåkk – a helmet storage bag with a bicycle lock. The solution makes it easy to store the helmet on the bike frame, so that helmet stays dry and the bike is locked. The team made a simple prototype of the BæggLåkk.

The students behind the project: Anne Kirstine Berger (civil and environmental engineering), Astrid Oline Almli Ressem (energy and environment), David Tollnes Flem (mechanical engineering), Mathieu Remaut Lund (industrial economics and technology management) and Truls Tveitdal (industrial design engineering).


Illustrations of a girl who touches one lamp, and another illustration of a grandmother who wtaches her lamp light up.Village: Consumption | design | lifestyle

The team has created a concept design and a simple prototype for a set of interactive lamps to spark a feeling of closeness between grandparents and their younger grandchildren. Grandparents have one main lamp that is linked up with one or more small lamps that belong to their grandchildren. When touched, the small lamps will send a signal that causes the light of the main lamp to change, and vice versa. In a simple way, the lamps can create a sense of connectedness in families across generations. The team has called their concept “Bestelampen”.

The students behind the project: Camilla Dahlstrøm (industrial design engineering), Jørgen Sirhaug (informatics), Ola Iuell Høklie (industrial design engineering), Siv Iren Kjørsvik (civil and environmental engineering) and Susanne Irgens Gravdal (industrial economics and technology management).


Screen caption of the graph of influenceVillage: Big Data

The team developed an interactive website with a graphical presentation of how historical figures have influenced each other. On the website, users can explore a timeline of individuals in history, and they can search for specific people. The people are displayed as circles on the timeline and people who have influenced each other are visually connected by lines between the circles. The data source is Wikipedia. The team refer to this visualization as a graph of influence and believe it may be a useful tool for people interested in history and for a variety of educational institutions.

Students in the team: Ahmed Ahmedov (engineering and ICT), Ivar Arning Flakstad (informatics), Ingvild Forseth (cybernetics and robotics), Magnus Mellem (industrial economics and technology management), Reidar Kjøs Lien (computer science) and Sindre Solheim (communication technology).

Screenshot from the VR application the team made.Village: Virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) in learning and exercise

The student team has developed the VR application MathWorld, which is a module-based game with quiz elements that teach and test knowledge in geometry. The game takes you to Egypt and lets you explore an open world. The problem formulation they have worked on is:
“How can VR be used in learning geometry for students in grades 8-10?”

The students behind the project: Caroline Enevoldsen (physics and mathematics), Eirik Fosse (informatics), Sophie Østli (programme of professional study in psychology), Petter Bakkan Johansen (computer science), Simen T. Vadseth (industrial economics and technology management), Sindre Fossen (simulation and visualization).


Illustration of the 3D model of the team's powerhouse design.Village: Powerhouse

The group has worked on designing a Powerhouse for Brøset in Trondheim, which would produce more renewable energy than it uses during a lifetime of 60 years. The assignment involves calculating the energy consumption for materials, construction of the building and heating requirements, as well as power generation from renewable sources and architectural design. This project presents a building for 60 residents that fulfils the Powerhouse requirements.

The students behind the project: Elisabeth Marie Opsahl (marine technology), Ingrid Børve (physics and mathematics), Emil Wenstad Einarsrud (civil and environmental engineering), Sarah Warloe (chemical engineering and biotechnology), Jan-Magnus Neverdal (industrial design engineering), Vegard Jørgenvåg Bjerkestrand (materials science and engineering).


Screen caption from the Instagram account @nistersomfrister

Village: Public health and social inequality

The aim of the project was to motivate students at lower secondary schools to make a healthy, affordable, and eco-friendly packed lunch, so that they develop an independent approach to preparing food. The team created a booklet with recipe suggestions for healthy and tempting packed lunches, which was handed out to students in a school class. They also held a course for the class in a "Food and Health" lesson, giving the students an opportunity to create their own tempting packed lunch. The course was evaluated with a questionnaire survey before and afterwards, which showed that the students’ packed lunch habits had improved.

“You made me realize that it’s easy to make a good packed lunch.”

