Alexandru Iosup Netherlands Teacher of the Year
Alexandru Iosup, a lecturer at TU Delft, was named Netherlands Teacher of the Year on Saturday 17 January. This title is awarded by the Interstedelijk Studenten Overleg (Inter-City Student Consultation, or ISO) to a teacher who is known for his or her involvement, passion and innovative teaching methods. This is according to the jury for Iosup and his slogan 'all students count'.
Alexandru Iosup, a lecturer in the faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science uses gamification in his teaching in order to help students learn in ways that suit their personalities. Students can follow their own routes to learning, thus earning credits. They may choose amongst exploratory, social or competitive elements. Some students are fond of free assignments (e.g. designing and programming games), while others prefer to work in small groups and yet others seek the challenge of breaking through to more difficult material, like reaching a higher level in a game. In order to keep the students further involved (or ‘on board’), they may complete the entry quiz once, and they may participate in discussions on the newest and most important research and industrial challenges at the beginning of every lecture. This motivates students to go further and distinguish themselves. By creating challenges, excitement, a quest for a particular goal and rewards, Iosup keeps his students exceptionally involved. Many students are so motivated that they wish to take extra classes and do extra work for the sole purpose of learning something new, without any other reward; for these students Iosup organises extra lectures and half-day workshops.
The application of game elements in education is becoming a trend. In Iosup’s case, it appears to be working. In the Computer Organisation course, the pass rate has increased from 60-65% to above 80%. Iosup has a fundamental preference for games. In his free time, he develops computer games and, in 2011, he received a prestigious Veni grant for his research on online games with large numbers of participants. Dr Alexandru Iosup studied Computer Science at the University Politehnica of Bucharest, Romania (2004) and obtained a doctorate at TU Delft (2009). Since then, he has been a researcher and assistant professor in the Parallel and Distributed Systems group.
In November, Iosup (Bucharest, Romania, 1980) was selected as the Best Teacher at TU Delft by a jury consisting of students, the previous year’s winner and the Rector Magnificus. The jury and his students were quite enthusiastic about Iosup: ‘He knows that each student is unique, and he is able to use gamification to bring out the best in all students.’
The nation’s student representative organ has now selected him as the Best Teacher in the Netherlands. With this title, the organisation highlights a teacher who uses new digital possibilities in an inspiring way, thereby improving education and thus serving as an example for all teachers in higher education. In addition to innovative teaching methods, the ISO selects the Teacher of the Year according to his or her involvement and passion. According to the ISO, an inspiring teacher can motivate students to bring out the best in themselves.
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