Participants in the course

The team created an Instagram account with photos of the students’ tempting packed lunches: @nistersomfrister

Students in the team: Frida Berglund (energy and environmental engineering), Eirik Aas Levang (industrial economics), Julie Aspesletten (psychology, programme of professional study), Eivind Lystad Grimstad (mechanical engineering)

Village: Biomaterials: Body Parts of the Future

The team developed CarryBear, a product that enables children with long-term health problems to communicate with their friends. This can in turn reduce the sick child’s risk of becoming isolated and developing mental health problems. CarryBear is a rugged, durable and waterproof product that makes it possible for sick children to communicate with their friends via telephone, tablet computer or PC, even if their friends are out. During the EiT semester, the team made a working prototype of the CarryBear.

The students behind the project: Rebeca Garcia Alvarez (biotechnology), Lars Borge Hellesylt (cybernetics and robotics), Mette Stausland Istre (biotechnology), Ken Siva Lie (computer technology), Per Kristian Pöcher (cybernetics and robotics) and Henri Ruul (global health)

Village: Punctual and efficient railways

The team developed a concept to reduce the time passengers need for boarding and leaving a train at a station. Motion sensors in the carriages of the train detect places where the train is already fairly full, and where there is more room. Light signals on the platform then show waiting passengers the best place to stand in order to board the train quickly. At a meeting with the Norwegian State Railways (NSB), the team learned that many railway delays occur during boarding and leaving trains, and that delays for one train can lead to more delays throughout the system. The potential of the concept is thus great. The student team tested a prototype using radar sensors on a local train during rush hour. However, they found that the conductor’s movements through the carriages interfered with the calculations made using this sensor, and recommended using other sensor technology for this purpose.

The students behind the project: Nicklas L. Eriksson (buildings and environment), Tor Høisæter (engineering cybernetics), Emanuel Nordbrenden (mechanical engineering), Håkon Solbjørg (informatics).


Village: Innovation in Health CareImage collage with the MONS logo and a draft on how the wall can be folded

The team have come up with the idea of a mobile and foldable noise-reducing partition wall, which can be used in multi-bedded hospital rooms. They envision making the wall with noise-absorbing materials and using a design inspired by the art of origami, enabling the wall to stretch from floor to ceiling. The group argues that the wall will reduce the noise level in the room, thus helping to ensure patient confidentiality and enabling the patients to have private conversations, and also provides increased privacy.

Students in the team: Magnus Bjørnøy (economics), Emilie Marie Glas (sports science), Marius Lyngstad (architecture), Benedikte Smenes (medicine) and Nike Welander (neuroscience).

Caption from the first video "Nanopedia visits the Clean Room"

Village: Nanotechnology, small and good?

The team started out by noting that there is little communication and promotion of nanotechnology in Norway, even though nanotechnology will play an important role for society in the future. As a response to this, the team developed a website intended to function as communication platform for nanotechnology. The target audience for the website is students at upper secondary school. The team has produced the following content for the website: Texts about nanotechnology (with an emphasis on texts about nanobiosensors) and videos of a visit to the Clean Room.

Students in the team: Anna Ulvensøen (chemical engineering and biotechnology), Anders Hutcheson (chemistry), Kim Robert Tekseth (physics and mathematics), Philipp Ehlert (chemical engineering and biotechnology), Henrik Malvik Halvorsen (cybernetics and robotics) and Astrid Fagertun Gunnarshaug (chemistry)

Experiences from EiT

Experiences from EiT

Here you find interviews from different people about their experiences with EiT: From former EiT-students,  village supervisors, and teaching assistants.

Please press the names below to read about their experiences.




Bjørnar BerliPicture of Bjørnar Berli

Village: Consumption | design | lifestyle
Village type and language: Semester-based Norwegian
Field of expertise: Psychology



About being a student in EiT

The best thing about EiT was that it was a break from my other studies. First, what we were working with in EiT (the village theme) was something completely different from the field I am studying in my everyday life. Second, the way you work in EiT is different from my field, which is psychology. In my studies, we read the syllabus, digest the content and prepare for the exam, where we write an assignment. In EiT, the work takes place between 08:00 and 16:00 on Wednesdays, and it’s a bit more like an ordinary school day with group activities. In psychology, the closest you get to group work is the study group. It’s also good to keep in mind that you are finished with EiT before exam time.

At the beginning, it was tiring, with a lot of focus on the process. The constant evaluations of the group work were frustrating, because I felt that I did not know enough to be able to evaluate in a good way (that we didn’t have a basis for this so early in the semester). On top of that, the focus on process meant that we did not make any progress with the project work, which also contributed to the frustration. But once we had started on the project, I thought it was OK to focus on the process. There was just as much to learn from that.

The facilitation went smoothly and I didn’t think there was any hassle about being facilitated. The learning assistants did not get in the way or get over-involved in the group work. At the start I felt a bit frustrated that there was so much focus on the process, but after a while it was cool to learn about facilitation and to see the team become more self-facilitating. In the village, I experienced that the village supervisor and the learning assistants were on “our team” and my team saw them as a resource.

Benefits from EiT

I have mainly become more aware of my role in a team. I wouldn’t say that I’ve been surprised about who I am, but rather that I have become more conscious about what I should do or not do in the role that I have.

Advice to new EiT students

Before EiT starts, you can think about what you can do to make sure the teamwork starts well and how you can influence the team in a positive direction. Be aware that you have a major influence on how the team will develop. If you are positive and optimistic about the work, people will flourish, and you help to create a good foundation for the rest of the semester. Set a good standard early on by doing what you say you will do, more than in other subjects, and volunteer to contribute so that you inspire others to tackle tasks that the team needs to solve. In this way you contribute to creating an okay team and then everything will turn out well.

If I had to take EiT over again I would have been less focused on the results – the project is not the key thing. Also, in retrospect, I see that it was surprisingly easy to achieve the project goal and so there was no reason to feel stressed about it. A tip to future students would be not to get so frustrated over the process focus at the start.

Ingrid B. GjerdePicture of Ingrid B. Gjerde

Village: Health-promoting living environment and urban development
Village type and language: Semester-based Norwegian
Field of expertise: Psychology



About being an EiT student

At the beginning I thought it was a bit weird to be observed and facilitated, but I got used to it. After a while, we wanted more and more facilitation. My team thought that sociograms were especially helpful (one of the sociograms we got showed that “some people in the group look at everyone, while others only look at one” and another that showed “how many times the team members spoke”). The sociograms were very visual and made it easier to understand some of what was going on in the team, and then we could talk about why it was like that and what we could do about it. Once we got a sociogram that showed that I was one of the ones who was dominant in the team, in that I talked a lot. At first, I experienced that as a bit unpleasant, but it was well received by the team and made me more aware of myself after that.

My team was very interdisciplinary with one student from civil engineering, one from industrial economics, one from Health, Safety and the Environment (HSE), one from energy and environmental engineering, and me from psychology. We spent a lot of time on defining our common project. At the start we had very many different ideas, probably because each of us looked at the village theme based on our own field, which I think was natural because we had no other reference. We finally found a project where we could all contribute something (we would develop a building that would inspire a sense of community and togetherness in a residential area), but it demanded negotiations between us. An example of such negotiations was that the civil engineering student wanted a swimming pool in the building, but the industrial economics student concluded that it would be too expensive. In EiT, I experienced that the project became broader when our whole interdisciplinary team worked on it together, compared with what would have happened if each of us had completed it on our own. For example: If I had worked alone I would have written a report about relationships, but because I was working together with the others in the team, the report also covered the building itself, finance, marketing and operations.

Benefits of EiT

That a project has more aspects than I think of at first – that’s the most important thing when I look at it from the perspective of my field. You become aware of other aspects when you hear someone who is “wearing glasses from a different discipline” talking about the project. Then you take a step back and get an all-round picture.

Through EiT, I gained experience in giving and receiving feedback, and I learned that it is important for the team members to understand what they each contribute to the teamwork. Many members of my team were very self-critical, so we focused on giving positive feedback to reinforce good behaviour. But we also gained a lot from the constructive feedback messages, even though they are more difficult to give. With time, we got better at giving feedback to each other. We got better at using specific examples as the starting point and referring to specific situations as the basis for the feedback we gave. In this way, we avoided situations where the person who received the feedback took it personally.

Advice to new EiT students

From the start, try to be aware of the role that you tend to take in group work, and use EiT to get outside that role. In EiT, no roles are set in advance, nobody knows each other from before or knows what you’re going to work with, and you are part of a whole new teamwork. In this way, EiT provides a unique opportunity to explore and test other roles. Can I be someone different from the one I always am in a group? Perhaps you can try to take up more space if you are often hesitant? I often take a leader role in group work and I took the opportunity to try out other roles during the EiT work. I found that I learned a lot from that.

Suzana ZoricPicture of Suzana Zoric

Village: Improving Quality of Life through the Focus on Silence
Village type and language: Intensive / English
Field of expertise: Architecture



About being an EiT student

It was exciting that the village was multicultural with a wide variety of disciplines. I was a student in an international village and in my team alone there were people from Norway (half Croatian), Azerbaijan and South Korea. The fields of study were medicine, music, petroleum, childhood studies and architecture.

Although we came from very different fields, it was surprisingly easy to find a common problem formulation. That was probably related to the course (the village theme). It is a bit strange to have silence as a village theme. I wanted to work together with students who were open and positive, and assumed that students who applied for this village theme, and who were also international, would have that kind of attitude. That proved to be right, and I think it was exactly these attitudes that everyone had that caused it to work well.

The learning assistant’s facilitation was a bit strange at the start, because we didn’t know what it was about. On the second village day, a sociogram was handed out to us showing that two people in the group had not spoken, without us being aware of it. From this, we learn to be more aware and active in giving everyone in the team a chance to speak. After a while it was quite okay to be facilitated, and it was interesting to hear their observations and questions. Being facilitated is something you get used to.

Benefits of EiT

EiT is a course that we need. For me, perhaps it wasn’t an academic necessity, but EiT is a subject you need to live a good life in a community, because you gain experience in working together with people who are different and think differently. Usually you can work together with the people you like, while in EiT you don’t have enough time not to like anyone. You have to work together with the people in your team. If you take EiT seriously, you learn a lot about interpersonal relationships in the workplace, what to take up, and how to say it.

In previous group work, I have often been the one who has taken on the duties and done most of the work myself. After taking EiT, I have become more self-reflective, and have learned to take up problems, for example with team members with a low level of ambition, rather than to “throw in the towel” and do everything myself.

Advice to new EiT students

Don’t apply for exemption from EiT, because then you’re doing yourself a disservice. What you learn in EiT is not the same as what you learn on the job. In EiT, you get the time and the opportunity to reflect on teamwork in a completely different way than you do in the workplace, where the results are more important than the process. You might be able to achieve good teamwork intuitively, but you might not be aware of what makes it good.


Learning assistants


André Nydegger WermundsenPicture of Andé N. Wermundsen

Village: Biofuels – A solution or a problem?
Village type and language: Semester-based English
Field of expertise: Engineering cybernetics



Becoming a learning assistant in EiT

The starting point was that I wanted to find myself a job. After hearing some of the buzz at Stripa, I discovered how much there was to learn in the position. I also met former NTNU “buddies” (fadder) who had taken EiT themselves. They convinced me that it looked good on your CV, that you got an opportunity to help other people to understand and learn something useful. Gradually, there was a shift from earning money to realizing that this was actually interesting for me. Even though I’m studying engineering cybernetics, I think that psychology and behaviour are also interesting.

About the training

It can be difficult to grasp EiT from the training itself. The seminar that lasted two whole days was a bit heavy. That was because the pace was fast, and it was only a week later that I tied up the loose ends and understood what I had learned. When we started teaching, we saw that the students appreciated the same exercises that we had gone through: the feedback exercise Note in the Hat, the Competence Triangle, and giving and receiving direct feedback.

The seminar on the international villages was useful. In particular, the point about different views on women in different cultures became relevant in one of our student teams on the second village day, so it was good to be aware of this in advance.

What it was like to be a learning assistant

At the beginning it was a bit tough to take control. For the first three village days, the role was a bit unfamiliar: It was difficult to get the students to relax and at the same time be somebody who was not supposed to give the answers (“to be an expert”). From around the fourth village day, I felt more comfortable about it and did more spontaneous facilitation. The students were more open to this than I had thought they would be, and when talking to me they didn’t defend why they did what they did very much.

The job of a learning assistant is a job with meaning. I have learned a lot about myself, and I take home what I have learned. In fact, I find that I facilitate myself and evaluate much more than before.

Working together with the village supervisor

I thought that working together with the village supervisor went well. The village supervisor had a plan from before, but we could be involved in changing what we wanted to. We could participate in the planning and we had the opportunity to stand in front of the village and speak. I have felt valued as a learning assistant, and we have been a team the whole time. The village supervisor means a lot, for a good working environment among other things.

The benefits of having been a learning assistant

I have become more analytical in everyday life, in a positive way. Facilitation can be used both when you’re out with your mates and in your education in other ways.

Advice to new learning assistants

Experts in Teamwork is a learning process for learning assistants as well. Make an effort, but be relaxed. Don’t get worried about thoughts like: “What if I make a mistake?” or “what if I am too direct?” You can make a lot of “mistakes” without causing any crisis, and you can “correct” them the next time you facilitate.

Look at yourself before you talk: get straight observations without making assumptions, before you intervene in the student teams. All members of a team have baggage with them from outside the teams. It might be difficult to know anything about that. The facilitation circle introduced to us during the training illustrates this well.

Ronny FevågPicture of Ronny Fevåg

Village: Concrete Innovation
Village type and language: Semester-based Norwegian
Field of expertise: Social economics



Becoming a learning assistant

I found out about the job because there was some buzz about it on campus. At first I didn’t know much about the learning assistant job, but I’m interested in people and psychology, and when I heard more about the job I thought it sounded tempting to try out the theory in practice. In a way, it was a job where you got paid for personal development.

About the training

Through the training and through working as a learning assistant, you get the chance to try out your skills in zones you’re not used to. For my part, the training started right from the recruiting stage, where I had to step outside my comfort zone. At the facilitation seminar, we got an idea of what the learning assistant job involved before the work in the village. I experienced the two-day seminar as intensive, and when you’re in the middle of it, you don’t understand why has to be so intensive.  It is only when you reflect on it afterwards that you understand what you have learned.

About being a learning assistant

To be a learning assistant is a good feeling. You’re part of something bigger.

I have also seen that it’s the simple things that help and that it’s important not to think in a way that’s too advanced. One example is a sociogram, which gives you a simple way to tell the team that one person isn’t talking. Once, when the teaching assistant facilitated a group, I also noticed how effective it was that she asked simple questions rather than complex ones.

Because I was a learning assistant both in an intensive and in a semester-based village this spring, I had the chance to experience that village supervisors may have different ways of doing things.

Working together with the village supervisor

The village supervisor has respected our role as learning assistants. He doesn’t place himself at a higher level than us, but asks us for help with the process. In the village, our tasks have been independent. The village supervisor has let us take care of our tasks without intervening, but has been interested in how things were going with us and the process.

The benefits of being a learning assistant in EiT

I have learned that you don’t see the result of what you’re doing straight away, but that you sow the seed. I have also learned that it is important to be neutral, but that it can be difficult to be neutral when you are in the middle of the situation.

I have also had some thoughts about facilitation. First: if I had been a learning assistant again, I would have done more spontaneous facilitation at the start. I’ve also found it frustrating to facilitate in the completion stage because there’s not much interaction in the teams. I don’t like the final phase so much, because I don’t get as much done. So a tip to new learning assistants could be to focus a lot of your time at the start.

In terms of exercises in general, through this semester I’ve found that it’s important to set aside time for reflection after the exercises, so students can talk about what they have learned.

Advice to new learning assistants

Always challenge yourself, step outside your comfort zone! Another, more specific tip is always to reveal the purpose of the exercises you carry out.

Isabelle A. GabarroPicture of Isabelle A. Gabarro

Village: Building Resilience to Urban Disasters
Village type and language: Intensive / English
Field of expertise: Counselling and adult education



Becoming a learning assistant in EiT

I had heard a lot of positive things about the job from a friend. On top of that, I’ve always had a liking for group processes and a personal interest in them. Also, I read more about the job on the website and saw that it was relevant to my studies.

About the training

The training was very good. It made me feel prepared for situations and made me prepare mentally for the job. For the two-day seminar, it was useful to be facilitated myself, to “feel the sting that it brings”. That helps you to understand the students better and to have more respect for them. Something else I can say about the two-day seminar is that they were long days with full focus. The seminar gave me energy, and it was a great way to get to know the facilitator team in an intensive way. There was also a lot to learn from facilitating the others.

About being a learning assistant

The village I was working in was international (the students came from Europe, Africa and South America) and my impression was that a different dynamic emerged because of the cultural and language differences. Almost everyone in the village spoke a foreign language, and even though the students generally had a good command of English, misunderstandings arose when it came to the meaning of words and concepts. A cultural difference that emerged was a different definition of time and the use of time: International students often came late, which they regarded as okay and “within the limits”, while the Norwegian students felt frustrated about that.

Working together with the village supervisor

The village supervisor showed strong commitment and set aside time for the learning assistants to have some leeway. At the same time, the distribution of tasks was demanding. I would have liked to have had more time for preparation and planning.

The benefits of having been a learning assistant

Through the learning assistant job, I’ve learned to be patient and objective. I have also become aware of how important it is to listen, and I think that’s useful, because usually in a team you focus on expressing your own opinion, instead of listening.

I have learned that making mistakes is also learning, and it’s important to try, because there’s a lot to learn from that. There is something special about the setting for the learning assistant job that’s different to what you’re used to. Everywhere else there’s great pressure for “everything to be perfect”, while in the learning assistant job there is scope for daring to try, to take a chance, to leap into it. Maybe you’ll make a mistake, but it doesn’t matter so much.

I have discovered that what you learn in EiT, “to see how the others think” and “to be able to put yourself in the other person’s position”, is useful knowledge that you can use in other situations in life.

Advice to new learning assistants

Students may be sceptical about, and get irritated about, being interrupted by learning assistants, but then you must be patient with yourself. Don’t freak out if the students show resistance. With time, they will understand.

Use your partner LA! There’s a lot to learn from working together with the person who is your fellow learning assistant. That person can give you a lot of support and engagement, and it’s worth its weight in gold to be able to talk openly to someone who is in the same position as you are, if a situation arises in a team that you don’t know how to handle.


Village supervisors


Lars UrsinPicture of Lars Ursin

Village: Public health and social inequality
Village type and language: Semester-based Norwegian
Field of expertise: Medical ethics



Becoming a village supervisor in EiT

As a newly appointed researcher at the Department of Public Health and General Practice, I was asked to take over the department’s EiT village “Public Health”. The public health village had existed for several years. I decided to continue the theme of public health, but I introduced a new requirement for the student projects: the teams had to implement a public health initiative themselves during the project period. In other words, the student teams had to identify an important challenge in public health themselves, design an initiative aimed at this challenge, find a collaborative partner, launch the initiative, and then evaluate its effects.  

About the training in the autumn

It was personally and professionally challenging to take part in the two-day seminar, and at the same time rewarding. For me it involved being drawn into a new way of thinking about teaching and learning. It was exciting to get into this mindset.  

About being a village supervisor in EiT

It’s a treat! I have invested a lot of thoughts and feelings in the development and implementation of the set-up in this village, and I’ve been involved in this in a different way from other subjects I’ve been responsible for. You get very close to each other in this programme. Both the project part and the process part place tough and unfamiliar demands on the students, and especially in the first year, it was almost too exciting to follow the process and hope that they would end up landing on their feet.

As the village supervisor, I’m in the room the whole day. I don’t sit in the office. That is one of the most important things in the subject: To be there. By being there and attentive all the time, you learn to use your energy in a different way, both as a teacher and as a student.

Working together with the learning assistants

It’s absolutely fine to work together with learning assistants. The LAs I have had have been very different, in that they have sorted out their tasks in very different ways. I regard EiT as a process subject, and so the role of the village supervisor and the learning assistant are actually very similar. We do much of the same thing, but with different endpoints. For them, the process ends with the perspective dialogues, while for me it’s the grading.

The benefits of being a village supervisor

Above all, I’ve learned a lot about group processes, and become more observant, reflective, and aware about working in groups. I work a lot in various groups in other contexts, both at work and in my free time, and I bring what I learn in EiT into other situations. Otherwise, I have learned a lot about work satisfaction and well-being. I think more about how to create good communities for learning and learning conditions. In that respect, it is important to focus on getting to know each other and doing things together.

Advice to new village supervisors

Experts in Teamwork is a unique opportunity to go into process work in depth. One tip is thus to put a lot of energy into getting the students to understand what the process part is all about, and to take advantage of this special opportunity to learn and experiment in this social space for all it’s worth.

Another important element is the timing of information about the purpose of the tasks and the exercises that are given, and their context. Don’t present information too early, and not too late.

The last tip is to let the students find external partners themselves. This is demanding, but it gives the students self-confidence and a great sense of mastery when they succeed.

Aoife Houlihan Wiberg

Village: The School of the Future
Village type and language: Semester-based English
Field of expertise: Architecture



Becoming a village supervisor

I entered Experts in Teamwork as a successor after Annemie Wyckmans. I accepted the role as village supervisor even though I knew very little about EiT.

About the training

The biggest positive was that you are put in the shoes of the students during the seminars. You are put together in groups, and have to complete many tasks that you yourself will give to the students during the spring. This makes you understand the students’ vulnerability during the start-up better.

About being a village supervisor

It is great! As a village supervisor, you have to explain the topic clearly and concisely, since many of the students know very little about the particular academic field. This means that you have to be explicit. In return, you get new perspectives, and see research questions in new ways. The students who do not have prior experience with the village topic bring unique perspectives. I expected to have quite a lot of architect students in my village, but ended up with many students from computer science. They bridged the gap between design and emissions; ICT was the missing link, which was an unplanned outcome!

I think it is interesting that you as a village supervisor are not lecturing the students, as much as "feeding them seeds", and letting them develop their own research questions.

The process part of the course was also very interesting. You can have the best skills or knowledge, but if the team does not function, it does not work. You also get to know something about yourself, and you are never too old to have someone turn the mirror. The students in my village enjoyed learning about how to communicate and work with people from different subject areas.

The biggest challenge for me was that I had never done this before. I was a bit insecure at the beginning, but had an open dialogue with the students that we were all going through this for the first time, and that worked out well.

About working together with the learning assistants

Fantastic! We are all on the same page. I gave them the responsibility for the process part of the course. In hindsight, I divided the course maybe a bit too much. I think that I should be more involved in the process part next year. The learning assistants and I have worked out really well as a team.

Learning outcomes

You have to be adaptable and flexible. It is your job to provide a roadmap for the students in the beginning, but the course has to be unplanned to a certain extent. You have to have the right attitude, and being rigid is not good.

There is a fine line between guiding the groups and standing back. This can be a bit unnatural, especially since you naturally want to help the groups. You should also not give advice in process issues, unless you see that someone suffers in the situation.

Advice to future village supervisors

Do not worry so much! You cannot plan everything. Have a good topic that is interesting enough for the students. Create a good atmosphere in the entire village. It paid off to focus on this in the beginning, so that we avoided five “mini villages” later on.

Svein-Olaf Hvasshovd

Village: IT control of modern vehicles and Use of IT to find lost objects.
Village type and language: Intensive Norwegian and semester-based Norwegian
Field of expertise: IT



Becoming a village supervisor

I was asked by my Head of Department, and I thought it sounded like an interesting job. It’s more fun to be a village supervisor than to teach basic courses in programming.

The training

The training has worked very well. I have been through it three times now, so I know a lot of it, but I pick up new things every year.

About being a village supervisor

I have long experience as a project manager from industry, where I was responsible for far more employees than the number of students I have in EiT today. Compared with that, it’s fairly comfortable to be a village supervisor. I lead the village like a project manager in industry, but in EiT I am a second-level project manager. This means that I am a project manager for 5 subprojects (student teams), which each have their own leadership. I have meetings with all the teams at least once every day, with a relaxed and unstressed attitude.

An important task for the village supervisor is to ask the teams questions to find out if they have done what they are supposed to do by the deadlines they have. Students have a tendency to forget the process report, while work on the project report progresses by itself. I offer guidance on both reports along the way, and a recurring issue is that students must go into greater depth and write in more detail about the teamwork process.

Working together with the learning assistants

Working together with the learning assistants goes very smoothly. One of the learning assistants has been involved for all three years so far, and that has been a great support for me, because I run both an intensive and a semester-based village during the same semester. I have been fortunate to get skilled learning assistants, but at the same time, it’s also a question of how you meet them. I give them an impression that they can control a lot, and I say this because the ultimate responsibility is mine. When learning assistants are assigned responsibility, and get guidance, I see that they grow during the semester.

Learning outcomes

Being a project manager in EiT is not very different from being a project manager in industry. The students get experience with realistic projects that they encounter in industry when they graduate.

Experts in Teamwork is totally different from other teaching where you “stand and intone the lecture”. Here, it’s intensive work the whole time.

At the beginning, many students don’t understand the purpose of the course, and why there are so many exercises. It is important to emphasize what motivates the students, and make sure they understand why they must carry out specific tasks.

Advice to future village supervisors

Act naturally and use common sense! Don’t just tell the students what to do, but explain the reasons. Use straightforward arguments. Students get motivated by being linked with external companies and/or institutions, so it’s a good idea to involve them. Finally, I want to say that Experts in Teamwork is fun, and that NTNU is doing the right thing by committing resources to EiT.